One of the things I like about new beginnings, like starting a new year, is that I start things with a lot of enthusiasm. I think most of us do. There’s the idea stage, the effervescent joy that comes with a plan. Then reality comes in the forms of little things like speed bumps in our plans. It curbs that original enthusiasm, most of the time replacing it with something new…determination.
It takes a bit to get to the determination stage for me, but I think I’m there.
If you’ve read my blog before, you may remember a post I did a while back questioning whether or not contentedness was a form of apathy. I still don’t think it is—I think it’s healthy to be content. But here lately it’s been cold outside (which equals not running very much and a crabby Dragonfly), the daylight hours are short, and my energy level is just low. I go through my days pretty much the same—get up, go to work, eat meals, crave bedtime, throw in a little housework and laundry (maybe a game or two of Candy Crush) and finally hit the sack. The cycle repeats the next day. I have a growing list of things I want to do, but instead of looking at them with the eagerness I usually feel, I dread them. This is not being content.
While I do blame a lot of it on the winter blahs, I can’t continue in this status quo pattern of doing the minimum to get through the day. I compare it to home ownership. You can do the least amount of work to live in your home—pick up just the most damaging messes, fix what’s broken, basically just put out any theoretical fires, —but after about ten years the value of your home hasn’t really gone anywhere. If anything, it’s gone down from not being updated. On the other hand, if you invest a little time and effort into your home beyond the minimum by sprucing up what time and life dish out to its walls, in the end your home grows in value. This is true for the soul as well.
Finding that place of determination usually means hitting some tough spots. What starts out as simply a fresh coat of paint can lead to patching some holes. It helps to not overthink those so as not to get overwhelmed, which I think it what I’ve been doing.
So I’m updating my personal mantra. Even if just for today.
Do hard things. Challenge yourself. One more mile…
These are what I tell myself when I don’t feel like doing something or I’m faced with an unpleasant task. It doesn’t necessarily make what I’m doing more fun, but it reminds me that I’m working on being stronger and facing whatever it is I need to tackle. A bit silly? Yes, but it helps a little. After all, beneath these layers of peeling paint within lies a mansion, right?