Live in the present, in a satisfying way
Hi, Carolyn: I’m burned out. Between work, my commute, working out every night and trying to lose weight, trying to get everything else done that needs to be done, and trying not to spend my life in front of the TV ... I’m exhausted. Every Monday, I begin the countdown to the weekend. And when the weekend arrives, I try to rush through everything and even the fun stuff can be daunting. All I want to do is sit on my biscuit. Even if I do manage to get a day to myself, it’s never enough. And the thought of doing this for the next 30-plus years? Ugh. I need some perspective. – Burned Out No, I think you need some down time. All of this rushing around for a future version of your life means you’re not living the present one in any kind of satisfying way.
That can be fine, certainly – we all have tough phases of life – but yours doesn’t seem to be a contained cultivation season toward a defined harvest. It’s more like drudgery ever after. And that’s not emotionally sustainable.
You need to give yourself permission to sit on your biscuit every third day. Or whatever. You need to make that “working out every night” commitment into something that brings other dividends than weight loss. Can you change “working out” to “dancing” one or two nights a week? Can you pick up a sport that has a community around it? Can you add a soul workout of some kind – a volunteer gig or a faith-based commitment or a yoga/meditation practice?
Can that “get everything else done that needs to be done” list be cut? If not immediately, then over time with strategic changes? A lowermaintenance life sounds pretty good to me, as does torching a few hours of it sitting and watching TV.
Re: Burned Out.You
are not alone. My commute has been terrible for the past year and I have basically workedwatched tv-slept for the past year. I’m moving to telework soon, but if I couldn’t do that I’d have to change something else because it’s just not sustainable. Good vibes your way!
How in the world do people figure out their life’s purpose?
Luck, convenience, delusion, necessity, a delusion of necessity.
A purpose is nice to have, and I encourage it. At minimum it’s something to hang onto when things feel overwhelming, and at best – when it’s a great match of purpose and person – the world gets better for nearly everyone.
But purpose in itself is really more like those audio-tours at museums: Without one, you may miss a few things, but you don’t necessarily need one to get something out of the whole experience.
So, if a purpose eludes you at the moment, then it’s OK just to appreciate the good stuff around you. See what you see. Attentiveness can reveal a purpose, or be one unto itself.
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