This month has been like running against a brick wall, falling down and trying the exact same thing all over again. Made me think about Einstein’s supposed definition of insanity: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results” (the original is supposed to be from Rita Mae Brown’s novel ‘Sudden Death’). I have spent most of the time since I got back from my vacation feeling overwhelmed with the amount of things to do this month- and last week it hit me (much like a brick wall of realization), that I have only myself to thank that my January is so full!
I so often find myself answering “a bit stressed and really busy” when people ask how I am doing. And just as often I find myself wondering how my day, week and month have gotten so full again. It leaves little room to wonder why I feel stressed out. At the end of the day though, I decided to do a thesis, I decided I want to write a blog, I want to be involved in local projects and still find the time for friends and family, all the things that fill my day are decisions I made at a point in time. Sure some of them are impulse decisions, other times my procrastinations leads to things piling up, but I can influence what I do with my time. And for me this was a big eureka moment, now the trick is finding out how to change my actions and stop myself from always piling on new things and projects.
Just sitting here trying to write this makes me feel uncomfortable. My chest feels tight and I feel agitated and my concentration isn’t really there. I’d rather binge watch a series on Netflix, because then I don’t have to think or feel or figure out what exactly is making me feel this way right now.
I decided to take part in a study on psychological well-being (an impulse decision without thinking about the time commitment) that goes over several weeks with follow ups every few months. This week I have supposed to be working on my problems… The task was to identify problems I can change and those that I have to accept, much like the serenity prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
The first question was: ‘Please list all of your current problems’, and I just felt an immediate internal blockage, it made me uneasy und I felt panicky. Why not just one problem, why not start small, but seriously you want me to write down all my bloody problems? Do you want them alphabetical or numerical? Maybe the question even made me angry on some level. Suffice to say I stared at my laptop for 5 minutes, closed it and decided to go to bed (at 2pm).
I am good at shutting out how I feel sometimes, it gets buried somewhere dead inside, covered up with things to keep me busy so I don’t have to think. I don’t want to deal with the storm inside, or partially I am not ready to. Often, I am afraid of the intensity of which I feel things and it is so, so much easier to pacify myself with something mindless and to feel less than to deal with the full extent of my emotions.
Maybe that is why I have this urge to always be busy, to fill up my schedule till it is bursting and I feel overwhelmed, because it leaves no space for anything else. That and that I have often seen busyness as a form of success- I glorify the busy.