habit or circumstance?

I’ve just wrapped up one of the busiest work times I’ve had in years. So, yay!

And sure, this is a good thing (the busy-ness, it’s so American to be intensely overextended!), but I’m soo glad that things are wrapping up. I’ve been crazy for months now. And totally stressed out.

What I’m curious about is my part in all of this. Because in keeping with a friend’s Pet Peeves list, I have to assume that I choose this kind of frantic pace, and even thrive within it.

I’ve also assumed that — once things were “wrapped up” (as if they ever are), I could return to “normal,” to a more sane pace.

But I’m not so sure. I’ve done this before. It’s kinda like a pattern. I look around me and can see pretty plainly that I’ve shunted off just about everything to get the job done: exercise, decent nutrition, relationships, leisure — really just about everything. So I feel like, now, I’m getting to go back and pick up the wreckage, and try to put things back together. Exhume my cool office, spend more time with loved ones, get some exercise, — not to mention pay bills and go through unopened mail, which is just a ridiculous pile.

So I’m not sure what the payoff is. I mean — of course there’s money involved, but it’s not like I’m getting rich here. Doing fine, thanks, but… the payoff, were I to be honest, has more to do with feeling important based on impressing people through work. Which is just such a slippery slope.

Is this my life? The answer would pretty much have to be “yes.” And I would be a fool to complain about it because, by any measure, I get to do some pretty cool stuff. But I could do with some chaos management skills; not because I should or I need to, but because I get really stressed out over stuff when I overcommit to the jagged edge of unmanageable.

And that was pretty much the last four months.

And more importantly, I’d like to get a little better at separating Me from My Work. They’re very easy to confuse, especially as a self-employed person. In fact, it’s very easy to define Me by My Work. A lot easier than separating them. And I think that’s what leads me into these occasional frenzies that I come out of feeling exhausted and relieved that I didn’t fuck anything up too completely, that I can pick up the pieces.

Which, oddly, makes me a gambler, I’ve observed in clearer moments. I say “odd,” because I’ve never liked conventional gambling — casinos, cards, any of that stuff. Even horse racing, I’m just as happy just watching the pretty horsies run around than visiting that betting window. Which may be because I hate to lose. Hate it.

But I gamble all the time in my life, betting my intuition and collected quote-unquote wisdom against worldly situations, big and small. It’s a fools game, even I can see that. But I love being right and I’m right often enough that humility isn’t one of my stronger suits.

0 Replies to “habit or circumstance?”

  1. Separating who we are from what we do continues to dumbfound me. I agree that they are very easily confused. When I found myself in bed for almost 2 months (and then many hours a day for several more months), I repeatedly asked myself…if I can't "do" my work, my art, my anything, who the hell am I? I don't know that I ever answered that question. In fact, in light of that experience I continue to ask it.
    I also love what you say about the slippery slope of impressing people through work….thought provoking!

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