So, I’d said I was going to add a new blog post every day. Which I was reminded of today. And of course I haven’t. Which leads to immediate self-recrimination. A mild sense of irritation at failing to even get out of first gear with this new idea to simply open up and just write, publicly, in front of my peers.
I also ticked off hardly any of today’s ‘definitely absolutely gonna do it all’ to-do list. Which generates even more annoyance, and a growing sense of dread that I won’t get everything done before my deadlines, some of which are real, but most of which are a self-created stick with which to beat myself.
And that’s what I do. I set unrealistic standards for myself. And then I don’t meet them.
And this isn’t always about achieving actual tasks. Oh no! It also includes a whole host of intangible goals, such as the quality of my thought processes, emotional responses and human interactions. Stuff that I feel a ‘grown-up’ like me really should have got the hang of by now. But I’m usually missing those by a country mile too.
A wise woman once (or twice) asked of me, “what’s the pay off for doing that?” And in this instance it’s guilt, self-loathing, irritation, fear and a bucket load more of my least favourite things.
So, why do it? Why beat myself moment by moment? Maybe sometimes it does spur me on to achieve more, or to ‘be a better person’. But, more often than not, it just makes me feel crap. Pushes me down. And makes me even less likely to meet those unmeetable standards.
Self-beatings and perpetual worry will not add a single second to your life. And will most likely shorten it. So how about you give yourself a break. Put down the stick, and focus your attention instead on the wonders of each day.
Trust the process.
Laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.
And enjoy this life for what it is.
The breath in your body. The energy in your veins. The sensations on your skin. The experience of it all. With these myriad human companions.
Savour this priceless, physical, emotional journey you’re on.
And the unfathomable miracle of just being here, right now, on this planet, in this body.
And please, just take it easy.