I am no expert in Psychology, nor have I done any extensive amount of studying or research in the area. But as a human being, I think it is fair to say that we are constantly growing and changing (at least in my experience that has been the cycle of my life so far).
So what happens when we are forced into what feels like a stationary time or have found ourselves in a place of dissatisfaction? This is something I have recently been faced with in my life and has been a centre point in the lives of many around me. After some much needed self reflection, thinking and a few pints of beer I believe I have come up with the solution (at least as it pertains to my life).
Not going back to school for the first time in recent memory has left my brain yearning for some sort of expansion (there’s also the definite loss of basic math ability leaving me concerned). I have in turn grown an interest for botany, both in studying the background of it and growing my own plants. I’m sure this makes me some sort of crazy plant person, but hey it works for me. Note: It’s also probably shocking to many that I have kept things alive this long
After a long hiatus from running (here for further explanation) I have laced up my sneakers again and have been preparing to run my first race in months this Saturday. It’s not that I always go through phases, but their are times when I hang up the towel for some time. When I get back in the saddle however (and every single time at that), I always question why I left. For me exercise (and not just running) is a release and cures almost all my troubles, or at least for the time being (or further at the very least helps me cope with them even a little).
This may be the MJ in me (what I refer to my mom as when I go to my hippie place), but I have started to need to take time for myself. It is not that I am some saint (that is hardly true) or never look after myself, but I do get into modes where I find myself giving more than I receive and spreading myself too thin. I have found that taking one day a week (or sometimes a month when it has been hectic) to just focus on me with no one around, has done more for me than a family sized bag of salt and vins (which lets be honest is basically a cure all). It has allowed me to reflect and zen out of the world, listening to what I need.
Work has been the major struggle for me, especially coming to terms with leaving school and joining the “real” work world (more on this another day). I have found it hard to find passion or even drive in a job when I am questioning my path in life. I know I have the option to leave and it has crossed my mind on more than one occasion (sometimes more than once a day), but there is something about sticking it out and getting the job done. It is because of this that I have and continue to focus on what I am contributing and what my job will accomplish at the end of the day (which if my team and I are successful could be life changing therapy). Finding meaning in the job, instead of straying off to distractions, something I am definitely guilty of. I will not lie this is a work in progress for me, but I think there is something we can all learn from finding passion in a place of difficulty instead of just giving up.
I don’t believe this is the solution for all, but I have found it beginning to help me and sometimes taking time for self reflection can open our eyes to more about what is going on then we really knew. I will leave with one last thing, I read an article once that talked about how it was during these times of stasis that we learn most about ourselves and how we handle life. And that it is actually when we are able to grow the most, if only we take the opportunity to do it.