Friday, January 22, 2016

Away With the Shoulds

Something I've learned over time is that, for me, making lots of goals is counter-productive. When I was in Canada, I went along with the mentality of “Do lots; be productive”. That word productive, ironically, was counter-productive for me. I'd feel guilty if I didn't have plans for any given day, and I'd push myself to fill that space with something: go out with friends! If friends aren't available, go to a social club and meet people! Go to the gym! Find a class to join! Make money online! Instead of trusting my instincts to do whatever I felt like, I'd stress out and try to overcome my guilt over wanting to just be. If I wanted to stay home and do nothing, I'd feel guilty. If I wanted to spend hours reading a book, I'd feel guilty. If I wanted to bake a shitload of sweets, my jeans would feel guilty. Instead of listening to my short-term need to chill, I'd stress myself out with the guilt and push myself to do SOMETHING.

And in the end, what for? Out of the umpteen people I met at those social clubs, only one is still a friend. My closest friends are those whom I'd already forged relationships with, and they blossomed tranquilamente, with time. Plus, this former gym bunny is currently not going to a gym right now. Neither do I have extra money to join a class (actually, I do, but I prefer to spend it on travel and vermouth). And I still haven't finished reading that damn book.

The lesson I learned, which probably applies only for me, is that listening to my guilt and not my personal instinctual needs didn't help me enjoy the present. I was more concerned about how I appeared to others rather than how I felt at that moment. Right now I have a lot of time on my hands while I work through a personal situation. I've caught myself worrying about how to be productive, but then realized that right now I need to take care of myself: read, sleep, spend time with those closest to me, snuggle under warm blankets at home. There's a Canadian guilt inside of me wanting to get out there and start running on the track (metaphorically speaking), but I've had an injury and need to rest. I don't think a temporary absence of a month or so will hurt me. So fuck the Shoulds; I'm going to go with the Needs.

1 comment:

  1. Guilt is not a good reason to go things... Better to follow your instincts.
    Congrats for your blog!!