Being in the middle
I am bored! I am not unhappy, depressed or resentful. It’s just that nothing exciting is happening in my life right now. I am not starting anything new and I am in the middle with many aspects of my life. My naturopathic practice is consistent and I am about to complete a 25 week podcast series. I am working out at the gym regularly and hitting my fitness goals each week. My daughter is 6 and settled into grade one and my house feels like a home with no major renovations on the horizon. I am even in the middle with the seasons, it is not quite winter and certainly no longer feels like fall. It is a bit blah and I don’t love that feeling.
Does this sound like you:
You are starting something new perhaps a course, job change or fitness program. You are excited, highly motivated and it’s super easy to do what needs to be done. Life is a little brighter and the days move with certain ease with this newfound purpose. Then somewhere through the process, it starts to get harder and less exciting. The days feel like a grind and the motivation much harder. You start to question your why and feel overwhelmed with the work required to keep going.
My old tendency when this happens is one of two things 1) abandon the goal for something new and more exciting or 2) become resentful and apathetic in my completion of the project. The loss with both of these outcomes is a miss of all the lessons and gifts from the journey towards the goal.
Sure we all want to cross the finish line but is that really what it is about? No it’s the early morning runs that you completed despite your fatigue, it’s the revisiting of the training log to ensure you are on track and the replacement shoes that you need to purchase because you have put too many miles on your current pair. It’s not sexy all the time because it is not supposed to be. We always see the glitter in people’s lives and forget that there are a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears behind the scenes.
I have friends in the fitness model world, it’s not my bag of tea but I can absolutely respect the work involved. I used to look at the pictures of them on stage, toned, spray-tanned and posed in the perfect position and think it must be nice to have those genetics. Wow was I wrong (and probably a bit judge)? Those women work their butts and commit 100%, every single component of their journey to ultimately getting on stage requires hours and hours of time and energy. We don’t always see that in other people’s processes and therefore question it for our own but the reality is that most times when we think nothing is happening the most is going on.
I have recently (thank you meditation) become more aware of my patterns of distractions and avoidance of boredom and have slowed down on the shopping, drinking, sugar and have put any new goals “on hold” for now. Thank goodness for wisdom (and lots of suffering) that has taught me how to sit with boredom and not do anything radical when I am feeling this way.
Part of this ability to be with these negative emotions is acceptance, I mean, of course, I am looking for something new because the beginning of anything is always very exciting. Who does not want that? The difference now is that I can understand the desire but not act on the impulse.
Being in the middle of a goal or transition is difficult and boring. When you are putting in all the effort and focus and it feels like nothing is shifting fast enough. To this I say, keep going. Would you stomp on the seeds in your garden when have not seen the flowers yet? No way, you keep watering, turning the soil and believing that the flowers will bloom when they are ready. Just because we can’t see it fast enough or in the way that we thought it would look does not mean it is not happening. In fact, I would argue that it is the time that you feel like nothing is happening that most are happening.