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  • Writer's pictureeschaden

The Struggle of a Day...

I usually wake up and am motivated.  To work, to learn, to give, to perform, to do...all the things.  But I wasn’t yesterday.  I didn’t have a hard day, but I wanted to do none of it.  Absolutely fucking none of it.  I didn’t want to work and I had to, I didn’t want to go for a walk, but I did. I didn’t want to go to the gym, but I did.  I didn’t want to do chores, but I did them all.  I didn’t want to do really much of anything but I did...and it was a mental and emotional struggle all day.

I used to feel this way all the time.  This huge tidal wave of I DO NOT WANT TO!  It controlled and dominated my life because I had no defense against it.  If I felt like I didn’t want to do something, I didn’t do it.  And it really didn’t matter what it was that I didn’t want to do:  eat, sleep, go to work, show up for my life, do work, chores, tasks that required attention.  Once upon a time, if I didn’t “feel” like it, then it didn’t get done.

And yesterday was one of those days...

But I have learned, although I am not quite sure how, to just do it anyway.  Yesterday was somewhat like dragging a tired toddler on errands with myself.  I just kept doing the things and I just kept reminding myself how much I didn’t want to be doing whatever it was that I was doing, and I just kept placating myself and doing the shit anyway.  It was an interesting day with myself...

I was sitting at the gym between sets thinking how much I didn’t want to be there and it occurred to me that I had felt that way the whole day about pretty much everything.  There was absolutely nothing I wanted to do yesterday and yet, there I was doing the stuff.

I didn’t want to work and do my mediation.  But I showed up and did it.

I didn’t want to do laundry or Sunday chores.  But I did them and I didn’t pitch a fit.

I didn’t want to take the dog on a walk.  I was tired and didn’t feel like it.  But I did and it was lovely and I was happy I made her happy.

I didn’t want to go to the gym.  Again, I was tired and my muscles felt sore from hard workouts early in the week.  But I went and it took longer than it should have but I ground one out.

And it all got done. Everything that needed to be attended to, was.  And I retired to bed at about 8 pm and was fast asleep by 9.

It occurred to me while I was sitting at the gym that there was a long period of time in my life that if I didn’t feel like it, it didn’t happen.  I didn’t happen.  My life didn’t happen.  My feelings controlled everything and there was really no buffer.  I was not able to show up, do the things and move forward with life.  I would feel like I couldn’t cope, so I couldn’t.  And I would remain transfixed to my bed or the couch or wherever else I might hide out.

So it is with a great deal of awe that I saw yesterday for being quite the triumph.  I wanted to do none of it but I did all of it. And while it didn’t feel good in the moment, I did realize more than half way through my day that I was doing something without any thought that used to completely paralyze me.  And while it was more of an effort for me yesterday than usual, it wasn’t impossible and I handled it.

Perhaps you can’t relate.  Perhaps you are just one of those people who shows up and does the things, all the things even when your motivation flags or just doesn’t exist.  I was never that person but apparently I am becoming that person because yesterday I fucking killed it!

And it gave me a new perspective on myself.  That I am someone who has a reserve.  I am someone who can persevere even when nothing in me wants to.  I can still accomplish and motivate and do when my internal narrative is screaming like a two year old at the Target checkout counter, “NO!!!!!!!!!!!!”

And so while I lay on my mat at the gym yesterday really trying to find a good reason to leave before I completed the workout, I realized I have become someone that can do the things even when everything in me doesn’t want to.  And so I took a moment to really appreciate myself for that.  To acknowledge and relish this internal motor that propels me forward even when I have to battle myself quite a bit.  And I am very grateful for this.

I think it has always been a goal to be the kind of person who can show up no matter what while also being able to temper myself so that I am not so hard driving that I completely ignore my own needs.  Such a balancing act, one that I have pretty much failed at for the whole of my life.  But yesterday there was no there, there.  I just didn’t want to, for no other reason than I didn’t.  I wasn’t sick, or depressed or anything.  I just didn’t want to and there was nothing that really lit me up to do instead.

And so in a great sweeping progress forward, I just did the stuff and today I get to relish in the accomplishment which feels award worthy from where I am currently sitting.  I know, I know, there are no rewards being given out for adulting (but there really should be...adulting is hard!).  And it is likely pretty pathetic that I, at 54, seem to need and want one.  But my time as a prolonged adolescent seemed to end yesterday when I was able to do all the adult things without throwing a major conniption fit, being a bitch or just giving up and returning to my bed.

It was the struggle of a day, but it has also been the struggle of my lifetime...and yesterday, I won.  And while I know there are no prizes headed my way, I get to feel good about the fact that I accomplished even though there was a great and contrary wave against accomplishing anything.  And that particular tide has thwarted a great deal of forward progress in my life, all my life.

But yesterday was a pivotal moment as I lie in the gym, moving my body to do tasks it didn’t want to at all, that I realized perhaps, maybe I have finally grown up.  And as soon as I wrote that I realized that probably someone who was more adult than me, would say something like, “um, the fact that this was an epiphany to you indicates a stellar lack of maturity that would belie any real and true claim to adulthood...”

And they would be correct.  But I have learned to take my victories where they come.  Even if to no one else they would even register as subtle accomplishments, let alone victories.  This was mine yesterday.  I struggled through the day, almost without outward complaint, with a great deal of very loud internal complaining and I showed up and did all the things even though there was no part of me that wanted to...

And for me that feels like quite an accomplishment...



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