Two things going on in my otherwise great life that are really putting a damper on things. One is relatively insignificant in the grand scheme of things, the other much more so. I’m working to dig out, and I plan to have some positives here instead of being Mr. Whineypants, since we’ve all been in shitty life spots before.
First, a badly sprained ankle or ankle ligament, along with some sort of shit going on in my shoulder, is limiting greatly my ability to exercise. As you know, this is a touchstone and one of the centerpieces of my life. I’ve had to scale back immensely to even do anything. My legs aren’t exactly going Stephen Hawking atrophy, but they’re weak. It sucks being injured, especially with an obstacle-course style race coming up. I’m not 100%, but I’ll get through it.
More importantly is, I’ve caught the work motivation cancer. You know it, maybe you’ve been there. That’s where for whatever reason, you hate your job, have mentally checked out, and there’s no going back to happy times even if things improve. Every time I’ve moved on from an employer, I’ve caught this disease, and in all cases, moving on was the right decision and expanded some aspect of my life for the better. Right now, I’ve got work stuff keeping me up at night, causing me major anxiety, and generally raining on my parade. Even if the root causes of this stuff goes away, I’m still uninspired, unfulfilled, and maybe just bored with what things are. Again, I am not some special snowflake asking for your pity, just stating it like it is and using those negative emotions as fuel to make changes. That’s what this is about, the winds of change are in the air, and it’s time to mix shit up again.
So here are five things I’m doing right now to deal with the situation at hand
1) Continuing to Work Out
Though I can’t do everything, I can do some stuff. I can bench press sometimes with my craptastic shoulder. I can do some upperbody stuff and situps. So that’s what I do. Pullups, pushups, kettlebell swings, curls. Anything to maintain at least some strength and to get the heart rate up. This has made me feel somewhat better, and not like such a sack of shit, even if I only can do it a few times a week.
2) Continue to Work on Side Things, Improving, and Learning
I haven’t let my long-term big picture goals go off track. I haven’t taken to the bottle every night to cope (though I will admit there may have been a night or two where I did imbibe, and it did have some short term calming effects). I continue to read, to get my plans in place. I listen to Tony Robbins or Neuro Linguistic Programming CDs on the way to work. I try to eat well. I try and do something, one step even, each day that I can jot down in my journal as tangible evidence I’m improving somewhere. Constant And Never-ending Improvement. Even in the tough times.
3) Polished up my Resume, and Applying for Jobs – Fishing Big too!
This was on the horizon for awhile, so have had a recent resume since May. But polishing and tweaking as I’m applying for new positions. I’ve come to the point where I’m doing some deep sea Moby Dick-style fishing. You know – over the years you accumulate random skills and projects that you can then custom craft for a variety of positions that are really outside and above what you Really know how to do, but still in that general ballpark. So these new positions are definitely stretch positions, and everything will need to be tailored just right to get in the door, and going against likely more experienced persons. I am thinking big, since you never know what may happen. I’m hoping to leverage any relationship, project experience or alumni connections to swing for the fences. Even if I don’t land Moby Dick, and simply get away from the cancer, that would be a success.
4) Discussions with my Wife
I’ve been very forthcoming with Holly as I go through this stretch. Having some massive anxiety, doubts, worries are not a burden anyone should have to carry alone. She’s been great and supportive, and has been my cheerleader in even submitting on some Ahab whale-hunting jobs. Nothing is off the table (except quitting at least – while Holly actually makes more than me, I feel an obligation to contribute to the family unit and suck it up. My dad worked at a job I know he didn’t like, as have millions of men, for the betterment of their family. For a duration, I can as well).
There’s even the possibility (much lower on my list of preferences though) of working for the company she works at. I’m a little hesitant since the life dynamic may be weird if that happens. We worked together once before, at the same professional firm right out of college, doing more-or-less the same type of duties. And Holly (a red-pill feminist, at least on women in the workplace issues) is still pissed (15 years later) that she got paid less than me. If this option were ever fleshed out, it would almost be a situation where I would ask for less money than my wife, just to keep her happy and not mess up the dynamic or create resentment. She cares about money, and maybe moreso what it means in regards to respect within a firm (and how management views or values women employees). I could give two fucks about my salary, or how we compare as long as I have a stimulating environment in work I generally like and am paid fairly. She uses salary as a dick-measuring device, a game I don’t like to play, so usually let her win since it is obviously important to her. Anyways, getting side tracked a little, but working together would be interesting, but I’m not sure I want to go there yet (though I’m sure I could be hired there in a minute).
5) Continuing to have gratitude, and asking “Why not me?” instead of “Why me?”
This is simply remembering to ask empowering questions and being thankful for all the other abundance in my life. Work shit may be stressful, but it is temporary in the grand scheme of things. Being thankful for my kids, and the wrestling moments and silly times, and a sexy wife, and reflecting on that, can change my outlook from gloomy to happy instantaneously. And when chasing new job or life opportunities, realizing there is no reason these opportunities can’t go to me. Instead of wallowing in the mud, by a few simple questions (“What do you love about your kids?” or “What is your favorite part about living in our neighborhood?” or “What small step can you do today to get closer to your dream life goals?”) I can shift perspective and focus again on what really matters thereby immediately altering my mood.
I ran across James Altucher yesterday, and his blog. Maybe you’ve heard of him. His writing style is straightforward, and while I don’t agree with everything, he’s got a unique perspective on life, and I like his core beliefs on self-improvement. I thought his post How to be THE LUCKIEST guy on the planet in 4 easy steps was solid advice. I also really like his guiding principles:
- I want to be happy
- I want to eradicate unhappiness in my life
- I want every day to be as smooth as possible. No hassles.
Isn’t that what we’re going after? And don’t we have some control over those principles? If you’re unhappy, you change your perspective or change your circumstances. I’m attempting to do both. Time to mix things up again. Ain’t life fun? Like a sine-wave, ups and downs, rarely flat. Good times.