something has to change

dog sitting

I just went through another software conversion at work. I think this was my seventh. The first four were manufacturing conversions, while the last three have been order management and warehouse conversions. Anyway, it’s been stressful. I’ve been working long hours, some weekends and this week I will have the post-conversion, new users, unusual situations we didn’t test for, stuff to deal with.

I am burned out.

And I’ve been having weird dreams…

Dream #1: I was in a restaurant with my son and Steve. They both sat down at a table, but there was a woman standing with her back-side inches from the remaining chair at the table. I managed to inch the chair over towards me, holding onto the back of it. I was about to walk to the front of the chair to sit down, but the woman, the one who had been blocking my way, sat down instead, as though I’d been pulling the chair out for her.

Dream #2: I was standing with my bike at the pedestrian crossing near my home. This crossing is the bane of my existence, taking forever to allow pedestrians and bikes to cross and when the light finally does change, you have to be careful not to get hit by cars running the red light. In my dream, someone walked up beside me, grabbed my bike and rode away.

Dream #3: My friends and family were in a boat crossing the ocean while I was swimming behind them. I was holding onto a shark’s tail because I was tired, and the shark just happened to be there. And I was hoping he didn’t notice that I was hitching a ride and turn around and eat me.

Do you think there’s a pattern there?

This burn out has made me lose my usual curiosity and enthusiasm to try new things and look for the normally unnoticed. I can barely force myself to take a photo. Nothing seems like anything I want to remember. And the artistry of studying light and texture and shadow to get a certain effect eludes me. Everything around me appears gray.

And writing… what is worth writing about? And who will want to read it anyway? And once again, is anything going on that I want to remember or dive deeper into by writing about it?

Which has got me thinking…

Something has to change.

I can’t keep up this pace. Oh, I suppose I could. But I don’t want to.

And I can’t live in a gray world where “creation” feels completely foreign and beyond me.

So I’m beginning a year long experiment to make changes in my life that I believe will simplify my daily routine and create a more sane existence.

I’ve got some pretty engrained bad habits. I don’t expect to develop a new way of being overnight, in 30 days, 40 days, or even 6 months. I’m in this for the long haul.

Hopefully, it will be one of those successful experiments. But to be a real experiment, there should be measurable results. Stuff like:

  • Decreased anxiety
  • More time spent nurturing old friendships and creating new ones
  • Less rushing around and feeling frantic
  • Not compulsively eating or drinking to relieve anxiety or to rev back up when I’m exhausted
  • Less losing stuff because I don’t have time to put things away, have too much clutter to dig through or I am too tired to remember what I was looking for in the first place

Words like “decrease,” “more” or “less” aren’t very precise measurements. But I’m not going to worry about that right now. Or try to do this perfectly. Or try to change everything all at once. Because if I did, my list would be something like this:

  • Lose seven pounds
  • Improve my photography
  • Write every day
  • Submit an essay or story once a week
  • Bike 100 miles a week
  • Take the dogs to training classes to make them into model dog citizens
  • Start a yoga class
  • Join a meditation group
  • Redesign my website
  • Learn how to handle my horse trailer so I can go trail riding again

Anyway, you get the picture. I have this tendency to go over board.

I’m not going to do that. Because that wouldn’t be change. That would be the same and not at all what I want.

Okay. I’ve rambled on long enough. What I should have said is simply, there’ll be some change in my life, as well as on my website, which will be my lab, my playground, and where I record my observations.

And it will all be done with shorter posts. I promise.

dog sitting

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  1. Love the idea of giving yourself a year to change…and thinking of macro movements rather than mini ones. I’ll join you in the quest…want my life to be decidedly different 15 months from now…in big ways (and small). After months of brooding, finally starting to take some action.

    Let me know what I can do to support you along the way.

    1. Thanks Bev. You’re already supporting me with your suggestions and time. We’ll both make it happen!

  2. 4 words: “Year to live policy.” It really helps you to streamline/prioritize. 🙂

    1. Thanks for the book suggestion! It sounds like it’s about what I’m looking to do.

  3. I get it. A year to change is a reasonable “schedule”. I need to do the same thing. I consistently run myself ragged because I love doing so many things. I think it’s similar for you… we can both love fewer activities even more if we aren’t so frantic!

    1. Yes, finding so many things interesting and wanting to learn more and do more has both it’s good and bad side. I think I can still love all of them but not try so hard to be great at all of them or to do all of them every day. I think if I pack less doing into a day, I’ll enjoy what I do fit in so much more.

  4. I think giving yourself a year is perfect! I’m on the same path…as I approach my 6-0…I want to enter it with better health! I get it!

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