Thursday, March 25, 2010

When the Should Hits the Fan

Before I met Mr. Wonderful, I was committed to one priority in life: having fun. After coming out of a really twisted relationship, I was bent on nurturing myself and that meant doing whatever pleased me at any given time.

If I thought it would be fun, I would do it. If I thought it felt uncomfortable or like it required too much work, I would not. I didn’t have the strength in me to handle more work after the exhausting relationship I’d just escaped.

Sometime in the early months of W-dating life, my focus on fun was further confirmed when I took a “Strengthsfinder” test at work. As part of the process, I had to complete exercises to determine my top priorities. Guess what #1 was? Pleasure.

At the time, it seemed to me that everything important in my life could be gathered under that delightful umbrella. If creativity was a priority, it was because it gave me pleasure. If family was, it was because their presence pleased me. Travel, adventure, health? All priorities that involved doing things I loved.

Flash forward to the past few weeks…and pleasure seems to be eluding me like Puxatawny Phil on a shadow-casting day.

All I can think about lately is what I SHOULD be doing. Not what I WANT to be doing. Creativity feels like a should. I should finish travel scrapbooks. I should work on my own writing. I should read and post blog entries. Although normally I enjoy doing these things, right now they feel like burdens. Working out? Also a huge weight on my should-covered shoulders.

I’m missing the days where I just did whatever I felt like; whatever pleased me.

If I felt like writing, I did it. If I felt like going for a run, great, if not, no big deal. Now it’s like the world (or my calves) will crumble if I don’t.

Even going to see Mr. W felt like a task last week. It was just more commuting when I would have preferred to stay home in my jammies.

Is it ridiculously selfish to have pleasure as a priority? Was I kidding myself by even indulging that value and making it #1? And will I forever be mourning those days of freedom and joy?

If you can’t tell, I’m in a funk. And I don’t even have PMS…

11 comments:

Jane Moneypenny said...

Whoa, I'm a funk too all the way here in Austin. Even right now, I'm feeling so ugh b/c I'm not enjoying life but instead staring at this work project and hating it.

You could still have those days of freedom and joy. Last I checked, you weren't in prison. Maybe you have my problem of wanting to do too much? I'm learning to calm down and just take one thing at a time.

Mandy's Kidding said...

This sounds totally normal. I have no idea how to "fix" it for you, but maybe you should just go with it? Or maybe you should give yourself a week and not do anything you don't want to do. My personal trainer said you can go six weeks without losing any muscle tone, so do what you want!

And then blog about it.

(If you want to, that is.)

;-)

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

Maybe you just need a vacation. Time away where you don't have to do anything you don't want to. I know, come visit me in Chicago! Maybe April? =)

LesleyG said...

I know that feeling, probably all too well. I think it's a good sign of needing to take a break. When the good stuff feels like constant demand and work, I think we're over loaded. And sometimes just getting it off your chest can help, too. Write a blog post, make a list, it can refile the brain! And then, have some wine. :)

Wow, that was awkward said...

I think all you need is a swift kick in the ass. I'm happy to help! :)

Sizzle said...

I get this way too sometimes. I think I push myself to do too much and sometimes I just need to relish in the funk, the down time, the doing nothing. Maybe you need to shut off the world for a week, lay low, stay in your pjs on the couch after work watching mindless tv. You will soon grow bored with it and feel the need for something new. You can't always force a spark, you know? Be kinder to yourself!

Janice MacLeod said...

Sounds like burn out to me. There will come a time when you feel like writing/seeing Mr.W/exercising for pleasure. It sounds like now, your system is trying to tell you that pleasure is staying home in your jammies. I vote for going with that.

blakspring said...

i think sizzle said it best - just relax and don't do what feels like should be done. soon you will get that wanting back and it won't be forced. sometimes you need a few days of unproductiveness to remind you that you do like to do those other things in the first place.

Mike129 said...

I think everyone else has said everything, so I am only here to offer my support.

Take care of *you* when you feel like this.

(I'd do it for you, but Mr. W would probably have a fit.)

geekhiker said...

I agree with Sizzle as well. Now if I could just figure out how to get another week off work to do nothing...

Dingo said...

We've been conditioned to think that doing something solely for our own pleasure is somehow wrong. Fie, on that! Sometimes, a day spent in jammies is all that "should" be done.