Well, We All Fall Down
Remember my four-month check-in? I was doing so well. I had those nice preprinted habit trackers that I filled in faithfully each day, getting a jolt of pleasure every time I checked one off. It was addicting to be so fruitful, and I felt like I was making good progress. Towards what, I didn’t know. Recovery, in a sense, as by the time four months was up, I was well enough to start going out and thinking about getting a job.
A job. Well, I do have a job now, and I’m very, very grateful. It’s even full-time, which means I get health insurance; my biggest financial concern.
Here’s the thing though, once I started job hunting, my habits shut down. Now, I’m not one for excuses *cough cough*, but there are a few reasons.
An Irresponsibility of Excuses
Firstly, I stopped using the preprinted habit trackers. I made my own for May in a different format, which worked reasonably well, but it wasn’t easy to see the markers, and I wasn’t as into it as the others. It just didn’t give the same satisfaction. Then I got less interested in bullet journaling, as has happened before, and stopped tracking them at all, relying on what I hoped were well-enough ingrained habits to keep me going. Turns out they weren’t very ingrained.
Thirdly, in June I got a pretty bad case of vertigo. I think it was a headcold messing up the fluid in my inner ears, because it lasted for quite a while, and while it was bad, I stopped doing yoga and meditation, since closing my eyes made my head spin. It was hard to concentrate, and I started looking for a job around the same time, which took all the energy I could muster.
Then there was the job search itself. I applied online and in person for about six weeks before I heard anything, and it was about two months of looking overall. The stress was impressive, and while I didn’t have a full relapse, thank heavens, I let a lot of others things slide.
Failure Is A Great Teacher
I failed to keep up my habits. I failed to make them stick, to keep up my good streak. Add to that the compounded guilt of making new habits and restarting it all and everything else kind of slipped away too. This blog, for instance. I stopped logging in to Habitica. I stopped exercising and put on weight. All I could do was work, and think about work, and zone out after work from sheer exhaustion.
But you know what? It’s okay. It was even good. Because I needed to fail, and fail hard, to see what had worked and what would work again, and what wouldn’t.
It’s good because now it’s September again, a time of refreshing for me. I have always begun anew mentally in September when the weather begins to change, rains come, and Mabon nears (autumn equinox). As we celebrate the waning of the year, I celebrate a revitalized interest and energy in improvement. In change.
- I set up Habitica once again.
- I collected rainwater to symbolize refresh.
- I made a list of projects to work on, and plans for each one.
- I forgave myself for messing up.
- I developed a new mindset about work (mainly, that it has no right to stress me out).
These small things have meant that last Saturday, I awoke for the first time in a long time with hope for myself. I have felt a weight of unknown-ness, a pressure that my life wasn’t where I wanted it. I felt underemployed, and useless, packing books on interesting subjects for other people who must be doing so much more for themselves than I was.
I packed books on performance and storyboarding for people who must be getting amazing jobs making stories in Hollywood, books on physics for people who must love it, and be working in labs making a difference, books on business for all the amazing people who must be starting their own businesses, as I longed to.
And books on writing, the same books I’d read or wanted to read, for people who must be actually writing at home, instead of watching TV and dreaming their lives away…
But Saturday I awoke with hope, and forgave myself, and made a plan, and followed through.
And it’s all very, very good.