When external stresses fundamentally change how we live our daily life, we are forced into a situation of evaluation. We reflect on how severely the change has impacted our lives, what adjustments have to be made in response, and how we will choose to view the world around us in light of this new information. It’s a struggle of choice and perspective that was not requested but mandated.
As a particular event grips the world around you and changes the way our local society has operated in our lifetime, it can be overwhelming. It can feel like there is no going back and that we are observers in our own life.
I’m not much of a believer in New Year’s being the key driver for change, but naturally that is a good benchmark for taking inventory of what’s happening in your life and what you want to be different. The momentum I set in place late last year for my life is something I was eagerly looking forward to carry forward into the next year.
As things unfolded and external tension and stresses mounted, it blew away my routine and regularity. I was worried this would be a year of stressful stasis. But worrying about the well-being of the people I loved, of maintaining my health, and reflecting on how I would feel about everything up to this point if I died – I did a lot more reflecting and choosing that I ever had before. I appreciated how dissatisfied I was with how I was choosing to spend my time, how I was growing as a person, and what I was doing with large portions of my life.
I truly appreciated that nothing matters more to me than the well-being of the people I love, and developing skills and projects that will allow me to live life on my terms. I needed (and still need) growth and freedom.
It resonated that you simply cannot control the world around you. Nothing is perfect. Nothing neatly fits into all the plans and hopes we all have. The defining characteristics are action, consistency, and focus. So far, I am really grateful for this year and who I am within it. I have better relationships with all the people I care most about, even while the vast majority of interactions have been remote. I am more focused and at peace than I ever have been before. I have better well-rounded physical health and understanding of the why of my workouts than I have had in years. Grit and Dynamite went from scribbled notes on paper to something that exists out in reality to be enjoyed or judged by all. I have more agency over my life than I have ever had before. Nothing really changed. The argument can be made that the circumstances are worse than they have been previously to do any and all of these things. But looking at the situation and world around me, I was able to find some clarity that made sense to me, took it to heart, and chose to act on those things consistently and deliberately.
“The inability to break our stasis and launch our lives in a different direction, is the feeling that we should have done it ten years ago and we’ve lost the opportunity and now we can’t do it. But ten years from now we’re going to think the same thing about this very moment today.”
There is no better time than now. There is never a better time than now. Begin living your life more on your own terms. With greater agency and awareness to start slowly moving in the direction you want to go. It just requires a small shift in momentum now. With consistency, that will compound.
This year has been frightening and frustrating from the start. And that’s really the point. You don’t know what life will throw at you, at us, until it’s happening. And you can prepare as much as you want but reality will always be different in some capacity. And so use those moments to decide 1. how you will face that challenge, and 2. what you will choose to do to better your life. Only you can decide the answers to those questions. Seek advice wherever to help serve as guiding mechanisms, but the answer that is right for you has to come from within. I am also appreciative that I am in a position to sit here and reflect on these things. I know others have struggled far more than I have.
I am thankful that I have had a clearer glimpse into myself and have a greater respect for what my true values and goals are, and the cost and commitment required to achieve and respect those things. I’m looking forward to continuing the journey. 121 days left this year.
See you tomorrow.
Inspirations: The Slow Rush, Passage of time, Stoicism
Quote: Hugh Howey