The subtle art of getting on with life

Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

Life doesn’t stop. Even if we want it to.

I’ve been slowly reawakening to life after the new year. Honestly, it’s felt lethargic and difficult.

Alas, life does not wait for us to feel in tip top condition. For those of us in the EU bubble, the return to work has felt more intense than ever. We’ve hit ‘la rentrĂ©e’. People are back in town. Social activities have restarted. Emails are flying around in abundance. The break is officially over.

As humans, many of us are feeling rusty. Indeed, at my local Toastmasters, the overriding feedback was that we all seemed pretty rusty.

This week has been a lesson in practice of getting on with my life despite how I feel. I still feel under a cloud of existential questioning. But I realise that it’s better I go out and do things rather than avoiding them.

This week was intense. I landed straight into a week of grant proposals, reporting deadlines and planning meetings. I came into the office a few days, including a half day HR training on Wednesday and a team planning session with my team on Friday.

One of the (rather unwanted) benefits of a job is that it prompts us into action. When we commit to working, it pushes us to do things, even if I didn’t really feel like it. By the end of the week, I found the interest and passion slowly return.

This principle also shifts towards our personal lives too. This week I had a team social on Tuesday evening, a pole class Wednesday evening and my Toastmasters club meeting on Thursday evening.

These are all things that I wanted to do. After I did them, I felt better for it. But before them, I really didn’t. Part of me was tempted to bail and stay home.

There is a comfort in withdrawing back into the comforts of our homes. Yet I also know that if I were to not do the things I actually want to do, I would have felt worse. Getting back into the activities that we enjoy is an important part of living.

It is also a way to break the cycle of misery. Many of us tend to withdraw when we feel low. Whilst sometimes this can be beneficial – particularly if we are burnt out or need time for ourselves – often this is to our detriment. We end up reinforcing our sense of isolation because we do not feel like going outside.

It’s now Friday night, and I’m sitting in Frankfurt airport waiting for a flight to Buenos Aires for a two week trip. I’ll have a chance to properly disconnect for a few weeks. I’m looking forward to a change of scenery and new stimulation, even if I haven’t really thought about it too much yet!

I’ll still be writing my articles and reflections (often when I travel I actually post more because I feel more creative). So expect my next article including some insights from my travels. It’ll also be a nice way to mark a landmark too – next week I’ll have posted articles for two years without missing a single week.

Embarking on an exciting trip is as good a reminder as any: go ahead and live your life, even if you don’t feel like it right now.

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