the war between desire and effort

Had an interesting conversation with my therapist on Monday about life satisfaction.
I’ve been thinking for a few days, perhaps even a week now about how my life is a quiet, sort of prosaic suburban existence, and I’m not sure how satisfied I am with that. We specifically focused on things I like to do but am disinclined to do alone.
She and I tossed around the whys and wherefores of this.
We examined whether it was fear or laziness. (my vote was lazy and we both laughed)
Using my hands as a scale I talked about weighing my desire against my effort.
Specifically, did I want to go by myself to a Sylvia Plath exhibit at the NPG.
Would I enjoy the exhibit?
Absolutely.
Do I want to physically get myself into the district?
Not so much.
(It’s not as much that I dislike driving in DC, it’s more that I hate parking in DC. And just so we’re clear, I hate the Metro even more.)

How much effort am I willing to put forth to do the things I want to do?
Depends on how badly I want to do them.
Ah ha!
There’s the rub.
Too much weight on ‘not putting forth the effort’ side of the scale and ‘doing things’ side of the scale will never find balance.
In theory, well, my theory. Well, more like I sorta-kinda-had-part-of-a-thought-a-couple-days-ago…this all comes down to stepping outside of my comfort zone.

I’m completely capable of stepping outside my comfort zone, I just don’t like to.
I mean seriously, do you see how comfy it is in here? What’s out there that’s so freaking great?

Lucille feels me.

I love the idea of being adaptable. And y’all, however much of a tightly wound control freak I am, for the love of all things holy, I am adaptable.
But I’m only adaptable when I must be. I’m less inclined to adapt when it’s not absolutely necessary.
I’ve got a great big sense of adventure. I love to consider all kinds of adventures! I also am willing to go on all kinds of adventures. And I’m even willing to go on all kinds of adventures by myself.
But I have a really hard time with going on adventures by myself because I feel as though I’m not actively sharing that experience. I love to be able to talk about experiences as they’re happening. I love making special moments and memories with other people, it seems that somehow makes them stronger or reinforces them because I can experience them from more points of view.
When sharing this with my therapist, she suggested an app called meet up.
That gave me pause.

I’m over here like:

Of course, I’m teasing…mostly.
We discussed the pros and cons of meeting up with strangers to do thing we like to do. For the most part, the pros outweighed the cons. She was quick to point out how this was not the building of relationships, but just like minded folks looking to do things together. For me the biggest con is that even when I’m acting somewhat normal, I’m kind of a big spazz.
Out of context, I’m just plain weird.
(Hmmm…little bit of social anxiety there. wonder if my girls know they get it from me.)

In reality, I’m relatively confident.
I act like a fully functioning adult most days and I can interact with a wide variety of people.
It’s the idea of ‘being on display’ without any one I know and trust to deflect attention from me. It’s funny, I think we all feel like folks are watching us even though we realize nobody is watching anybody else because we’re all too busy being on our best behavior.
It occurs to me as I write this that I may be using this whole ‘I’m weird, but also normal, but kind of spazzy, but capable’ thought process as an excuse.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve really developed this attitude:

And if I look at it from that point of view I should just bust out and do whatever the hell I want and everyone else be damned.
Which brings us back to the whys and wherefores.
I’m making excuses.
Is it fear? Is it laziness?
It doesn’t matter!
With every excuse, I’m actually reducing the size of my comfort zone.
And that is just ridiculous!

There is magic in the world, but I know there is magic down deep in me.

No more boring!
I’ll stay in my comfort zone when I want to, because let’s face it, I love being comfy. But I’ll be working on making it grow, letting a little of the magic in me mix it up more with the magic out in the world.
This will be a process. One which I will journal about to really understand, but I’ll also be actively leaving my comfort zone to experience a different sort of existence. Learning to better balance my effort and desire. I remember being able to do it rather well. I just let my comfort zone shrink.

The best part about all of this is I’m aware.
I realize I’m not satisfied with the status quo.
I’m being mindful about how I feel and how I might best go about changing it.
However I end up moving forward, I can only do it by acknowledging where I am and working on where I’d like to be.

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  1. Pingback: mental self five | therobynbirdsnest

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