So this is Part II of what Crabby didn't know was going to be a Three Part Post. If you've just arrived and didn't catch part one, you probably want to stop here first. We'll wait for ya.
Back now? Excellent.
Just to recap anyway: Many of us seem to be "runners" in some areas of our lives, but can't get our asses off the couch in others. And even when we know a shift in priorities might make sense--we don't do it. We just keep doing what we always do.
How do we refocus? And more specifically, how do we even think about getting off the couch in other areas (tomorrows subject) if we can't figure out how to back off from our usual favorite "runs?"
Crabby is going to pretend to be your Therapist today. (And she duly warns you that she's not your therapist. Please don't take her advice and then try to sue her when it doesn't work out).
So lets visualize that you're in a nicely furnished office for your Therapy Appointment. The chair is soft and accommodating; the room smells like furniture polish and mint tea; and there's really nice art on the walls. (You paid for it, you might as well admire it). And picture Dr. Crabby as a pleasant, professionally dressed well-groomed Healer here to help you. Today she is neither a hard-shelled crustacean nor a ripped-jeans-wearing Slacker. Let's say she looks just like Dr. Melfi on the Sopranos.
"So," says Dr. Crabby. "Why so frantic? Why are you spending so much energy [running/working/parenting/studying/dieting]? Aren't there other priorities you've said are important?"
"But I can't slow down," you say. "There's still so much more I need to do! I know I should do other things too, but I have to keep going. I can't slow down!"
"You can't?" Dr. Crabby looks curious. "So what are you afraid will happen if you try?"
So? What are you afraid of?
This is not to pretend that nothing bad could happen. Life is all about trade-offs: the time you need for other things has to come from somewhere. But what are you telling yourself would happen? Are you sure your fears are realistic?
Do you fear if you don't do it "all" you won't do anything?
Do you fear people will think you've become lazy/stupid/unreliable?
Do you fear that everything you've already accomplished will disappear overnight if you cut back a bit?
Do you fear you would just be "ordinary" if you didn't excel?
You folks can probably think of better examples. But the idea is to figure out what's driving you, personally, to overemphasize this one area of your life. (If this is indeed something you're doing).
And here's a good place for Crabby to point out that a Psychotherapist's office really is a good (if expensive) place to explore some of this stuff. Because it's one thing to read something, go "yeah, that's me" and quite another to actually work on changing it.
Anyway. Crabby struggles with this stuff herself and is trying to confront illogical ideas about achievement and all-or-nothing thinking. So this lecture is really for her more than anyone else.
One more thought before Crabby turns this subject over to her Smart Readers.
Often, it's easy to prioritize Appearances over Reality. Sometimes adjustments can be made along these lines to free up time. For example the things people do to Look like a Good Parents (i.e., coaching Little League) may be extremely time consuming and may not correlate all that well with being Good Parents.
Likewise, the numbers on the scale, or the miles logged on a treadmill, or the number of pounds we can bench press: they're just numbers. They're not "health."
So what do you folks think? Are there areas in your life you're overemphasizing, and if so, could you imagine doing less? Or does the very thought make you break out into hives? Crabby would love to know.