This past weekend was another fabulous one. I took two long bike rides; visited a new museum exhibition; read … A LOT; worked on some things for the professional committees, of which I am a member; and put in a volunteer shift as an after school tutor.
It is the kind of weekend I love.
And yet I felt off. I was enjoying my experiences. I really was. But, at the same time, I felt like I wasn’t fully there. Like there was some part of me that was missing.
I know this sounds like the cheesy intro to a Harlequin romance novel, but I can’t think of a better way to phrase it. The joy I normally experience when doing these types of things wasn’t the full 100%.
And then, at one point… I felt bored. I know, I know. Somebody call in FEMA. They’ll get here eventually. But I am not the “bored” type. I always have so much to do, and so many things I want to work on, that I almost never feel bored. I feel lazy, sure. And even with 1,001 projects going, I can have plenty of moments where I don’t want to work on any of them. But that is just laziness. That is when I have one of my Buffy marathons. I don’t feel bored during those. I just feel like a viscous blob.
So, off-ness + boredom = deep and introspective thinking. Who has time for hobbies when you have some deep soul-searching to do, I always ask myself? And I have a couple of hypotheses about this offness + boredom:
Number 1 = Wine.
I am now 38 days wine-free. I am getting closer to beating my personal best, which is in the 60-day range. I achieved that a few years ago when I managed to humiliate myself beyond reparation at a friend’s wedding… that’s a story for another blog entry, though.
But now that I have gone this time without wine, I think anxieties and feelings I have been beating down with alcohol are starting to surface. Anxieties and feelings that had prompted me to drink wine in the first place. And that brings me to hypothesis # 2:
Restless Life Syndrome.
As a naturally anxious person, I spend a lot of time worrying about what I am missing. By being here in LA, and working the job that I have, and living in the apartment that I do, what am I missing out on? Are there jobs out there that I could be doing? Could I be living somewhere else? Could I be pursuing different interests? You get the drill.
And in years past, I have often let Restless Life Syndrome take over. I will quit a job and move onto another one. I will pack up and move to a new apartment in a new area. In fact, in the past 10 years, I have lived in 6 different apartments. I have worked 4 different jobs (although to be fair, one was a part-time student job while I was pursuing my Master’s degree). I have even volunteered for 4 different organizations.
Now, I’m reaching a point of “settling down.” I have been in this current job for almost 4 years – the longest I have been in a job, mind you – and I don’t want to leave it. I have things to accomplish still. I share an amazing apartment with my fiancé, and we have no desires to let it go.
Speaking of my fiancé, J and I are planning to get married next year. And I realize that any life decisions I make from here on out will need to take him into consideration. I can’t pack up and move around anymore. Quit a job and move onto another somewhere else. The time has come to share my life with someone.
So, I’ve been trying to find the peace and contentment I need in my life without making drastic changes. But I am a victim of Restless Life Syndrome. How do I change that? How do I come to fully appreciate the life I have? Love it 100%?
I know part of it is a change of outlook. I have always struggled with this idea of living in the moment; appreciating what you have; seizing the day; on and on and on. But I need to change that. I need to be one who can live in the moment. Who can appreciate what I have. Who can seize the day. I know that is what will make all my hobbies that much more fulfilling and enjoyable.
I need to shift my focus away from my own life and more towards the ones around me. Like the kids I work with in after school tutoring. They need my attention. They should have my attention. And if I really want to help them – which I do – then I need to make them my focus. Not me.
And I need to remember the magic. Keep looking for it. Keep feeling it. It is there; I know it.