Taking my own advice

photo-8Sometimes I get taken over by a crazy energy. I have no idea why it happens, but it seems to occur in a cyclical way. Because the crazy energy is just that. It’s crazy. And eventually burns itself out. Because on some level, it knows it’s Too Much, and has to be stopped one way or the other.


I’ve been in the midst of the crazy energy in recent weeks. And when the crazy energy hits, I’m suddenly enthusiastic about a hundred things at once. There’s ideas I want to explore, projects I want to complete, cupboards I want to sort out, recipes I want to try. All at once. And there’s so much of it, I have no realistic hope of achieving it all, despite the fact that I’m so overwhelmingly enthusiastic about getting it all done. My attention goes a bit scatter gun on me. I want to focus on it all at once, which is, of course, impossible and overwhelming. And while I’m busy trying to focus on everything, I end up focusing on nothing terribly well.


But dammit if I don’t have a go. When I’m in this zone I rush at the world with an alarming kind of determination that is as unproductive as it is all encompassing. And in my wake I leave unfinished, half completed tasks everywhere. And the ideas keep flying at me, apparently from nowhere. And time and time again I leap into action, all enthused and determined, not remotely aware what’s going on. Until eventually I get worn out, or sick like I did this week. And all my ideas crash into each other as they are forced to skid to a halt with me. All chaotic and unfinished and frustrated.


So I end up with the messy carnage of incomplete enthusiasm in a heap behind me. A bit weary and discombobulated by it all. Lots started, and nothing much finished. My brain buzzing, and a slightly wild look in my eye, hoping I still might be able to get it all done.


But when the wildness subsides, as it finally did this afternoon, I found myself reflecting with wry amusement how I am forever telling my eldest son to SLOW DOWN. He’s like an enthusiastic Duracell bunny at times. He has a beautiful thirst for life, and likes to go about things at high speed whenever possible. Which is great, but has some obvious pitfalls. And in wise-mother mode, I tell him:


Stop rushing at life so much. Because when you’re attacking life at high speed you miss stuff. I know you think you know the answer but going at speed means it’s easy to make mistakes. Life might be even more fun if you take the time to savour it more. And if you’re so busy rushing to get somewhere quickly, you simply can’t learn the lessons that are always available to you while you’re on the way. Remember (I tell him, all sage and knowing) the fun part is the getting there (I heard Simon Cowell say this in an interview once. He was an unlikely source of wisdom, I thought, but absolutely spot on).


I’m great at giving advice, but apparently less great when it comes to following it. What I have discovered though, is that writing about it helps me learn it – hence this blog. And boy did I need to give myself that advice this week. Alongside my speedy little boy, I needed to be reminded (once again) that life is definitely not a sprint, and is absolutely a marathon.


So, I’m giving myself permission to slow down to a more manageable jog again. And trusting it’ll all get done in the fullness of time. Or it won’t. Perhaps some of my great plans will simply end up casualties of the crazy energy enthusiasm pile-up.


And I’m reminding myself that it’s when you ease your foot off the gas pedal, and take your focus off the prize, or wherever it is you think you’re trying to get to, that the interesting stuff starts happening. Because if you’re flying along by the seat of your pants, in all likelihood the stuff you need to see will be nothing but a blur out of your metaphorical car window.


My job now is to forgive myself for letting it all get into a blurry muddle again. And concentrate on getting very still and quiet while I recuperate and regenerate my energies. And if (when) I find myself in this position again, I hope I will have the foresight to invoke the wisdom of Simon Cowell before the pile-up happens.

2 thoughts on “Taking my own advice

  1. I reckon a little bit of both – wild enthusiasm, and then taking your foot off the gas – isn’t too bad a way to tackle life.
    I hear you on the writing the blog to help in getting our own advice drummed into our own heads, It is so helpful….as is reading other people’s blogs…..like yours.

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