Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Self overload



I've always been the kind of person who bites off more than she can chew. I love the start of new projects, whether it's a thing I'm making, something I'm learning or a piece of writing. I get stuck into it and love love love it, and it's the best thing ever, and...hey, what's that thing over there? That interesting topic over there? Hmm, I think I'll just glance over it. This is really pretty interesting. It's fascinating in fact. I'm sure I can fit it in somewhere...

Then of course the inevitable happens: I overload myself with things to do and drop most of them before I've had time to really enjoy them because I just feel totally overwhelmed. I'm talking purely about things I've chosen to do because they appeal to me, so it's pretty daft to keep on overloading myself with things, right? 

In that case, why do I do it?

The answer struck me today when - gasp! - I turned away from a New Thing To Do. Mr Crafty Blueberry has been looking into getting back into a martial arts again and found a Jujitsu class in the evening very close to where we live. He asked if I'd like to come along to watch a class and see if I'd be interested in joining. After some consideration I said yes, and was going to go until the day came around. I thought about how I'd really like to get back into my online hypnotherapy course after going on holiday last week, and as I thought that I remembered all the other things I was planning to do with my evenings after work this week. It struck me that I actually havn't got the time OR the head space to devote to another New Thing To Do. Maybe this isn't a big deal to you but, my word, it was a revelation to me over here.

The more I thought about it the more I realised I have a tendency to spread myself far too thin, not because I am super productive or a multi-tasking clever cloggs, but because I'm scarred of missing out. I believe that acting from a place of fear is a weakening, disempowering way to make decisions, yet here I am overloading myself because I'm scared of missing out on all the great things there are to learn about and do. It's a variation on hoarding mentality; fearing that there will be no more of something so I must stock up, only in my case I fear I won't have the time to learn all I want to learn so I cram too much in and have no mental space or time left in which to actually enjoy the process.

There's the key: Enjoying the process. I've been treating it like a race in which I'm at a disadvantage, I've been focussing on what I don't have ie. infinite time and capacity. How can I expect to enjoy the process of learning, making and doing if I treat it all as boxes to be ticked, a To Do list of fulfilment? 

I don't want to limit myself; my interests are too varied for that, and there's such joy in knowing that I can at least attempt to learn any new skill I choose (though success is far from guaranteed!). At the same time I know that I'm getting nowhere with my current overloaded buffet plate situation, so something's got to give. I don't know what the change needs to be yet, nor how to make it, I just know that it'd time for me to focus on quality over quantity, learn how to how enjoy learning and enjoy the process instead of always looking to the next thing.

How about you? Anyone else tend to overload their mental buffet plate? 

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