The universe has told me to shut the eff up. Literally.
I haven’t been able to speak for going on two days now. Monday afternoon, I found myself hampered by a mild sore throat, and thought nothing of it when it continued for a few days because mold allergies were off the charts. Then, I woke up yesterday with just a hint of a voice, and I wasted the crap out of it in meetings and ended up with just a whisper left by the end. It was actually our Dungeons & Dragons game night and I participated only with use of a LOT of post its and a carefully cultivated playlist. #bard
Today I had nothing above a whisper for the entirety of the day. It was super fun attending meetings and whispering at people, up to and including my boss’s boss. Let me tell you, it’s not the best way to make someone take you seriously, my coworkers teased me mercilessly all day, but oddly enough, it’s a great way to get someone’s attention. If you whisper at people, they’re like… WTF just happened? I’m pretty sure I creeped people out all day and it was kind of fun in that “looking at it with a silver lining” type attitude way (it was actually super frustrating).
The most fun I had all day was running around with Text to Speech on my phone alternating between 2001: Space Odyssey quotes.
The Passion Paradox is my non-fiction read right now and it smacked me across the face earlier this week. Passio, or the dark side of passion, is the result of pursuing passions either for an external result or out of fear. Well, holy shit, that’s been quite a bit of my life as of late. For various reasons, I’ve decided to crawl outside my bubble and give a crap about what other people think of me. For some of the same and other varied various reasons, I’ve been wildly focused on some big goals, like winning races, a promotion at work, amassing an audience for a book, being good at some things that mean something to me, and guess what? None of those harken back to pursuing a passion for the sake of the feeling of joy in participation of said activity.
I realize that my megamaniacal focus on ALL THE THINGS is totally unsustainable and I’m skating the line for burnout. I’m pretty stressed right now, but in a weird and different way than normal. I’m not reaching for the usual disengagement tactics, I’m actually leaning right into it and saying, “not today Satan” and rising to the occasion and fighting harder. That’s awesome! Go go gadget mental toughness! I’ve missed that part of me.
However, stress is stress is stress and that’s comes at a cost. However, that cost has been a wink, a nod, and a promise for a favor later from life lately. My plates have been spinning reasonably well at work and I’ve been told I’m doing a kick ass job even if sometimes I feel like I need to be better (read: perfect). Even with my minimal training I’ve had four of four successes in racing this year: breaking a long standing PR, two firsts, and a third. I’ve been focusing and improving my writing and photography with some moderate success, I’ve been losing weight (a little, but still on the right trendpath), and I’ve spent a lot of mental energy and hours I should be sleeping instead reaching inside my noggin to dissect all the things going on up there doing postmortems on my life and decisions in the attempts to learn things and improve… or at least make new, fresh mistakes instead of the old standbys.
I feel like Corey, in Empire Records. “…there are 24 usable hours in every day,” she says, and then later in the afternoon has a massive mental breakdown after something doesn’t go her way.
What’s the cure for trying to be megamaniacally perfect? Take something fundamental away that makes you not just imperfect but utterly inferior. For someone who’s fought REALLY HARD to have confidence, clout, and a quick wit, my voice being gone was almost perfect poetic justice. The last two days have been a NIGHTMARE. I often say that sometimes after work I just want to shut up and stare into space for hours and not say a word, but when the OPTION is gone, it sucks.
I had actually started the week fairly strong. I lifted for the first time in a month (just kettlebells but that was plenty), I ran on Tuesday, and I biked on Wednesday. I made a schedule and I followed it… until the “allergies” became something more. Whiskey barely crossed my path. I’ve eaten well, I’ve slept… ehhh… but lately it’s been my symptoms and not my brain, which is a nice change, and I have felt more relaxed than I have in quite a while, even if it’s kind of forced.
I hope to get at least ONE workout in this weekend, but if I have to totally cocoon up to heal, I’ll do it. Video games. Writing. Reading. Photos. However, my goal with these is to focus on the feeling of passion (not passio) they give me. I’ll focus on the joy in turning a clever phrase, the happiness I feel taking a memory I captured in time and nudging and tweaking it to look more how I remember it, enjoying some content over which I toiled in my game, and getting lost in a world or a thought page by page. Achievements be damned, at least until Monday. And, actually, words. My goal is to not indulge in either until the weekend runs out.