As the year comes to a close, I cannot help but reflect on all that has come to fruition in 2022. Unfortunately, my mind tends to gravitate towards what did NOT come to fruition instead. This is a common occurrence in my adult life, and with each passing year, I have grown more and more accustomed to these feelings, but have yet to quell the angst that typically accompanies these thoughts.
“Why not make a change?” you may ask. It is not a matter of accomplishing more or setting higher goals and expectations. The change must happen internally and the perspective must shift. When the year comes to a close and a new year begins, it is coupled with another revolution around the sun for me. I do my best to focus my energy on progress made, lessons learned, relationships built, and general positivity, but it is as if the devil on the adjacent shoulder has the louder voice.
Maybe the downtime creates the anxiety and negative thoughts. Taking a week off between Christmas and New Years breeds an abundance of idle time and in turn A LOT of self-reflection. I have never done well sitting still (ask any of my teachers). Maybe it has something to do with stuffing my face with boundless amounts of cookies and cakes, multi-course meals, and enough fatty meats, olives, and cheeses to choke a horse. Generally speaking a week of decadence and over- indulgence does not promote the healthiest and most productive of mental states. Maybe it is the addictive personality screaming, “Enough is NEVER enough!!!” You must do more with your life, have a greater impact on your industry, become a better father and husband, and quit wasting precious time (again the birthday right after the new year really fucks me here).
As I sit here writing this, my oldest Selby, is quietly reading a book at the kitchen counter, quite content in her literary consumption. My wife Rachel, brews some tea, winding down her night, personifying her peaceful, anxiety-deficient aura. My youngest Tillie, paces the floor, anxiously organizing her board games, sounding off orders and rules that we all must scrupulously follow. All the while, I hear an unrelenting crumpling of paper, the running of a vacuum, and a cacophony of unintelligible words and sounds leaving my youngest’s mouth. Witnessing all of this first-hand but through a secondary lens, it is plain as day to see that Selby is Rachel and Tillie is me.
Perhaps the fulfillment that has been eluding me is the product of a personality trait rather than a lack of gratitude. What if the same head that balances atop both mine and Tillie’s neck impedes our ability to appreciate the silence, rest, mediocrity, or anything less than perfection. In turn we relegate average to inadequate and respite to regression. I want to be more like Rachel and Selby! I want to be okay with being okay.
If you recall earlier, I mentioned perspective and positivity…
Perspective is defined as the interrelation in which a subject or its parts are mentally viewed.
My perspective at the moment is extrapolated from points which bolster disappointment, discontent, and overall negativity. Where downtime must be filled with productivity and idle time abolished in order to cultivate self-growth. What if I chose to turn slightly left? How about I start walking in the opposite direction? Heck, why not kick my feet up in the air and do a headstand?! I will have Tillie hold my damn feet! Would I be able to enjoy a week off, another year around the sun, or an overall successful year in business without parades, accolades, awards, or doubling my sales?
As 2023 opens its doors and rolls out the carpet for each and every one of us, I challenge you to shift your perspective. Whether you experience struggles similar to mine, or you find yourself grappling with something entirely different. Perspective is a powerful tool with no expiration date or fees. It will not add to your bottom line, but it can certainly improve upon it. Inventory your personal well-being as well as your business, and rather than force a change to the machine, try looking at it through a different lens. There may be nothing wrong with the system or machine at all, but rather the person behind the wheel.
Maybe things don’t need change at all. For example my end of year respite. I need to change, not create distractions or cultivate stimulation.