Lost: My Motivation

If you woke up this morning and thought, “Gosh, I really hope someone posts a self-indulgent, photo-free blog post today whining about their first world problems,” well: do I have great news for you! I think this post could fulfill your desires quite nicely ūüôā

I. Am. Struggling. The holidays, in my experience, are rarely even half of what they’re cracked up to be in terms of peace on earth and goodwill towards men. While I like Thanksgiving and Christmas as days, the time in between the two of them (and, to an extent, New Year’s, although does anyone¬†really¬†do any actual work in that week between Christmas and New Year’s? I feel like Dec. 26-30 are the Friday of the calendar year: we all show up to work and pretend we’re going to do something, but in reality, everyone knows nothing productive or worthwhile is going to happen, and we all probably should’ve just stayed home.) is¬†brutal. This year in particular I’m really feeling the grind, not just of the holidays, but of life in general.

Work has been wearing me down something awful lately. I had a lot more duties dumped on my plate a little more than a month ago, and while I¬†can¬†handle it, it’s been tough to keep up.¬†I’ve¬†been so overwhelmed by the sheer number of never-ending projects I’ve had to manage that, more often than I have time for, I’ve metaphorically thrown my hands in the air and said, “Forget this! If you need me, I’ll be on BuzzFeed for the rest of the day.” On top of the assignments I have at work, I’ve had another major project going on for the past six weeks or so that I’ve had (and still have) to keep¬†quiet until everything wraps up. I’ve devoted a fair amount of time to this extracurricular project, but not as much as I’d like to because I simply haven’t had¬†time¬†to attend to that project as much as it needs attending to. I can talk about it with a select group of people, which helps, but I still feel like I’m leading a double life.¬†To my surprise, I’ve found that the project has gotten¬†more¬†stressful as I get farther into it, not less stressful like I anticipated, which certainly doesn’t make things easier.

I know I complained about feeling like my life was out of control a little while ago, and mentioning how I hoped having a half marathon training plan to follow would help in that department. It hasn’t. This has been, without question, the worst training cycle I’ve ever had. I’ve bailed on scheduled workouts to do other things (other fitness things, at least, like climbing, but still…climbing isn’t really an acceptable substitute for a 40-minute run). I got sick and took almost a full week off from exercise. I’ve run, in any capacity whatsoever, all of six times in the past 24 days, and every single long run has been pure misery. My splits, on the surface, haven’t been totally atrocious–I’m averaging somewhere in the 10:20 range, for the most part–but in this kind of weather, I usually do my long runs at more of a 9:45-10:00 pace, and every single step usually does not feel like a battle. But then again, how could it not right now? Of¬†course¬†running six miles this past Saturday was hard: I haven’t even come close to running six miles since the marathon, and I’ve barely been running at all (or at least it certainly feels that way). I’ve been eating my way through every holiday treat Trader Joe’s has on its shelves, plus all the usual office treats, PLUS the Hanukkah feast we have in our lunch room right now, with bagels and lox and cake and donuts and cookies and chocolate coins as far as the eye can see. My diet is a joke, my training is barely existent: obviously my runs have suffered.¬†As much as I’d like to commit to this to have something–anything–in my life that has a nice sense of order, all of these workouts (aside from climbing) have felt like a total drag. I suppose the most obvious solution, then, would be to scrap this half marathon plan entirely and only go climbing from now until ?, but that’s not at all within my budget, from a financial standpoint and a time standpoint (commuting to anywhere where I can climb takes a lot more time than commuting to the gym, or commuting to my bedroom to put on my running shoes).

I’m overwhelmed, and as a result, wholly unmotivated to do much of anything productive. In running–marathoning, especially–a phrase often comes up when you have particularly long runs on your calendar: Eat the elephant one bite at a time. Run the mile you’re in. Focus on what you’re doing right now, literally take this run one step at a time. Mile 20 will be there for you when you get to it, but right now, you’re in mile .25, so pay attention to that, and deal with mile 20 after you pass mile 19.99.¬†While I could, and, I’d argue, should, apply this mentality to the rest of my life, right now, the work + training + holiday parties/plans elephant looks less like a friendly pachyderm and more like a rabid wooly mammoth. I don’t know where to begin, so I choose to not begin at all, which, of course, leads to things not getting done, and not doing anything to help resolve my feelings of being overwhelmed.

I know that this is just a season–a season that will likely pass sometime in January (I hope). In the meantime, I’m trying to dig up some motivation to do, you know,¬†anything¬†other than watching yet another video on YouTube or reading yet another article on BuzzFeed, and writing dramatic blog posts about my ~feelings~. We will, ideally, return to our regularly scheduled lighthearted nonsense later this week, after I’ve gotten enough sleep to function as an adult again.

5 thoughts on “Lost: My Motivation

  1. I always love your honesty. This is the season that everyone has a million things going on and it’s hard. I don’t know how you manage to do it all with your job and things but you do and it’s awesome. Hopefully life calms down for you eventually! I’m with you on the office treats- they’re unavoidable at this time of year and all of the holiday parties make it tough to stick with a “usual” eating schedule. These days I just tell myself to enjoy it since it’s only once a year that we’re in this season. Maybe not the healthiest attitude in the long run, but I am enjoying all of the foods haha

    • Thanks lady ūüôā I know this time of year has always felt really stressful, but man, this year is really turning out to be a banner year in that department! I like your point about office treats, though – while we probably have something in once a week or so, it’s not usually like this, and it is just once a year that it’s this excessive…not going to be the end of the world if I have a couple extra cookies ūüôā

  2. I COMPLETELY understand the lost motivation. I’ve gotten burnt out on running, period, so it was a struggle staying on track for all the races I ran this year. I tried to pick fun, unique races to keep the excitement going – but at the end of the day, it was still burdensome to feel like I HAD to keep hitting the pavement. I’ve taken running hiatuses in the past, and found I never got to the point where I missed running! These days I am more excited about Zumba and strength-training – but even so, motivation is still tough to come by.

    I hope you are able to get some rest soon! Feeling unrested and/or sleep deprived is one of the worst feelings ever, and in my experience it definitely casts a shadow on EVERYTHING. I am all about saying no to the extracurriculars when I need the personal time to catch up on life!

    • I’m trying to really prioritize sleep this week, but it’s not always easy, especially when I need to get up at the buttcrack of dawn to get a workout in – which probably hasn’t helped me feel motivated to workout, either, when I’m tired and just want to sleep in! But then if I do sleep in and have to workout in the afternoon, I’m annoyed all day that I haven’t finished my workout…sigh. If only I could get paid for just being an adult without actually having to go into the office haha.

  3. Pingback: Blogging Around Fear | accidental intentions

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