Fear and Loathing in the WordPress Dashboard

sad faceI spent most of June floating in and out of good intentions. Intentions for nutrition, exercise, fitness, tracking, energy, productivity, and more.

But floating is about all I did. Aside from the random “walk break” here or there or occasional “no thank you” on a sugary treat, I didn’t achieve much of anything. As a result, I didn’t feel like writing invigorating posts about how we all can do this together. We can. We really can. But last month…I didn’t, really.

It was pretty easy to pinpoint the reason for my increasing ennui, but that just means I know what I have to overcome. I still have to ride it out.

Basically, in the last couple of months at work, my boss quit, my boss’s-boss quit, and my boss’s-boss’s-boss quit. And that feels weird as hell.

Finding my current job happened at sort of a pivotal moment in my life on many fronts. Specifically, the summer I began doing this job was the same summer that I decided to also go back to school part-time and take a full-time approach to becoming healthier. And I have thrived in all three of these aspects for three years. But when one thing shifts, even if it’s not a disastrous shift — even if it’s just a sag in energy level on one of those things — it seems to affect the other components as well.

I can’t decide who my permanent boss will be or if they will value me, so I just tried to shift focus to something I could have more control over — my fitness. I got back on the pedometer wagon. Replaced my desk chair with a yoga ball. Purged the cabinets of baking ingredients. And so on.

And for a few weeks, I saw the scale begin to budge back downward after the long winter had pushed the numbers up a bit. I ate healthier. I felt better.

But I still don’t seem to care too much. And I had already decided to take the summer off from school when registration was available (before I knew my boss was leaving and that I’d have more energy for nighttime homework this summer), so I don’t even have that to care about.

Obviously, I still have my family and care very much about them. My oldest son started playing baseball this summer, and it’s been a joy to spend evenings at the ball diamond and cheer him on. It’s been nice to have the freedom to trade lunch hours for dropping in on my kids’ day care field trips when they visit the campus where I work. But I feel like something, somewhere, that I do has to be about me.

Mostly I feel that way because I had spent my entire life up until three years ago thinking it was wrong to ever put myself first in anything. I felt like self-interest was a luxury I’d never be able to afford, in terms of time or energy or anything else. I felt like it was vanity.

So to find myself in the middle of a summer where I have absolutely nothing to be motivated about in terms of my own ego is scary. I’m scared I’ll go back to being the person I used to be. But fear is a pretty crappy motivator, too.

And all this time, my little WordPress blog was sitting in silence, secretly taunting me. “You’re not posting because you’re not succeeding anymore,” it whispered in my ear. “You know you’re starting to fail, and it’s just going to get worse the longer you let it.” So I avoided it, and put it off, and acted in every way like the old me would have. By ignoring the problem.

Until today.

I post today not because I’m inspired to go try a new exercise or healthy treat or pin photos of a recent scale victory.

I post because that’s what I should do. The good and the bad. The ups and the downs. Otherwise, I’m not real. And no one can feel empowered by someone who isn’t real.

I think I just found my motivation.





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