Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The balance

I'm on a new 'day at a time' plan, a very loosely structured plan to live in the moment and avoid the negative prognostication that sends me careening into paralysis. The gist of it is "one day at a time", which is a very common thing to hear people say, but not commonly practiced.

I know I've seen it in relation to Alcoholics Anonymous, and I've read it in books on living with depression, but it wasn't until last week that I felt myself living one day at a time. For me it is paring down my goals. Get up, take care of body, get to class, sleep. Make plans with people, have a good time (be present for socialization), and take time to relax. [Attempting to] clean house, keep nutritious food in fridge and cupboards and do laundry regularly (at least once a week) round out the must do list.

You notice that none of these are long term goals. When I say day at a time it does not preclude activities that are a part of long term goals - but right now I need to have the day-to-day taken care of. The support that I need is, of necessity, coming from ME, and paring down expectations is a great way to succeed*.

It feels weird to be so basic about things. But I feel fantastic when I can achieve these day-to- day goals and exceed my expectations. For example, it felt really good to get a 96% on my first Spanish exam. Of course, I'm expecting a 98% on the next one. But I digress.

I guess what I'm getting at is that if I were to look at the overall picture I'd feel pretty disappointed. Looking at acheivable daily/weekly goals is extremely helpful and I think as I continue on I will end up getting more done as I avoid the paralysis and zombification that I've been plagued by the past year or so. Things can only get better, so instead of lamenting that they aren't yet, I'm going to what I can to make them better now.

*Of course, the expectations of me from the outside are the same. I still have to pay my bills and show up to class, get course work in on time, etc. The change is with me - what I expect from myself. I'm allowed to do the bare minimum if that is all I can do on a really bad day, but I am expected to do it, and to get up and do it again the next day.

No comments: