Outthinking life - FamilyEducation

Outthinking life

October 15,2008
There are two kinds of people I've always been somewhat jealous of: those who are insanely creative and follow their creative passions - wherever they lead, and those who have the ability to live in "the moment" and enjoy it. Don't mistake this for being drawn to those who live wildly, without boundaries. I simply mean people who are always able to see the forest through the trees. That, however, seems a bit like an oxymoron - after all, how do you keep your eye on the future while concentrating on the now?

I spend a great deal of time thinking. About everything. I'm in my head all day, and by the end of the day, I'm beyond tired. Perhaps…enough is enough. It’s time to stop outthinking life.

I have a theory about parenting, which is simply this: If you are constantly trying to prove how cool you are...you are, by default, not all that cool. Maybe the same idea works here: If we spend so much time talking about, writing about and thinking about balance...we will, by default, never find it.

Instead...maybe it's time to throw in the towel on the whole idea of balance, and just accept that some days the scale tips way over to the left and others it tips to the right. And, more importantly, some days are actually weeks or months.

Recently, I've been thinking that I live much like an athlete with his job on the line: One misstep, one bad throw or missed shot, and I would be benched. I've been thinking so much about - well, pretty much everything - I find myself not "playing to win," but instead playing not to lose. And, when you play not to lose…guess what usually happens? Exactly.

What does this mean? It means that I've been extra impatient. It means that I've been anxious and edgy. It means that every little thing that anyone does - including K-Man - sets me off. It means that anger has been constantly boiling at the surface. It means that...I haven't been enjoying myself at all because every single move I make is being self-evaluated and self-scrutinized. Nothing just is.

To go ahead and overkill the athlete metaphors, I need to get into my "zone." Athletes talk about getting into "their zone." This is where they don't hear the crowd; they don't think; and they are completely relaxed. It's during these times (which happen for athletes like Michael Jordan, Tom Brady and others), more often than not, that great things happen. It's finding that peace at the intersection of ambition and talent and just "letting it rip."

I need to find that zone in my life. Only the intersection isn't so much between ambition and talent. It's more a peace found at the crossroads of dreams/passions and responsibility. Sure, there are plenty of feeder roads dumping into these main arteries, but I think that intersection is the happy place.

But, instead of concentrating so damn hard on that destination, it's time to open my eyes and enjoy whatever path I'm on at whatever moment I'm on it (even if that path is blocked by an epic meltdown). I think what I'm finding out is that arriving at an appointed destination is great, but if I'd just stop thinking about where it is that I want to go...I'll be amazed how much more rewarding the ride is to get there.