I was looking back at old blog posts the other day, and I was reminded of how much I had a struggle with, as I said, “trying to find the right thing(s) that I can master/fix so I can hit cruise control and never have problems again (aka, once I know/do/be ___, I’ll be good/acceptable/okay). “ Ultimately I realized that you can’t set your life to cruise control; you have to constantly adjust to your changing circumstances.
I know that perfectionism and my need for control were a big part of why I was so obsessed with being able to set my life to cruse control, but recently I realized that there were a few other factors that kept leading me in that direction.
First, in the past, I had so little energy from both depression and not eating enough that doing almost anything was hard, and the thought of having to exert myself a second time to change something that wasn’t working was completely overwhelming. So, I think my desire to figure things out “the right way” the first time was as much an attempt to conserve and make the most of my limited energy as anything else. Now that I have more energy more consistently, I’ve found myself feeling more excited and less drained by making changes in my life or trying new things, especially ones that don’t have to be done, like re-decorating or doing home projects.
Second, I realized recently that I’ve viewed life as an achievement and not as a relationship. I came across a quote recently (that I unfortunately can’t find) that said that we should view life like a companion and stop using phrases like “crushing it” to talk about it, which I found fascinating. I’m still wrapping my head around what that means, but I do know that relationships suffer if they're ever set to cruise control, because people grow and change. Achievements, on the other hand, often have a distinct beginning, middle, and end, and then you’re DONE, and you don’t have to think about it anymore. Since life is a constantly evolving, changing thing, my seeing it as a a fixed accomplishment was never going to work, and it didn’t.
I still struggle with wanting to set my life to cruise control at time, but not as much as before, and hopefully, now that I have more energy and am aware of my tendency to view life as an accomplishment, I’ll fall into that temptation even less frequently.