Mid-Project is my safe house.
It’s a warm and sticky mid- August morning, the kind of morning I dream about in the winter. To hear crickets and birds and smell the dewy grass, to not be bundled up in scarves and socks against the cold dry air. And yet, here I am – still in my head- months ahead of NOW, wondering (worrying) about whats next.
We all do it to some degree, despite the obvious benefits of “staying present”. I read recently in a hilarious version of Russel Brand’s 12 Step experience how battling the wandering & distracted mind is like paddling away from a waterfall. You can paddle (meditate, eat well, monitor negative beliefs, exercise…) and all is well, but the minute you stop you get sucked back into the chaos.
So here we are, back to this glorious morning where we’re totally on track with this big project, the project that seemed entirely overwhelming last winter, and instead of soaking in the glory of accomplishment – I’m 4 steps ahead ruminating about what’s next. Is this just the mind of the project based personality? Can we NEVER savor the accomplishments for fear of finishing and NOT having a project to distract and obsess over? I ask because this inability to rejoice in the win seems like it could be a huge psychological trap, the kind of trap that one would be keen to wise up to, like ASAP.
I sat on the porch a few weeks ago and pondered with a friend how the milestones start to lose their draw as we get older. The big ones: getting your first car, saving for a home to call our own, starting a business, having a kid, once achieved, don’t quite hold their power the second or third time around. Milestones we have AFTER those are, well, a bit less all-consuming: saving for retirement, selling that first home, having to buy another car and not go deep into debt, downsizing… you see? its like we know too much at a certain point, and the same old tricks aren’t providing the same hit of dopamine. Its like we’re onto the ruse and were not buying into it once again, and to be totally honest- I kind of miss the highs.
So where does this leave me? I don’t know, just wanting the next cup of coffee it seems. Not a bad thing at all, just a little more honest. The jig is up, and there’s no going back. The goals are fine and completely worthy, but apparently they’re not the lasting buzz I thought they’d be, and in the big picture this is good to know sooner rather than later- even if its a bit of a bummer. Perhaps it’s better to know up front that mid-project is the safest place to dwell.