During this week’s episode of the Hectic Podcast (Welcome back, folks!), Michelle said something that has been bouncing around my head for days.
She, Darryl, and our weekly guest, Becky Jo Harris, were talking about the puzzle that life so often is. It’s messy, complicated, and takes a lot of work.
As much as we might hate the hardship, it’s this effort that makes the puzzle worth figuring out. As Michelle said,
“The best part of doing the puzzle is doing the puzzle. If you wanted to buy a finished puzzle, you would buy a piece of art.”
When I heard this, I was reminded of something else I’d heard a few months ago. I was researching Enneagram 9s to understand a bit more about myself. While listening to a podcast, one of the hosts said something along the lines of, “Enneagram 9s treat life as something to get through rather than something to enjoy.”
This particular idea has been a bit of an awakening for me over the past year. I realized how often I woke up and couldn’t wait until it was time for bed again. Every day was a slog through all the things I had to do, trudging through weeks, months, and years of my life.
I was still building my puzzle, but it was bland and uninspiring. Since I wasn’t intentionally choosing the picture I wanted to create, I wasn’t invested in the process. I was just trying to get it done.
There are certainly times in life when getting through life may be the best you can do - and that’s more than okay. The longer you spend trudging, however, the more comfortable with it you become. You blink and five years of numbness have passed. That’s no way to spend your life, especially when you can choose better for yourself.
<tweet-link>If you want to make a change, you have to make intentional choices about the ways you spend your time.<tweet-link> You may also need a shift in perspective.
It always helps to start small, so here are some easy ways to wake up to the life you’re living.
The best way to remember life’s joy is to do something that makes you happy. Take an hour every week to intentionally pursue this feeling. You can bake, read, play a game, go to the beach, take a hike, or any other activity that you enjoy. Though it might feel wasteful, having fun is still part of building your puzzle. You are supposed to enjoy your life, not just spend your years toiling away.
What kind of picture do you want to create with your time? Do you want to travel? Build deeper relationships? Secure financial security? You have the power to accomplish so many things, but you won’t achieve anything if you don’t try.
Once you have a goal or two in mind, consider the best ways to reach them. Does your current job allow you to make enough to finance your plans? If not, what can you do to increase your earning potential?
Maybe you want to switch your focus from working to doing something more with your time. You might switch to freelancing to enjoy more flexibility or finally take that family vacation you’ve been dreaming about.
If you put your mind to it, there’s nothing you can’t do.
The best way to get out of a rut is to experience life with other people. Investing your time in your friends and family can offer a sense of purpose and fulfillment that you might be lacking. Donating your time to a charitable organization is another great way to gain direction. We are social creatures by nature, so community might be the exact spark you’re lacking.
When you are tired, burnt out, or overwhelmed, focusing on getting through life is easier than living intentionally. If you want to have the energy to do more, you have to give yourself the care you need. Drink more water, find ways to get more sleep, and redirect your energy to activities that restore your spirit. When you feel better physically, you can be more mentally engaged in your journey.
Listen to this week’s episode to hear how Becky Jo Harris is putting the pieces together through her hobbies, work, and comedic training at the legendary Groundlings Theatre & School.
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