It amazes me how one jam-packed week is able to unbalance my life for an extended period after it ends. I’ve always known this about my psyche, and it’s one of the reasons I dread this time of year. Life gets filled up with things to do, and I feel both the physical and psychological effects these demands place upon me.
It may be tempting to say, “Well just deal with it, lots of people have busy schedules.” And I do deal with it. This part of my psychology is why I seek out rhythms in my life. They function like a gyroscope, and become the point to which I bounce back when I’m disrupted. But it’s a far from perfect balance. Sometimes these rhythms cease being useful because my life has been disrupted so much I need to find a new normal, and so I stop beating to one rhythm and allow a new one to form.
This year, however, has seen many disruptions in my life. There have been massive changes at work, I’m experiencing the shifting realities of parenting children in their late teens, and have been gob-smacked by the surprise of a new baby on the way 1. Each of these has effected the wobble of my gyroscope so much I haven’t been able to bounce back into rhythm. But they’ve come so fast I’ve also bee unable to catch it and bring to an end. So I’m left unbalanced and aware of my need for a new rhythm, it can get frustrating.
I think this is why the Christmas season has hit me very hard this year. I feel like I’m running in quicksand, while everyone else is sprinting along just fine. I’m out of rhythm. So I’m on a mental countdown to Christmas Day, and the week-long reset I’ll get to experience on the other side.
In the meantime I’m going to take advantage of an unseasonably warm night to photograph Christmas lights. Sometimes what I need to help me with the next step is to stretch my legs.
- Just a list a few. ↩