I will share how I go about identifying which area of my life I am willing to allow to be the release point. And how that can be interchangeable depending on my different priorities as I navigate myself around my changing life situations.
I don’t know much about engineering, but I am aware that all systems need a specifically identified outlet for releasing pressure. If pressure builds up with no release outlet, some part of the system will fail or break, and that would lead to the entire system being brought to a standstill. As a human being, my body is my system.
The need for a pressure release valve changes according to different scenarios. There are certain aspects which are not negotiable, that I must keep working and performing at even if I do not want to. So I try to limit my stresses to those which are unavoidable, for example paying bills and working. I try to let go of stresses which can be avoided without consequence. I am aware that if I allow myself to be pressured by everything I am trying to achieve and balance, that I will drop some balls. I ask myself in advance which ball am I willing to let drop if the juggling becomes too much at any point? I know that I am not willing to sacrifice my body, because if that pressure is too much, any upset may mean that I am putting at risk the other areas of my life which require my body. I know also that I must focus on trying to avoid letting my mind be the one to crack, because that too is critical to keep juggling all the other balls. With that method of elimination, I determine which balls to concentrate most on not dropping. That leaves the others, which I don’t necessarily need to take out of the mix, but when I am dealing with them, I need to ask myself what is the worst that can happen if I drop this one? Or what is the price to pay if I insist on holding on so tightly to this one? Which other ones might I then as a result drop with greater consequences?
In my current situation, I am dealing with my recent retrenchment. That in itself is an emotional situation. It requires a lot of resilience in trying to establish myself in my new reality while still presenting myself as a valuable participant in the job market. My routine has changed, and while my time is more flexible, it is also less predictable. I don’t know what will come up and where I will be ahead of time.
So I have decided to let my running be the crack through which some pressure might escape. In some ways, it’s the only part of my life where I feel that I am in control – in the sense that I can say ‘I don’t have to’. It allows me to be a rebel without consequences, and is a relief from all my other responsibilities which I must do and have to do. I am still running, and I am having fun and trying different things. There is no expectation or disappointment. Only the joy, like a dog running down the road without a planned goal, simply eager to experience whatever adventures or surprises he might discover.
Life is constantly moving and changing, and I must move and change with it. I cannot afford to be rigid and break. I hope that sharing my perspective adds some value to someone.