Wednesday 24th February 2021

If I ever come back and read over these editions of The Climb I don’t want to think that it’s currently easy.  Yeah, I’m getting things done and moving a lot of other things towards completion but it still feels difficult.

I feel I’m doing about as half as much as I could do; that I’m not so much swimming as stopping myself from drowning by flailing around a lot.

I’ve been thinking a lot about priorities over the past week.  It feels like with my micro progress, everything is being given the same priority when in reality, some things are more important than others.

But I don’t want to moan either.  I AM making progress, I AM getting aged tasks complete.  I just feel very impatient and frustrated right now.

A lot of this is the current pandemic.  It’s getting close to a year now, and for me at least, it feels like a year of Lockdown.  Part of me wants it all over and done with so things can be a bit normal.  Yet another part of me sees people treating June 21st as the date of the end of the pandemic and that gives me anxiety as whilst I think things will be closer to normal, I think they might take a bit longer.

Personally, I’d like to be able to plan things for September.  That gives time for any hiccups in rolling out vaccines or new variants being discovered.   However, the part of me that thought Summer 2021 was a sensible target a year ago, now thinks September might be a bit premature.  There will undoubtedly be a 3rd mini wave.  Maybe not enough for a full lockdown, but enough to disrupt activities.

So the start of 2022 seems like a decent, sensible target for me for things to start to really get back to normal.  We might get a semi-decent summer inbetween, and I certainly hope so.

But that just makes me all the more impatient and frustrated.  There are some tasks I want to do that I really can’t until we get back to some form of permanent normality.  There are other tasks that are prefect for Lockdown.  I should be flying through those.  I want to get to normality with them complete.

And yet, I feel I’m wasting that time:  to anxiety, to procrastination, to prioritising the wrong things.

And that’s the thing about this pandemic.  Some days you can do hardly anything and be totally fine with it.  Other days you can do a load and just feel annoyed you’ve not really accomplished as much as you’d like.  It’s a constant rollercoaster.  Ups followed by downs followed by ups.

Of course, you tell yourself to be kind to yourself.  And for the most-part I am, but that doesn’t make the frustration any easier.

I realised today that I derive a lot of satisfaction from accomplishment.  I enjoy the journey to that accomplishment, but what really drives me is that Dopamine high of having done something seemingly impossible.  Because those sorts of things can take a long time, I try and have multiple focuses.  Those highs then feed each other.  Achieving something in swordfighting, motivates me to plough on with writing.  Some success in writing pushes me through the hard times in writing.  It’s symbiotic and I spend a lot of time trying to draw out the similarities in whatever I’m trying to achieve.

But for what has effectively been close to a year long lockdown for me, I feel that motivational house of cards – where one success builds upon another – has toppled over and I’m at that point where motivation is hard.

I’m doing things, goals ARE moving forwards, but those highs have sadly been lacking.  And it’s meant that motivation is a real battle some days.  I’ve tried to change things around, I’ve tried to add things to replace highs from things like Swordfighting which are missing during the pandemic.  Perhaps too many.  But achievements in those things take time.

For all I know, some things could suddenly all start coming together tomorrow.  I could have a handful of those dopamine highs at any time.  Unlikely, but possible.  Until then, that frustration will remain.  There’s also the fact that some things such as getting back in shape for swordfighting are still going to take time.  There’s not going to be a high there for a while.

And I sound really negative when in reality, I’m just tired and frustrated.  I’ve muddled through this pandemic as best I could and I’ve certainly done a lot but there’s also a lot I’ve not done and I can’t help but wonder if I was somehow more consistent, more efficient, then perhaps I would be enjoying those dopamine highs right now instead of still working towards goals.

I know this is just the pandemic talking.  Tomorrow I’ll feel different but some days I really miss my old life where I’d get up feeling so driven and motivated.

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Past Years: 2020 – The Year of Being Fearsome | 2019 – The Year of Soldiering Through | 2018 – The Year of Priorities | 2017 – The Year Of The Offensive