Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Going Through the Motions

Do you ever find yourself doing something simply because you've always done it?

And one day, you realize that you heart just isn't in it?

But you keep it to yourself.  You just keep plugging along, filling in the blanks, taking each step, fulfilling the duties.  And little by little, your quality of effort starts to decline.

Because deep down, you just don't really care anymore.  Or you just feel like your efforts are futile anyway.  Or you just keep doing it because you just think you're supposed to and you don't feel like you have much other choice.

It's not a good way to feel.  It's not a good way to do.

Maybe it's volunteer work at your church or school.  Maybe it's parenting or your marriage.  Maybe it's your job.  Maybe it's your hobby.  Maybe it's your housework.  Maybe it's your faith.

You've got a choice to make.  You can keep on going through the motions and being unhappy on the inside.  Or you can make a change.

What happens if I quit?

I can quit anything.  But can I live with the consequences?  Quitting my job has far more serious consequences than if I step down from a volunteer position in my church.  And stepping down from something that's a good thing can have good consequences - like being replaced by someone with more passion and new, fresh ideas.

What happens if I don't quit?

This can be a harder question.  Because you have to be really honest with yourself.  Will quitting have a negative impact on others?  Are you holding on because you think you are the one and only?  Will holding on to whatever it is end up hurting you further?  Am I holding on to this for selfish reasons?

What do I do next?

Take a break. Follow a different passion.  Your next "thing" will show itself to you.  Or might already be showing itself to you.

The bottom line is that there is no shame in stepping away from something.  If you're heart's just not in it... if it's no longer bringing you joy... if you dread doing the associated tasks... if you find yourself not completing tasks, procrastinating... it's ok to step away.  It's ok to let someone else step up.  It's ok to follow something different.

It's also ok to realize that something truly is valuable and worthy.  And that it's worth fighting for, struggling through.  

What's important is that you make a choice.  You either live it fully, embrace it, make it the best you can.  Or you walk away, take a break.  

But don't just go through the motions.  Don't just do it because you've always done it.  Life is too short!

sig jan 2014 photo owlsig.jpg


Nicole said...

I went through this when I quit playing derby. Thankfully, I stayed in the community because my husband still plays.

But now I'm facing another hard question. What happens if I go back?

Katherine said...

I've felt this way about a great many things. Sometimes, it's hard to differentiate between things I should just keep struggling through, because the reward at the end will be worth it, and which things I should just let go.

Karen M. Peterson said...

I've felt this way so much. Especially lately. But there isn't much I can just walk away from right now, so instead I'm trying to renew my passion for the things in my life.

Lana's LIfe said...

Steve and I served on the Fair Board for about 12 years because we wanted there to be a 4-H fair when our girls were old enough to participate. NOw that we have two girls and four cows at the fair, we have stepped back and are "silent partner" board members. We work behind the scenes when we can, but are not on the active duty list. It's been hard to let go because some projects we worked hard at are, in our minds, slipping a bit, but we know we really can't say anything unless we are ready to jump back into active duty..... and honestly we are not, so we take many deep breaths and go on with the show a it is.