Thursday, December 6, 2012

Happy Medium, Where are you?

If you're like me, a happy medium requires work. Some of you may think, you're crazy! Why in the world do you need work at finding a happy place? Well six years ago when I sat across from my therapist Cory, he took out a piece of paper and drew two lines: one that looked like giant rolling hills and one that went straight through the middle. That middle line is where many aspire to live their lives, but it's not realistic, especially for a passionate and emotional person like me. 

That middle line is an unrealistic place for a happy medium. I'm not expected to be, nor do I want to be that flat line in the middle. I feel too much to think that I'll always just be one steady emotion. And it took me a long time to find that place and understand what it means for me since everyone's happy medium is different.

For me, the happy medium is living in the moment. Stopping to take a breath and appreciate that very moment. Often, I lose control and let my mind and emotions spiral off the deep end. That's when I need to take one minute, hour or day at a time, and not worry about everything else. I just need to remember that no matter the situation, it's not the end of the world.

Yesterday afternoon, while walking the dog, I found myself riding the extreme rolling hills of emotion again.

How did I get here? Is this because I didn't go running this morning? How am I going to get everything done? What do I need to finish today? What time will I need to leave on Saturday to make the train for the race? I can't wait to meet B in real life afterwards. Will she like me? Where did that black boot? I think the bathroom needs cleaning again. Do I still have a doctor's appointment tomorrow? Crap, I still need to email my PT. How did I end back at this point of feeling so happy one minute then near tears the next? How come I'm so frustrated? How come I feel like I'm being stretched too thin? Wasn't it just Monday that I took a mental health day that refreshed my mind and body? How did I get here?

And when I finished my inner-dialogue, I got back in my car, rolled the windows down and turned up the new Mumford & Sons CD. The fresh air on my face brought me down off my ledge to give me focus for when I stepped back into the office. Once I jumped back into my work for the day, my mind seemed to settle. And I was in my happy place. (Yes, work is a happy place for me.) Before I knew it, it was time to go home, and my mind raced yet again. 

Fortunately, one of the easiest ways for me to level back out to the happy medium is to go for a run. So off Louie and I went in the dark for 3.5 miles of jogging in the crisp air. Something about the pavement, the wind, even the snot running from my nose brought me closer to the steady flat line. I finished the day with making homemade pizza and browsing Pinterest on the couch next to M and Louie. 

I'm not really sure what my original intent was for this post, and you probably are thinking I'm crazy after that conversation I had with myself. But I wanted to get back to the honesty of my posts; some real writing for a change. Even if absolutely no one can relate to how extreme moments of stress and worry can take me to a low, but a great afternoon of work can take me to a super high, I'm simply being honest. 

I'm still learning that I have to work at my happiness, so sometimes I just need a little wake up call and reminder that finding my happy medium is just as important as making sure I get everything done that I want to accomplish. Happy medium, I've found you least temporarily.



AlliFerg said...

We have just started to run with M and it is amazing. I love it. Do you have a running leash?
Also, I know. I'm always saying "if ... then I'll find balance." Such a good reminder to have a happy medium/enjoy life rather than a checklist :)

Sarah said...

LOVED this post!! I'm totally the same way - and found this very encouraging. I tend to try and do WAY too much everyday, and it leaves me stressed. Even though I can handle it all and always get everything done, I spend most of my days stressed out. Something I'm working on :)

I'm a very emotional person as well, and I have a lot of ups and downs. I feel like I'm either happier than the average person or sadder than the average person, if that makes sense. I'm very rarely content, haha. I say I'm passionate, but my husband says I'm an emotional roller coaster LOL!

Hope you're doing good :) did you finish NaNoWriMo?!

Amy Powell said...

you're not alone at all. I'm constantly up & down... my husband is very straight-lined. so he helps me along when I'm too far up or down. and it's nice that I have that built into my life.

my "running" is usually sitting down with my journal & some music. or, honestly, sleeping. it's like a reset button.

but as a not-inherently "happy" person, I totally get the having to work at it.

thanks for sharing!!

Abbey said...

Not at all thinking you're crazy. Thinking I'm glad I follow a blogger like you who is willing to be open and share her life and who is passionate and feels things. Thank you. :)

Natalie said...

It is hard not to let our minds race with our forever "to-do list" if you find the magic potion of how to just relax and unwind please let me know! I want the new Mumford & Sons CD! Thanks for being so honest with us my friend!

Ruthie Hart said...

Im so glad you have an escape to find your happy medium....although I don't run, I love being out side to slow my mind and stop focusing on details, it's hard as women!

Krista said...

If you only knew Amanda! I'm exactly the same. Last night "all my boys" wanted me to make cookies and so I thought it would be a relaxing time making cookies and enjoying the evening and next thing you know I'm outta my mind. The boys are picking at each other and Seamus is trying to chew everything in site and Hubsy was in the basement playing xbox. I'm trying to make the cookies and the phone is ringing. To say I lost it is an understatement. I went straight from high to LOW in about 5 minutes. I told Hubsy I just don't understand why something as pleasant sounding as making cookies ends up being a stress. We still just have too much going on I think.

Wow, that was long and rambling ;) Anywho, glad you have running to bring you make to medium ground. I couldn't go for a run but I made the boys go down with Hubsy, put Seamus in his crate, and took 5 minutes to myself alone. That helped ;)

Janna Renee said...

I used to get really bad anxiety and stress, but now I have found my "happy medium" in life and it's blissful. I still worry every now and then, but it's healthy to have some stress. Writing is most definitely what helped me find my peace, so I know it will help you!

Lisa said...

Great post. Running always helps clear my mind. It's about the only time of day when I can just be by myself and think. No matter what is stressing me out or how much is on my to-do list, taking some time for ME always brings me to a better place afterward. Running is just good for the mind, soul, and body :)

Rach @ This Italian Family said...

I really like what you had to say about not being that flat line and not even wanting to be. I'm like you in that I have very strong and passionate emotions sometimes and I wouldn't want to just be the same. Glad you have found your happy medium, friend. :)

Christin said...

Love this post :)

Tesha Vann said...

You are speaking my language. Frankly 1/2 the time I'm surprised I make it from point a to b without something serious going on b/c I'm so distracted by lists and figuring out what I care about today and what I don't.
Great post. I think we all find it 'temporarily'.

Molly Jac said...

I loved reading this. Mostly because I can 500% relate. That is literally my life. My brain never stops. I am always worrying about something that is probably relatively unimportant. And I'm glad you've found your happy medium :) I am working on that at least 500 million times a day. haha. I MISS YOU! Hope you had a great weekend.