Carving Routines

I think I’ve been looking at things the wrong way.

All week, I have felt a keen sense of dejectedness. I have been trying so hard, working so hard, and yet I feel as though I am constantly getting dragged down. There seems to be no reward for my effort, only continuing struggle.

And it’s not horrible. There are beautiful elements to each struggle, things worth fighting for, but I must say, it is exhausting.

But this week, I was more than tired. I was unhappy. In fact, I was miserable.

And pushing towards something, working hard, has never made me miserable. It usually has the opposite effect.

This week, I didn’t feel like I was working towards a goal. I felt like I had failed. Or as if I was in the midst of fighting a losing battle. Finding the inspiration to continue was excruciatingly difficult.

Looking objectively, however, I can’t quite figure out which battle has been making me so miserable.

Without a doubt, these past few weeks have been rough on my body. But I never intended to champion that battle. The ups and downs of my condition are outside of my control. All that I can control are my responses to them, and my day to day management. And I have been excelling on all of those fronts.

It is also true that I do not currently have an exciting and well rounded life in this city. I do not have events to attend, responsibilities to uphold, or people to see on a daily or even weekly basis. I have some wonderful friends and family here, however I still spend the majority of my time alone, hiding from the heat and humidity. But I had anticipated that.

I planned to spend the summer creating a foundation. And that foundation extends beyond simply setting up a medical team.

I moved to this city 4 months before classes begin in order to develop and solidify habits. To find the best way to get my groceries, and become accustomed to the walk. To get into a comfortable cleaning schedule with my roommate. To grow used to a new gym, and get in the practice of using it daily. To create routines for cooking and laundry.

And none of those things are exciting. They are the most basic and mundane aspects of day to day living. But they are essential for success.

Just three months ago, any one of those activities was an achievement within itself. It was worthy of a bragging call to a friend or family member.

Now, I am physically capable of completing these tasks on a regular basis. But they still require effort. It’s much easier to let them slide.

If I am to be able to add on all of the exciting things that I someday hope to accomplish, I have to first make sure that I have a solid foundation. That I am not stuck eating takeout until I feel up to getting to the store. That my apartment can remain clean, even if I’m not at my best. That exercise, one of the tools in the management of my condition, is not an extra for when I have time, but part of my daily routine.

I may not be fighting an exhilarating battle. There is no enemy to conquer, no prize to be won. But I am working. I am working successfully.

And that, in itself, is exciting.