Do you ever struggle with a super type-A personality? I know my tendency is to calendar everything, create a spreadsheet and track.track.track. And then one day I get so fed up with tracking I want to set fire to every notebook, to-do list and training plan and THROW THEM OUT THE FRIGGIN’ WINDOW. Yes, my Saturday was that melodramatic.
I could give into this urge and give up my excel sheets, google docs and evernotes. And perhaps I will take a little break from all this documenting. But, I still need to do the things I’m tracking. I’m taking the PMP exam in 4 weeks, my half marathon is 7 weeks away, I start Best Body Bootcamp Round 4 this week (for the next 8 weeks), I’m doing this crazy allergen-free diet for 3 weeks (and possibly longer if I discover an allergy) and I’ve got an entire 2013 life plan tentatively scripted out, waiting to be acted on one month at a time. Control freak or ambitiously organized? You decide.
Holy overload. When did I get so committed? Better question, WHY did I get so committed? How did I wake up in spreadsheet-land (again)?
When I started thinking about 2013 goals and intentions, I chose Discovery as my focus word. Then, 5 days into the New Year, I was kicking myself – thinking I was going about “discovering” the wrong way. In my head, I’d painted a picture of discovery with words like revelation, unearthing, stumbling upon, awakening. In my mind, scripting and planning and training just didn’t mesh. Crap, I am screwing up my own intention!
To wrap my head around this, I sought out the all knowing google for a definition of discovery. Wanted to see what I was working with.
Discover: to see, get knowledge of, learn of, find, or find out; to notice or realize
Then to the thesaurus. Here I found a particularly interesting note:
The word discover goes back to Latin dis- and cooperire, meaning ‘to remove the covering; completely uncover.’ By 1553, it was used to mean ‘seeing or gaining knowledge of something previously unknown’ and ‘finding out; bringing to light.’ You discover (‘uncover’) something that is already there, something that has existed but is generally unknown – you invent something that has never existed before.
When I read this, something clicked and I started to feel better. Feel better about my schedule, my focus, my plan. I wasn’t doing it wrong at all! Discovery isn’t about making new, it’s about digging deep and seeing what things are already made of. Questioning. Pushing limits. Getting uncomfortable. Turns out I knew this when I completed the Unraveling the Year Ahead workbook, but I’d already let my mind wander away.
I realized that in the commitments I am making, I am taking action to discover things about myself. Things that are already there, but unknown to me. The long runs aren’t for nothing. In addition to making sure I can finish the half marathon without dying, they are also serving a purpose of discovery. Discovering how far I can go, how hard I can push myself, how willing I am to make adjustments and changes based on what my body is telling me.
I don’t feel so bad anymore. The goals and commitments can stay. The tracking and analyzing and stressing can go.