Keep on keeping on

I started 2017 by making some resolutions. (I’m not going to share them now but if you’re interested, here are my resolutions from last year.) However, the start of the year has been crazy busy. I feel stressed out and anxious, like I’m hanging on by a thread. Like I’m constantly at breaking point.

Last week, I started a new full-time job that I love. But it’s a big change from the freelance work I’ve done for the past couple of years, which afforded me large pockets of time to focus on personal projects.

I’m also training intensely for three marathons this spring. I want to cut my marathon P.B. time down, and I’m following a training plan that involves running ~100km per week for 12 weeks. It takes a lot of time. And I also need to rest properly so that I can do the training. And rest also takes time.

On top of that, my other resolutions include a bunch of creative projects that require time. Time that I simply can’t find at the moment.

As everything mounts up, I feel like dropping it all. Like watching Netflix every night with a beer in my hand. Like coming home and lazing around and not thinking about any of these resolutions. I feel like settling for an easy life.

But I know I don’t want that. Not deep down. I want to move forwards, to grow, to get better. And that’s not easy. But I know it’s what I have to do in order to create the life that I want, with all the components that make for a rich, fulfilled existence. We only get a handful of days, and I’m trying to number mine.

So I set the alarm. Wake up. Do the early morning run. Work hard. Go home. See friends. Try to make small inroads with another project, even if it’s simply sending an email or writing a few lyrics. Go to bed in good time. Get up. Start again. This it it.

I read so many posts from people on Medium who are doing things that I want to do — whether it’s reading loads of books, starting a business, or training for something. Often, they make it sound easy. Like you’re a dummy if you’re reading their words and can’t implement them yourself.

But sometimes, improving things — getting better — isn’t easy. It’s damn hard work. It’s back-breaking. It hurts. It feels impossible. If you feel that way, I’m there with you. I’m trying to move forwards and I’m finding it hard. There are moments of light at the end of the tunnel — like the 27km run I did on Sunday that felt easier, and was quicker, than the last one — but they’re few and far between. To have the good days, you have to endure the bad days. That’s the trade-off. That’s the deal.

One of my resolutions this year is to write something on Medium every month. I’d like to write more but, again, I’m balancing it with a load of other stuff that’s important to me. And as January drew to a close, I didn’t know what to write for the month. I felt empty, like I had nothing to say. So this is all I can share — that I’m trying, and that sometimes trying isn’t as easy as the pithy listicles and quotable one-liners that do the rounds. Sometimes, trying is really, really hard.

I’m writing this to you, sitting on the sofa with a beer in hand. I’m hoping that February will be easier. Until then, I guess we have to keep on keeping on — and hope that our efforts will be worth something.