Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Mid-Life Crisis

A mid-life crisis—the time in a person’s life where they all of the sudden feel like they need to “find themselves again.” For some, that means buying the hot sports car they have always dreamed of owning. For others, it is taking on a new hobby such as yoga, origami, or model trains.


I, Becky Sullivan, am currently going through a mid-life crisis! Ok, yes I am only 21 going on 22, but perhaps some of us mature a little fast (yea, I’ll use my maturity as my excuse, ha ha). This summer has been for some reason a time where I have suddenly been forced to discover what is it I really enjoy.


They say us American’s work too hard, don’t know how to really enjoy the pleasures of life, and if we do, afterwards we have an overwhelming sense of guilt for doing so! Since working at Cargill, I have found that my days are spent working, then at 5 o’clock the night is mine. Usually I am tiered because all I have done is sit around—which in return does nothing for my energy level but make me want to sleep. However, I have noticed all of the sudden once my day is in my control; I don’t know what to do with myself. If I’m being good I will work-out for an hour, and then return home for dinner. Somedays I will treat myself to a little TV, such as the bachelorette (about the only show I follow, girlie, yes).


Last night I was sitting there, laptop in front of me on e-mail, watching my TV show, book of curriculum I need to memorize to my left on the couch, and then it hit me. I can’t just sit there and enjoy something.  


It is sad, but the truth. I am incapable of even sitting and watching a TV show without attempting to feel productive in the process. Good job Becky. You have identified a major problem you have. Now what?


Well isn’t that a good question! What to do now? The first thing that came to my mind is: Well Becky, you have three summer goals you set for yourself that you still haven’t accomplished. You should be working harder on those and stop sitting here on your computer!


Good thought…yet I still wasn’t pleased. Perhaps the reason I haven’t accomplished those goals yet is because they are seen in my subconscious as work, not fun. After working from 8am to 5pm every day, the last way I want to spend my nights is doing more! So no, this is not my solution—yet still something to keep in the back of my mind in the BIG picture of things.


Alright, well what is it you really enjoy doing? Dancing, photography, being outside, good start. Why aren’t you doing those?


Another good question! Why am I not doing those??? Is it because I don’t have people to go and do them with me? Yes, that is probably part of it. Why else? After laying in bed pondering the answer to this very question I think I have my answer. The root of my problem is that I have trained myself to be desensitized to what I truly gain pleasure from. Over the past few years, I have trained my mind to be set in work mode 100% of the time. Good if you are a piece of machinery in a manufacturing plant of some sort, BAD if you are human!


There is my crisis. At age 21 I am seeking to “find myself again.” The first step, turning the computer off and walking out the door. Sounds simple, but if only you knew how much time I spent on a computer, whether on e-mail, facebook, cnn.com, looking up facts for a project, writing outlines for new projects, preparing for organization events I’m in charge of this fall, etc.


You only get one summer of 2009. Just one. How will you spend it? I must admit, mine has been excellent in the career aspect! I’ve learned so much working for Cargill, had the opportunity to travel with work, and even do some networking with dinners and lunches. Yet, on the personal, “that was a AWESOME summer” side, not so much.


Here is what I am going to do. I’m making a list of all the things I love to do, and WILL do this week. Thus far my list reads this: 1) long walk at a park, 2) dancing, 3) talking to friends on the phone for hours, 4) taking pictures, and 5) read my new book in a cool coffee shop. My goal will be to accomplish this list of five by the end of this week. Spend one night taking pictures around town. Spend some time having a “private dance party” in our sweet duplex. I can already check off the walk in the park, did that this morning at 5:15am (not sure if I can pull that one off ever morning). Each day I will be sure to check one of these pleasures off my list—and enjoy them!


The summer is not over yet! You still have most of July and August! Take what time you have left and make sure you do what you truly enjoy during the summer of 2009—you only get one!



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