Busier, but happier

February 9, 2012 at 12:03 pm Leave a comment

One (obvious) reason having energy is so important is that many of us have very busy lives, and need to have staying power to last us through the entire day.

In my case, although I was relatively happy while in graduate school, I am realizing that I didn’t really have the energy I needed to get me through school, work, and internships. I associate that time with being in a fog, and regularly feeling mentally, physically, and emotionally drained. Maybe that’s not fair – because I had great friends, and did feel energized spending time with them. I didn’t do it nearly enough though. Admittedly, I did have kind of a hermit like existence, so that even when I want to events, I had a hard time putting myself out there. Being drained of energy makes me more self-conscious, more hermit-like, and less able to relax and just be present in the moment.

I really did enjoy my time there: I have such a good friend from that time (I’m even in her wedding!), it was great for my career, I got to live on my own for a bit, I got to walk a lot and take public transport, etc. It was a wonderful two years. But again, I did feel drained, a lot. I don’t think it was the location that did this, by the way.  I think it was the combination of school, work, and internships, and in the last few months, looking for a job as well.

Now that I am working a full time job, and I own a home, I am at least as busy as I was before. I have a much more vibrant out-of-work life, too, which does add to my busy schedule. But, I feel more energetic (overall) and, yes, happier.

To me, that means energy is about our mental state. Trying to juggle three different, equally important, responsibilities while in graduate school was taxing. Here, my one full time job keeps me busy, but it’s one full time job. And maybe I am still in honeymooning phase, but owning a home – and the upkeep involved – has mostly been fun. And, when I get stressed about it – for example, we don’t have a lot of decorations, and the bathroom has been in the process of getting caulked for like a month now – I am very quick to remind myself that A. it doesn’t really matter in the long run, and B. this is supposed to be fun! Re-framing household projects into fun instead of stress usually works.

I’m not sure why it was hard for me to take a step back while I was in grad school. I suppose I didn’t feel at home there. I liked it, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t for me. And, importantly, I don’t regret the time I spent doing all those things. But, I feel much better being here, and I didn’t have to give up my passion for politics or sacrifice my career. That’s energizing too – I did make the right decision, and it has allowed me to feel happier and more energetic, even when I’m busy.

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Entry filed under: Sustainable Energy. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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