Something has been nagging me lately, leaving me feeling not quite like myself. I'm not depressed, and not unhappy per se, but just not exactly right.
It took a little birthday reflection to figure it out, but my issue is that the routine I'm in is exhausting. It's the repetition, not the difficulty, that is exhausting. I feel like week after week goes by, and nothing really happens. Granted, there are some things that are routine that I don't mind. For example, I love it when Simon comes into my office after lunch and we wrestle on the bed. That kind of thing never gets old, and I know it won't last either.
Some of the boring routine is rooted in work, certainly. I'm not particularly crazy about the position I have now, though I'm being proactive in trying to change it. The problem right now is that I'm not in a place where I have the authority to move things forward, truly exercising my experience, and the scope of my influence is limited. People are listening, but they're not obligated to act. I'm not in a role where I'm participating in the creation of any process or product; it's more like I'm triaging the failures of others. It has no obvious result.
My free time is too often spent dicking around on the Internet. I'm not spending much time reading or writing, listening to music, writing code, learning new things, etc. I'm not sure how to account for this exactly, other than perhaps attributing the lack of drive to the mental exhaustion of work (or its apparent lack of satisfying results). This too, I'm getting more proactive about. I'm close to shipping another version of my forum app, and a major new feature to CoasterBuzz. I have a OneNote I keep going back to with script ideas, too. I even have new direction for my blog-aggregate book idea. Tennis, while not frequent, has me getting to know my body again.
I think the bigger dull feeling comes from location itself. Since I work from home, I don't really go anywhere other than lunch. I like the arrangement, but it would be nice to go to an office once or twice a week, just to get out. That my house is symbolic of so many things that have frustrated me certainly doesn't help. I desperately miss Seattle, which is the thing that Diana and I still can't get a handle on.
This last part I think is the thing really making me wacky, and while I'm actively doing stuff to correct the other problems, this part is harder. I've had great bursts of energy from our recent travel. The short weekend in Chicago and the trip to NC and TN helped energize me. I'd like to make trips like that more frequently, but I've become a bit of a miser lately. I think our next big trip will be to Seattle, which we probably should start planning very soon.
Some of this routine fatigue is undoubtedly the result of me concentrating on some long-term goals, which can at times obscure the moment. I don't think that's entirely horrible, provided you don't live your entire life that way. You don't want to be on your death bed and realize you missed your own life, but at the same time, it's helpful to understand what kind of moments you want to have on a regular basis. We don't often think about it in those more abstract terms. We think more about, "I want to make this much money, have this job, have this kind of relationship, etc." I think it's more constructive to think about what you'd like to be doing, what you want your routine and moments to be, and then build that other stuff around making those moments happen.
Sometimes, just working that out is enough to break you of that exhausting feeling.