my self-prescribed "let it ride" month: December 2013

my self-prescribed “let it ride” month: December 2013

I have learned the hard way that a career in personal training can be wildly cyclical. There may be crazy busy weeks with lots of sessions and inspiring opportunities, but they almost always are balanced out by a week or two of last-minute cancellations and a more empty schedule. This kind of lifestyle is quite a far cry from the days when I had a corporate 9-to-5 job, so the adjustment has been…interesting to say the least.

When I find myself in these lulls and with more free time, I typically throw myself into brainstorming where I’m falling short, how I can pick it up, what goal I can try to crush next. I always come up with grand schemes that would be lucrative and cash-generating but require a lot of leg work I kind of know nothing about. This perpetual state of pushing forward, thinking of the possibility has exhausted me.

Over the weekend I noticed that I was feeling anxious again, a familiar feeling from days past. When I’m overthinking things and throwing myself in a tailspin of self-deprecating thoughts, I always start feeling anxious, that unsettling feeling that I’m not doing enough, not accomplishing enough.

Call it the curse of the Type-A personality, but I have a hard time just accepting things for what they are. I am painfully aware of what others think of me, and I often am left wondering what impression I made. Constantly comparing myself to others and their successes can be a pointless circle with no end, but I throw myself into it day in and day out.

While exercising the other day, I had a thought. Maybe we don’t always have to strive for the next big thing.

(I have to interject with the fact that I’m extremely lucky that my husband has a stable full-time job that can afford me and my slower periods of work. Without him I’d probably end up as a troll living under a bridge.)

Instead of tearing myself down each time I have a free morning, maybe I should take some time to sit back and appreciate the time I’ve spent training the dog, sewing curtains, blogging, etc. Maybe I should lighten up on myself for a little, take a breather. It’s not like I’m not making any money. I’m still employed, still have clients. I just have a unique kind of schedule that is hard for me to accept. This kind of free time obviously won’t happen every day, especially when the thought of having kids comes along, so shouldn’t I take advantage? Am I selfish?

Is it so bad to NOT want to hit a goal all the time?

I’ve decided to plan ahead. Yup, I’m so Type-A that I’m planning my relaxation period a month in advance. I have declared (to myself) that December 2013 is going to be my “let it ride” month, to just work without thinking of the next thing, let go of goals, and really appreciate the here and now. With the holidays and all that come along with it, I think it’s the perfect time to kick off my shoes, take a seat, and realize that I don’t have to be pushing forward all. the. time.

What do you guys think? In a society where success is all we focus on and overachieving is admired, is it really so bad to just say screw it all and take a breather? Or is that considered laziness? Being a spoiled brat? Sitting on your laurels?

Would you do a “let it ride” month?