Inertia [in-ur-shuh, ih-nur-], noun: the property of a matter by which it retains its state of rest or its velocity along a straight line so long as it is not acted upon by an external force
During the past couple of months, my life has been an object lesson on the power of inertia. When I looked at my giant white board on May 1st, I just didn’t see how we would make it to June 26th with our brains and bodies intact! There was so much on our plates, including:
I committed to doing my workouts in the evening (which I HATE) so that I could maximize my creative time in the mornings. I was waking up at 3:15 a.m. and launching into my days, working hard (if not necessarily smart), getting shit done, checking all the boxes, falling into bed at 9 p.m. and then doing it all over again the next day.
To say that I felt like a hamster on a wheel is an understatement, but it was necessary for the short term – we were all working like crazy people. And, astonishingly, everything got accomplished and all the events were brilliant… the book is finished and proofs are on the way… I’m eagerly awaiting Module 7 of my IIN program which unlocks next Monday… the Your Brave Mind programs have really been awesome and we have gotten terrific feedback on them… daughter #2 is graduated, employed, and has a new apartment… training is going much better than I expected after a fairly significant break… and we are happily ensconced in our beautiful riverfront condo.
WE DID IT!
I really didn’t notice how tired I was. I was in a routine, doing what I do – getting up early and getting all the things done. Deb actually said to me more than once, “How are you doing it?” I didn’t know HOW… I just WAS.
Then, last Friday, Deb went to Maryland to visit daughter #1 before she heads to Hawaii for 2 years to pursue her Master’s degree. My instructions upon her departure were clear: RELAX and ENJOY yourself!
I didn’t even know how to process those instructions, but I was committed to following them because I knew I needed a break… BADLY!
I spent 5 days essentially away from my desk. I ran a 4-mile beach race and went for a 30+ mile bike ride with Megan down the Canaveral Seashore on Saturday (which was amazing), then we went to brunch (which was even MORE amazing), and I spent the rest of the day on the sofa watching Harry Potter movies. I went to bed on Saturday night and did not set an alarm… And I SLEPT… and SLEPT… and SLEPT! I woke up on Sunday feeling drugged and disoriented. What day was it? Where the hell was I? Am I late for something?
No! I’m “RELAXING!” RIGHT!
The interesting thing was that the more I “relaxed,” the more exhausted I felt. I napped throughout the day, went to bed pretty early, and slept 12 hours.
I texted Deb the next day and asked what was wrong with me.
I had invoked Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion – INERTIA! I stopped moving… and the longer I wasn’t moving, the more I wanted to just stay still… and not move. I had no motivation to much of anything but sit on the couch and watch movies.
So I did what any sane person would do…
I messaged my friend, Megan, and asked if she wanted to do an impromptu 25/2 brick on Tuesday morning. Always up for fun, she agreed. It turned out to be one of the best rides I’ve had in a long, long time!
I broke the inertia. This morning I was back at my desk early and I feel really, really good.
We all need rest periods. There can be no recovery without it. Our minds get fuzzy and the details start to slip our awareness. I become VERY forgetful.
I think it’s important to recognize when a rest cycle is called for, but I’m really bad at it. I love hard work and the more challenging the task, the better I like it. But, after this weekend, I realize that even I cannot go full speed ahead 24/7/365.
However, I see the fallout of uncontrolled inertia all around me. There are so many people out there who are stuck in their ruts like they are super-glued in place.
All it takes is a baby step to break the grip of inertia, but first, you have to become aware that you are in its clutches – and that’s a really scary place for a lot of people. It was a scary place for me 7 years ago. Baby steps… And if you need a kick in the pants, give me a call!
How do you break the inertia? Just do something different! Get off the hamster wheel! Change up your routine – even if only in some small way. It will make your conscious mind sit up and take notice, and then, once you’re noticing, you can take more baby steps… And if you need a kick in the pants, give me a call!
We’ve got this!