….but we are all fabulous.
I haven’t posted anything for a while – it’s marking season and since most of it is done online, there is little appeal to spending extra time on a computer unless absolutely necessary.
When in the middle of marking season it is easy to feel frustrated at the lack of progress one is able to make on almost all other fronts – book writing, research, personal goals, exercise etc. However, I recently came across this quote by Epicurus which I am finding helpful:
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”
This really resonated with me. When I was promoted to Senior Lecturer a couple of years ago, instead of taking time to celebrate, properly and enjoy my achievement, I downloaded the criteria for promotion to Professor and started to assess how I measured up against them and what I needed to do next. When I get a paper published or worse still can’t find time to write because of other work pressures, I fret about how fast I am achieving what I want to achieve. My OH and I want to move house but have no time to do this until early next year and I chafe against this restriction, thinking about how much I’d like a nicer view or an extra room. And when I lose weight I forget to rejoice but calculate how much closer this brings me to the total.
Now there are many things that could be improved about the way I approach life as this paragraph suggests, not least that I should be grateful for the many things I have that others do not, but the quote above really helps to focus that gratitude in a personal way.
11 years ago I didn’t have a permanent job, I didn’t have any publications, I was in a destructive relationship, I didn’t own a home or have a car and while I was certainly lighter in body, that was courtesy of a rather unhealthy relationship with food, alcohol and exercise partially facilitated by the bad boyfriend.
It is too easy to focus on what I would like to be different – living somewhere more scenic, more time to do research, and so on, but 11 years ago, I spent my time aspiring to achieve many of the things I have achieved and I would have seen my current self as a success!
If I am lucky, my life will turn out to be a marathon and not a sprint. I will achieve many more things but the greatest achievement would be to learn to appreciate where I am today and the bounty that surrounds me.