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A blog - but let's make this a group discussion!

Giving Up

Have you ever just reached a point with something where you decide you’ve had enough? You just don’t feel like fighting or struggling anymore? You are just *so* completely tired and worn with the effort and exertion of trying to achieve something that you decide you’re done?

That’s where I am at the moment.

Disclaimer: To all of my arm-chair psychoanalysts out there, no this is not some kind of a cry for help. There is no need to raise any kind of an alarm. I am not going to put my children in a car and Thelma and Louise us all. First of all, do you know how far it is to get to the Grand Canyon? And in a car with kids no less??? Second, I am way too awesome to not exist. This is a simple commentary. Got it? Good.

I’ve talked before about dreams. For those unfamiliar with me and dreams, I dream…A LOT. Like not a quick snippet or a flash kind of dream. I’m talking full-length, Hollywood style motion pictures. Usually in color – not that I remember them in color, I actually dream in color most of the time. Most nights I remember them in vivid detail. My dreams have guided me many times in my writing, or just to work out a problem. Sometimes a problem I’m not even aware is bothering me.

But like most people, my dreams also are a place where my heart’s wishes play themselves out. Sometimes with wonderful success, other times with abysmal failures. Always intriguing. Never to be repeated. Which is a total bummer because sometimes I’d really like a repeat performance.

Lately, my dreams are…stunted. I keep having dreams that get interrupted suddenly, leaving me to wake up, heart racing, breathing fast and unable to focus. The worst part of these dreams though is I can’t figure out what they’re about. They fade away as fast as they come on. This is so incredibly unusual for me I’m finding it completely disconcerting, and have been struggling to find a reason why, with no success.

Tonight, however, I think I may have put my finger on part of the problem. Part of me has been having hope that frankly I need to squash. Ok, now I know that sounds pretty harsh. And it is, but at the same time it isn’t.

Because I have a rather creative mind and tend to write stories and think 10, 20, 50 steps down any particular path that my mind happens to be on, I have a nasty habit of having hopes rise up based more on those steps than on anything going on in reality. Sometimes reality matches up with the storyline in my head, but often it doesn’t. When it doesn’t, in walks disappointment, hurt and sadness. Those are then followed rather quickly by judgment and self-flagellation as I realize that so much of the negative emotions are caused not by what happened in reality, but by what didn’t happen according to my mind’s predictions.

Frankly, it’s exhausting.

I have been trying on some level to live more in the moment, to take situations as they come, to live one day at a time (because two or three at a time isn’t possible according to Sandra Bullock*). I’m realizing tonight that I’ve not been entirely successful in this endeavor and that I need to step back perhaps and into my Relax, Relate, Release mentality.

The truth of the matter is that we all have hopes, wishes and dreams. We all have things we would like to see come to fruition, plans we’ve made that we want to see put into motion, dreams we want to come true. Unfortunately we are not always in control of our destiny. Sometimes, some things are just completely out of our control. And in those situations, it actually is ok to Give Up.

You are not a failure. You have not lost some mighty war. In fact, what you have done in that situation is to accept that not everything you hope and plan for is what is supposed to happen. And while it may be less than desirable, it doesn’t mean something better isn’t coming your way. It just means things are different than you thought they would be. But that’s okay too.

I’m not by any means saying you Give Up on all your hopes and dreams and wishes and desires. What I *am* saying is that it is okay sometimes to give up on an existing path or plan, even if you don’t have a new one in sight yet. Sometimes you have to let go and Give Up on where you are in order to make room for the next great adventure.

You all know I’m very fond of platitudes, and this is one of my favorites because it encompasses the concept of going with the good and bad that come along in your world:

Life is too short to wake up with regrets.

Love the people who treat you right.

Forget about the ones who don’t.

Believe that everything happens for a reason.

If you get a chance, take it.

If it changes your life, let it.

Nobody said life would be easy.

They just promised it would be worth it.

*Oh, the Sandra Bullock reference? In the movie 28 Days she says “I am so tired by the way you people talk. You know, I mean, "one day at a time." What is that? I mean, like two, three days at a time is an option?”

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