“Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results” -Albert Einstein
I heard this quote for the first time in high school. I remember the first time my father said it. He had picked it up from a self-help book he was reading and it seemed so timely, so obvious, and so true. He said it with such conviction and gusto that no doubt the delivery helped with my affection for the sentiment.
As the years have passed, I seem to always come back to it. Whenever I am unhappy in a relationship, a job, or frustrated with the limitations of my health and body, at some point I become conscious of the fact that I am repeating a thought, a behaviour, a pathology. Sometimes, it’s enough to snap me out of it, but more often, it’s not.
I hate change. I hate change, until it is thrust upon me and then I almost always flourish and grow better from it. Rationally, I know this. And yet, every time a new transition is upon me, I struggle against and through it. Plenty about this later, I’m sure.
Well it’s time for some change. I’m unhappy. Not, up at 3 am in a cold sweat unable to face tomorrow unhappy (I have been there) but quiet, crippling, stagnant, “well things could be worse”…but they could be better, unhappy. I have been for a while. Unfulfilled in my job, anxious about relationships, concerned, but acrimonious about my health, I have been living with “well, but at least I can walk today,” as a reason that I should be able to find happiness and fulfillment with the current state of my life.
It’s not working. True, I can walk today. I showered, and dressed myself, stopped for coffee on my way to the office, made it safe and sound and warm to my desk despite -30 degree weather. Things, I could not have done in 2004. And these things do feel like gifts. I am blessed, for these as well as many other reasons. But just because I feel I “should” be happy, is not proving to mean that I am in fact, happy.
And as the New Year approaches, now seems like a good time for beginnings. I am not making resolutions, but am choosing to use this time as a time for some change. They may be little…at first, and I know they’ll be some kicking and screaming, and some procrastination and woe. But let’s just say that will make it interesting, and no doubt at time entertaining – here we go!