Friday, May 21, 2010

Normal Curve

It's been almost 2 months since my last post. I don't know why it's taken me so long to think of something to write, but it has. I've got little scraps of paper all over the house, in my purse, in my backpack, with ideas scribbled on them but nothing has struck me as substantial enough to write about. Not that this is the pinnacle of what I've come up with, but I feel that it is important to write something.

The last 2 months have been interesting. After running the half in Inverness, I basically stopped running. I don't know why. At first, I thought I just needed a break. My body was exhuasted and injured, so I took 2 weeks off deliberately. Then I started swimming and biking to work (not swimming to work. swimming while at work, and biking to work). I was going to do a triathalon in July, so I thought this'd be a good way to start gradually training. I did that for about 2 weeks, but it really wasn't all that fun, so I didn't stick with it regularly. And, I still didn't really want to run. I thought, maybe I need to get back to yoga. Even though the classes that I take aren't very challenging, I find that I can challenge myself with yoga. However, we only have yoga classes available twice a week, and for whatever reason, I didn't regularly sign up or go. What the heck? This is stuff that I like to do... why don't I want to do it?

Also, stuff with school has been in a weird state of suspended movement... like my work is a piece of fruit in the jello salad my grandma used to make. I keep working, keep struggling to make progress, but somehow nothing was happening. I got to work around 8:30 usually, come home between 5 and 6, and still nothing... How is that possible? what do I do all day? I know I fool around on facebook, but honestly (I swear!) it's not what I do all day. I am not depressed by this fact, just incredulous really.

Finally, Mike and I have been blessed in the last 2 months to have his mom and my dad and brother visit. This has been absolutely great. Karen's trip was great, we did some unexpected exploring, thanks to Mount Egiondoarioihallloaiwhefjnlhge in Iceland. It was wonderful to see Karen, she's such a balanced presence, and I admire her so much. Plus, she and Mike are so close, I think they bring out the best in each other. It is a beautiful thing for a wife to watch her husband be so peaceful. 

The week after Karen left, my dad and bro arrived. I thought it was going to be dad and his wife Jen, but everyone (and I mean everyone) except for me knew it wasn't Jen that was coming. Since February, it was going to be Matt. They surprised me at the airport, and I almost passed out from joy. What an awesome gift. We went all over the place exploring... it was amazing to get to know my brother a little bit better. Because we've not spent any substantial time together in ages, I really don't know him as the man he's become. I felt extremely blessed to get this time with him to get to see what he's really like. And I think, aside from being a supreme pud, he's extremely cool.

Soooo... in reflecting about the past couple months, I've realized that what I've been seeking is 'the sweet spot'. In cognition, sports, workload, many things really, there's a sweet spot. The sweet spot is the place between things being too easy that there's a performance decrement and where things are so hard, there's a performance decrement. If you look at a normal curve  you can see that there's a line in the middle- that's the performance sweet spot. By performance I mean the ability to accomplish a goal. This could be anything: learning lines for a new play, writing a thesis chapter, shooting foul shots. The point is, go to either of the extremes, and performance will decline.  Research has shown that people have individual sweet spots. What works for me, probably won't work for someone else. It's entirely personal. Research has also shown that performance can be augmented by short periods of challenge, but that if that challenge is extended for a longer period of time, performance will eventually decline.

I think that that's what's happened over the last couple of months. I've been at the physical, mental, and emotional extremes. My body was tired, my brain was tired, and my soul needed some extra attention. Spending time with family has just made it more and more apparent that in order to be the best person I can be, I need to be around family and friends. I need to allow myself to find my balance and once I've found it, to just sit there and enjoy it, wallow in it, instead of struggle against it. I am going to make an Almost Half Year Resolution: I promise to chill the f out. I promise to try to be more balanced, and to pay attention to important things and let little things go. I promise to forgive myself when I go into my 'hulk moments'.

Nice. ok. here we go.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful. Of course, there is a sweet spot in tennis. It's when you hit the ball in the exact perfect and centered spot on the racquet. You can not only feel it but you can hear it when it happens. When I played tennis, the sound of the sport was one of my favorite things.

    Being AWARE of when your are hitting your life a little off center is the most important element of personal happiness, in my opinion.

    We all do it. But when we learn to make the correction of our swing, then we LIVE.

    I am proud of you Sarah. You are wise beyond your years.