Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Doing Better

Years ago, I was at a training of some sort, and the comment was made that life is a series of relapses.  It is an interesting concept, and one that I think holds true. And, it does not necessarily apply to drug use or alcohol use, or even illness, although that is the context in which we usually think of relapse.

We go through periods of taking really good care of ourselves physically, then we slack off.  We might diet very carefully, then not pay attention to what we eat, or we gain back weight we lost, or eat the wrong foods, or too little food.  We may have episodes of insomnia in our lives, then we sleep well.  We may exercise regularly, then for some reason, do not have the time, mental or physical energy, or have ill health that interferes with exercising.

The list is endless: we may be diligent about housework, then decide something else is more important. We may have a garden one year, and decide not to worry about the yard and garden the next.  We may become involved in a craft, but then lose interest.  We may study for a degree or pleasure, then decide not to tax our brain.  We may follow sports very closely, then decide to put our time elsewhere. Or, we become discouraged by the performance of a once winning team that is now in a losing cycle.  We may be very active in our community, and then we may decide we have had enough.

I am not sure if life is a series of relapses, but it seems to me, we do cycle a great deal.  And, knowing this, we can expect that there are times in our lives when we are in a down cycle. And, in an up cycle.  

And, being in a down cycle does not mean we are at rock bottom, just we are not doing as well as we would like.  Just like being in an up cycle does not mean we have "arrived," just that we are doing better. So, in a down cycle, we know we can work to turn the corner, and go up. As with when we are doing better, maybe it is the best we can hope for, but that is not so bad. And, we can try not to start a down spin.

Maybe thinking in terms of life going in cycles can give us a perspective on where we are today, and where we would like to be; what part of the cycle we are in, and what we can do to correct or maintain it.


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