I never took New Year’s resolutions seriously. But this year I have one.

new year's resolutions art journal page

Racing cars and hyper-focus

You see, I’m kind of a formula-1 racing car. I carefully engineer my plans and then I take off in a dash, leaving people amazed at the speed and noise with which I go. This kind of productivity is made possible by a hyper-focus mode which deepens and intensifies my concentration and pushes away any needs in favor of that focus. Those are the days that my daughter’s return from school catches me by surprise  because only then do I realize I lost track of the clock and totally forgot about lunch or any other needs. Days like that can easily string into periods of weeks at a time in which I get a lot done.

Pit stops and gravel traps

But, as with most racing cars, I need to make a lot of pit stops to repair damage and refuel. And, quite to my embarrassment, I often land in the gravel traps. Worn out to the bone, the ultra-productive weeks take their toll with one or two weeks of physical misery. Then a fatigue knocks at my door so deep that I sometimes fear it will drag me under the pavement in the back yard. Then stray viruses bite themselves a way into my flesh, periods refuse to wait for their time and weaknesses blow themselves up into undeniable proportion because my body won’t resist anyway.

The amount of energy it takes to get back on a roll after crashing is unspeakable. Starting up costs way more energy than driving.

Steam trains

I met quite a few steam trains over the years. People who are the perfect opposite of me in life and work. They take time to do things and have no trouble resolving to do something ‘some time’. Or the week after. And they have the audacity to take time for family, friends, hobbies, long baths, days out and such luxuries. Stuck inside my own frame of reference I used to think that such a laid back way of working wouldn’t get them far. But now, a few years later, studies have been finished, new career paths have been trodden and new companies are up and running. In other words, the steam trains got as far as I did. But with one big difference: they took things easy, enjoyed life more, stayed in the race with a pit stop or two and managed all of that without crashing. So in the end, they didn’t spend half the amount of energy I did to get just as far.

Lesson learned, resolution made

So, being a steam train isn’t that bad after all, it seems. It’s impossible to change one’s character, but I’ve seen enough gravel the past years. So this year I’m going to try and say bye-bye to my inner racing car and embrace my inner steam train instead!

I’m curious; what new-year’s resolutions did you make?