On Sunday night, we arrived home from a weekend away to discover that our hot water heater wasn't working properly, and since we have radiant heat, that means, not just no hot water, but no heat either.
I saw it as an adventure to be embraced.
It would be like during my childhood, when we used to go to a cabin on a lake, with no heat. We all slept in the one room with the fireplace, and would cut a hole in the ice-covered lake to get water to flush the toilet.
My sense of adventure with our current heat issue didn't last, though. I noticed it started to dwindle as the cold started to seep in partway through the workday on Monday. I borrowed a portable heater from a neighbor and holed up in the kitchen with the door closed.
The idea of boiling water on the stove in order to take a warm bath, in a cold bathroom also didn't inspire me. I ended up showering at a friend's yesterday.
In reflecting on this moment alongside others, I see a pattern that dates back decades.
I am often an enthusiastic starter to all sorts of ideas and projects, then shortly, thereafter, it starts to wane a bit, before I finally finish with mediocre energy levels.
I seem to hit pause, part-way in, when I realize that perhaps it's not going to be as adventurous or fun as I thought, but then I am too stubborn not to finish, so I eventually muster the energy to finally see it through. (Will I ever get around to finishing hanging the pictures on our walls?)
I remember when I first ran a marathon, I went out at a break-neck pace, running a 6:30 mile for the first 6 miles. But I couldn't keep it up, and had to slow WAY, WAY down, walking a good portion of the middle bit, until finally mustering up the energy to finish. In the end, it took me just under 5 hours to complete, despite my super fast start.
If I were to draw a graph, with energy/enthusiasm on the vertical axis, and time on the horizontal axis, it would look like the letter "N" slightly tilted, with the second upward line not going quite so high or so straight.
What do you notice about your energy level and enthusiasm with new projects? What shape would it make?
Originally posted on LinkedIn with comments.
Reed Deeper Not Faster
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I am Theresa Destrebecq (I dare you to try to pronounce it...)