8. What is a Fulfilling Life?

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Personally, I find the whole concept of living each day to the fullness super stressful. First of all, what does that mean? For an logical overachiever like me, most of the time I am just confused about how to excel at this concept. Does it mean you have to be happy every second of the day? Does it mean you have to find some joy in each day? What if it is just a mundane and boring day, am I still living my “best life?” Maybe it is like a math equation. Fulfillment is calculated, not by the average happiness of the day, but by the overall average of happiness in the year.

Let’s face it. Even in a job that you enjoy, there is no way that you can find it fulfilling everyday. I find that the five day work week can get super monotonous. You get up at the same time, you brush your teeth, and then try to rush out the door to make it to work on time. I mean, there are some jobs where there is more variety. In my case, I wouldn’t say my job is like the movie, Groundhog Day, where everyday just repeats itself. However, there is still a sense of routine in my line of work. There will be tasks that I deal with everyday even though it might be with different people and situations.

For someone with anxiety, routine is extremely helpful for me. However, do I find it always fulfilling? Not necessarily. I really love most aspects of my job, but I don’t enjoy it at all times. Even the things I love to do can get boring and monotonous over time. Moreover, since you are being paid, you have to do it even though you are not “feeling it” that day. Obviously, I understand if there was no time schedule, maybe nothing will get done though. So how do I get fulfillment when I don’t feel like working that day? I have no answer to this except that I keep plugging along and most days I feel content at work, and even fulfilled. Sometimes, I wonder though, if it would be better to be self-employed and have more than one job. I mean, as people, we are multi-faceted and have different hobbies and interests. Why can’t our jobs be like that too?

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7. Does Fun + Stress = Happy?

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Last week could be summed it in a few words: pure fun and exhaustion. Why is that often the “funnest” things can also be the most tiring? What would you choose? Doing something that is great fun and great stress or something that is great fun and no stress. The obvious choice would be do something that is fun and not stressful. However, somehow doing something that is fun and stressful usually gives me more satisfaction overall. For example, this event I planned ran for three days, and I was just physically and mentally exhausted at the end, but I just felt so happy that completed it! For me, that feeling of satisfaction is worth the stress and anxiety I endured. “Coasting” along in life is fun, but finally finding that place where you feel happy and fulfilled is even more fun.

Last week also made me think about “being busy.” Since I have anxiety, I often try to balance work with rest. Usually on days off, I will focus on “me time.” I like to spend hours by myself, not talking to anyone. For some people, this may sound absolutely horrifying, but silence really always my brain to relax and reset. I am a complete lover of my own company. For me, this last week, has felt the complete opposite. Every day felt like “go, go, go.” I didn’t have a minute at work to even let my brain chill out. It felt like it was constantly “buzzing.” Weirdly though, my brain was so occupied with just completing the task at hand, that I had no time to ruminate over my anxiety as much. That is perhaps why my doctor insists that I don’t take time off work because it can sometimes help my anxiety.