“I don’t know why I go to extremes. Too high or too low there ain’t no in-betweens.”
Way, way back in the 1900s, Billy Joel wrote and sang those words that I am now showing my age by quoting. I feel like a lot of people can relate though. And while Billy may not know why he goes to extremes, I do! (Well, I may not know his case in particular because, despite the fact that I pretend to be on a first-name basis with him, I don’t know him at all. But I know why people generally go to extremes.) It’s because extremes are way easier than the “in-betweens.”
While I feel like I could write a whole other thing on how finding balance in every area of life is incredibly difficult but ultimately the healthiest place to be (and maybe I will someday), I’m going to skip all of the general stuff and go right to the specific example that will set up my whole, awesome premise for what you're about to read. The example here can be summed up in one word: commitment. Many people seem to end up on either the extreme of being committed to something so blindly that they can’t see that it might not be the best thing for them, or the other extreme of being so entitled that they go from thing to thing until they find that magical place or person that will be perfect and solve all of their problems. (SPOILER ALERT: That’s not a thing.)
I want to focus on the first group. The committed. The die-hards. Mostly because this is where I’ve found myself on multiple occasions and where I continually find friends, family and random strangers I meet pretty much everywhere. (Also because, I have a hard time not wanting to smack the people at the other extreme upside the head.) The hard part is, we often don’t even realize that this is where we are until it’s either too late or until we’ve put enough distance between ourselves and our situation to gain perspective. (At which time, I suppose, it’s too late. So… those are the same things I guess.)
In any case, that’s why I’m writing this. "It Might Be #Time2MoveOn" is for those of us who get so into things... so committed... that we sometimes miss the obvious signs that it's time for us to move on to something else. I can't tell you how many times I've uttered the phrase, "I stayed way too long!" after finally realizing that either a) I was in a situation that was less than healthy for me or b) there was another opportunity knocking that was a better fit for me. Looking back, I realize how hard it is to have good perspective when we're in the middle of a situation. I want to help us be able to get that perspective BEFORE it’s too late! After all, that’s when we can actually do something useful and take positive steps to change our situations.
A few caveats:
- I’m not trying to tell anyone what they should do. I do not want that kind of responsibility. I’m simply hoping to help people get some perspective and ask good questions that will help them to make good decisions. (That’s why it’s called “It MIGHT be #Time2MoveOn” and not “Quit Your Job, Dump Your Girlfriend and Other Decisions You Should Make Immediately.”)
- I’m also NOT advocating being a quitter. A quitter is someone who just gives up easily and generally doesn’t care much about things. On the contrary… I encourage caring deeply about things. However, this has to be balanced with caring for yourself and just being smart. I firmly believe that if you don’t care for yourself, it won’t matter how much you care for other things or people since you’ll be burnt out and living in a van down by the river. And what can you do then? (Besides being a motivational speaker, of course.)
- I feel like the question I’m most often going to get because of writing this is, “If one of these things is true, does that mean I should move on?” My answer… “maybe.” Also, “use the brain God gave you and figure it out for yourself. I’m not going to be responsible for your decisions… bad or good. They’re yours. Let’s keep it that way.”
- As I’ve spent some time working on this, I’ve found a number of themes that are common to these scenarios. Those are the words that are in bold. Usually there will be one for each entry. Sometimes there will be two. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even go crazy and have one that features three bolded words! (Now I’m living on the edge!)
- I made the title a hashtag because hashtags are cool and I’m cool and I want everyone to know it. (Also because I wanted to be able to post about this on social media and having a hashtag as your title simplifies that a whole bunch!)
- I like the word “caveat” a great deal. In reality, it’s why this list is here. I just wanted to use it. I think it makes me sound smart.
Each of these entries will lay out another common scenario. They’re all based on experiences I’ve had or have been brought into through someone I've met along the way. They’re also mostly focused on workplace or career situations, but with a little brainpower, can easily be applied to friendships and romantic relationships as well. Some of them might only be a page (or less) in length. Others may have great stories or examples to go along with them. (The names and places will have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.) I’ll try to keep it brief though. (No need to prattle on endlessly like I’m dangerously close to doing right now.) At the end of each, ask yourself, “Does any of this resonate with my current reality?” And then, when you say “no,” (because you’re such a good-hearted, loyal person who doesn’t want to see reality) ask someone else who knows your situation if they think it resonates with your reality. (Remember: perspective!)
This brings me to one last point before we jump into this: Don't do this alone. As I mentioned before, it's VERY difficult to have a realistic perspective on a situation when you're in the middle of it. Find objective people (or at least a person) you trust to run this stuff by. (Just to be clear, an "objective person" is someone who doesn't stand to gain or lose anything by whichever decision you make. Find someone who has no vested interest in your decision except for wanting you to be happy and healthy.) And don't just dismiss what they have to say because you can't see it from their perspective. I've found that when I do that, most of the time I end up realizing that they were right all along.
So, that’s about it. Now, you’re ready. At least, I think you are. (If it turns out you’re not, make sure to let me know so I can feel really good about myself.) Get going!