I want to talk to you about killing time. Aimless. No motivation. Avoidance behaviours (in my case, they include comfort eating and shopping). Another way of describing this state is LIMBO.
My partner and I aren’t co-habiting yet. We are planning to move in together during 2020. In the meantime, we live a few hours apart, and see each other at weekends and holidays away together. Some of you might say “Bliss!”. And for the two of us, the response would be “Hell”. With an acceptance of reality and a positive outlook for what is to come.
This has been our reality for a while, and in 2020, I’ve noticed a change for me. It coincided with an unexpectedly quiet start to my year. I suddenly had time on my hands. I’ve let go of some old commitments with the intention of welcoming new work and opportunities into my life. My word for 2020 is Texture, I want my year to be all about Texture. I had all this time on my hands to move forward: to declutter the house, declutter unhelpful patterns of behaviour, declutter my diary. And so on.
With the ebb and flow of each week, I noticed that I wasn’t doing anything. In fact, I was avoiding doing anything. I was killing time by spending money I don’t have and eating food that doesn’t help me. And not moving towards my intention for 2020, and building a more textured life. I have spent a lot of time navel-gazing and trying to work out what’s going on. And realising that the killing time behaviour is due to the limbo I am feeling. Together-apart-together-apart. And an underlying sense of emotional unsafety as a consequence, for me.
Limbo, as you may know, is the space between purgatory and hell (according to the Catholic Church). One is trapped in it. And you know exactly what it feels like. Aimless. Choiceless. No motivation for anything. Time drags.
And I know the way to get out of it, as all good Coaches do. And yet I’ve allowed myself to remain trapped in it for weeks! I hadn’t actually realised that’s what it was until I started writing this blog – of talking out loud about it.
A good friend said to me a few days ago “what if you chose to get excited about Steve’s return from the moment he left?”. I thought that was stretching it a little. But she’s right. I need to identify what I’m avoiding and then choose to stop avoiding it. And I’ve been avoiding happiness (pre-match nerves). Choice. That’s the way to get out of limbo.
I’m going to choose to feel the excitment of a return rather than the malaise of the void. And I’m going to choose to remove one thing from the house every day that I no longer need to make space for the texture of co-habitation in 2020.
I’m a Coach, and I know the theory. And I have found this one hard to identify and move foward from. If you recognise the symptoms and are stuck in limbo, give me a shout so we can work out what’s keeping you there, what you are avoiding, and what step to take to liberate you.