Monday, May 16, 2005

jackie's theory of life

sam reminded me today of my Theory of Life, which i shared with her and our friend steve a few years ago when things were kind of coming unglued for me. and really--i believe this is a sound theory, so i have decided to share.

i believe that life is basically divided into six categories: (please forgive the stream-of-consciousness-like nature of this list)
  • career - your job or school, your working environment, the stability of your job, your relationship with your boss, your level or work and work-related stress, etc.
  • money - your cash level, investments, debt, bills, savings, etc.
  • home - your entire living environment--how much light you have, how clean it is, how good/bad your furniture is, whether or not you can be productive in it, whether or not you find it aesthetically pleasing, how stable it is, is there time for you do do personal projects, etc.
  • love - by this i mean not just love and romance, but also the love you have for your friends and they have for you--basically, this has to do with how cared about you feel and how much effort you put forth making other people happy, too; and yes--i think pets count
  • family - your relationships with your family, including children, parents, extended family, and informal family such as your S.O. and his/her parents and siblings; how accepted you feel you are as well as how well you accept them
  • health - every aspect of your health--your weight, diseases, fertility/infertility, your psychological well-being, your spiritual health, your stress level, etc.
and my theory is simple--i think that these 6 different categories are always in flux--some going well, while others are just OK, and some pretty much sucking. for me, i can handle a couple of these categories sucking at once, but if more than three of them get seriously out of whack--I get out if whack. when that happens, i have to step back and look at making some changes in my life.

generally, i try to keep at least two of these on the great side and not let more than two get out of kilter at once. but i think the real key is to focus on the ones where you can effect some level of change, and throw the others onto the back burner until you can actually do something about them. this is the hardest part--not worrying about the ones over which you have no control. i sometimes get caught up in big-picturing myself to death when really i can only control the smaller pieces. that is when i do better if i can remember these 6 categories and say to myself--this is just one part of my life--look at how great these other 3 parts of my life are! you get the point.

a hokey theory, perhaps. but one that has helped me over the past few years none the less. maybe you will find it helpful, too.

No comments: