Focusing on priorities isn’t easy, but it’s straightforward.  At least if you know what your priorities are.

I’m struggling.  I don’t have my priorities figured out.  The confusion carries though in many areas of my life: work, relationships, bicycling/fitness, food, alcohol, finances and so on.

When I was young and poor, and had a family to support, the priorities were straightforward.  I always knew what I had to do next.  That’s no longer the case.

I can make a goal, but that means achieving it… and then what?  Also, what goals are most important?  I need to prioritize them taking into account things I want in my life.

I never thought that having a decent job, living in a decent house, and having a fun hobby would be so taxing on my mental health.

3 thoughts on “Priorities?”

  1. We can only make our own priorities, but in some ways you’ve answered your question already. You have a decent job, a decent place to live, a decent lifestyle and a kick-ass hobby. Seems like overthinking to me. Paralysis by Analysis.

  2. One priority is to go on a challenging ride each week. Doesn’t have to be a gravel epic. Trail ride. Nighttime ramble. High mileage. Gravel. Race. New-part-of-town ramble. Tempo ride. Fully loaded S24O. Some many rides to choose from. Get your mind on moving forward- on two wheels- instead of sitting there self-analyzing.

    Easier said than done, but…

  3. Depression makes prioritizing things hard, period — or, well, it makes following through hard, much harder than it might otherwise be.

    The worst part, though, is that it becomes a vicious cycle: depression makes it hard to get out the door or to ride hard, not getting out the door or riding hard feels like a failure, less riding and less riding hard decreases the depression-treating effects of riding, then you get more depressed and it gets even harder to get out the door. Physical pain doesn’t help, and the reductions in serotonin and dopamine related to depression make that problem worse.

    I’m with Tim. More riding will help, and it tends to become self-reinforcing. Break out the Baccetta a few times a week to give your neck and body some relief. Schedule early-morning rides if that helps (if you want to join me, I’ll be bumping my regular wake time to 5:30 AM starting Sunday in order to get AM training in — we might be able to do an hour or two and get you back home in time to clean up for work). Fast, hard, shorter rides a few times a week will help get the overall pace up on the high-mileage rides.

    I’m smack in the middle of a different iteration of the prioritization problem. Talked to Denis about it last night; he advised me (rather wisely) to put something down, or at least on hold, if I want to get serious about racing the bike (I will be starting by putting bells on hold next semester). I asked him if he thinks wanting to race bikes is crazy; he said he thinks my version of it is. When I asked him what he meant, he said, “I just don’t understand why you don’t want to win.”

    It made me realize I’ve been selling myself short: historically, I don’t race to win because bike race fields huge and only one guy wins … but I realized last night that (while, obviously, I need to entertain a healthy ability to lose gracefully) the only way I’m really going to train to really compete is if I set a goal of winning (or at least making a top 10, in a big field).

    Right now, you and I are both sort of focused on our limitations. I think I’m going to try to change that by training to win, even though it’s going to be hard and it’s going to suck sometimes and it’s not going to work all the time. I have to start by imagining that winning is possible; that it’s not insane hubris to think so. Then I can organize my smaller goals around that vision. That way, no matter how I place on race day, I can say that I did my best, instead of saying, “Meh, well, I didn’t really put everything I could have into training, so this (DFL, 77th out of 80, etc) is good enough.”

    Maybe a similar goal would help for you? OTOH, it might just feel demoralizing. Maybe right now a more immediate goal — something shorter-term and achievable — would help? Something, like, say, belting out a 16 MPH average for 30 minutes, or riding a 14-MPH pace for two hours steady?

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