Living in the Grey

I’ve said it before: I’m all or nothing, black and white. I am not content doing things in a mediocre fashion. I’m not comfortable in the grey areas. If I do something, I do it well. I hold myself to high standards and aspire to look back on my life having made an impact.

But as I’ve been told ‘life is lived in the grey’. Certainly I’ve never claimed to be the best at anything but if I take something on, I give it my all. I’m not the fastest runner but I can hang in for the long haul. The majority of people in the world can’t say they have run almost 90 kilometers in a day. And that makes me feel that it was worth all the training – that you get out what you put in. Now, with recovery from Graves’ disease, I’ve got to put in what – rest?


To me life feels empty without meaty goals. And now I find myself in a space where I can’t achieve. I have no professional goals since I’m unable to work for at least a year. I have trouble committing to projects or endeavors because I’m unable to guarantee that I’ll have sufficient energy. I can’t exercise so I have no opportunity to enjoy running goals as I used to. I can’t even guarantee that I’ll complete writing a book this year as I have planned to do. I’m not even able to diet properly because I can’t exercise and I just hate measuring out portions.

So I’m finding this middle ground a frustrating place to be. How do you know if you’re succeeding? I know that I failed dismally at the diet. I tried to measure my recovery and tried to succeed at healing. Sounds stupid, doesn’t it? If this is all I have to focus on, I want to do it properly. But there is no such thing as healing properly. There’s just boring old recovery which takes months and months and months.

I’m learning to be mediocre and it sucks. I want to do something really well and I want to feel like a success. Thinking about aspiring to be average at everything doesn’t fill me with hope for the future. Being a good mother even means to me that I provide my children with an inspiring role model.

I understand that real life is not black and white. I have seen that there is good in bad people and vice versa. I know that I have to accept living midway at the moment, particularly until I’m well and potentially to prevent from relapsing again. But this is an adjustment process for me, and something with which I struggle.

What would happen in your life if you were unable to work for a long time? How well would friendships hold up if you couldn’t go out much? What methods would you use to keep your sanity? And how would you cope living in the grey?

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I am a champion for living your passion. Writing is my passion, my destiny and my calling. I am a mother of two beautiful daughters and a wife and live in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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