Anyone that’s lived in a long term rental situation knows how hard it is to invest time and energy into that space because you know it’s not forever. Why bother spending money on paint, and time painting, when you’re not even sure if you’re going to be there in a year? There’s no point in remodeling anything in the kitchen because it may only be your kitchen for another few months. And, the amount of time that would go into making and caring for a garden doesn’t seem worth it when you may only get one season out of it before someone else moves in and takes it over.
That makes sense.
Yes, make it “your space”, but with the background knowledge that it’s not truly “your space”. It’s a weird, but very real, situation to be in.
I’ve also seen and caught myself doing the same thing in my relationships with people in places that I knew I wouldn’t be involved with for very long: camps and schools, on vacation, even businesses and offices that I was dealing with in different ways.
It’s almost as if the expectation of it being a brief relationship allows you to take the foot off the gas pedal and just cruise through without exerting the same effort as you would if you knew you’d be somewhere for a long time.
When I notice myself letting up and getting lazy on life like this, I try to turn my perspective around and treat everything like an investment in my own development.
Because it’s all part of the process, the development of the self, right? Regardless of whether you’ll ever find yourself in the same place again or having a conversation with the same person again, it’s all practice and training to improve your attitude and approach to every other area of your life.
Every moment of your day, every interaction you have, is an opportunity to fine tune skills that you know will serve as an investment into a more fulfilling life.
When I speak to strangers, I try to work on my active listening, negotiation, and social skills.
When I take a CrossFit class at a gym when we’re traveling, I’m making note of all the things the gym does that I am impressed with…and, unimpressed with.
The opportunities are everywhere, all day long. It’s just a matter of whether you want to invest the effort into the learning process, or if you would rather just sit around wondering why you’re not catching any breaks.
The investment is in yourself and your future, you just have to keep searching out the opportunities.