I’ve never ever found an optimum time for doing anything or an easy time for starting something. Truth be told, I’m a daydreamer, a doodler, lounger, wistful thinker. In short I’m a procrastinator, trying to hold life at bay. What is this fear of starting and living?, I ask myself. I have no clue, no inkling of an idea but just this physical discomfort of not wanting to commit. Laugh if you will but we all know that he who laughs first, laughs last. I am sure you have that procrastinator in you, too. Only you haven’t recognized yourself in the mirror.
I see myself as molasses in winter mode. It is cool this morning. I see my little cucumber plants shivering in the raised bed in the front yard. First the heat. Now the chill. I hope they make it. I’ve never had much luck with them except for one year. Now that’s something to aim for. Something to get my juices flowing and off my butt. It takes patience and persistence to succeed at anything. My cyclamen is such a testament. I gave it the attention it needed. I don’t have a steady supply of that either. It comes in sporatic spurts. I’m not good when the going gets tough. Sometimes I abandon ship. Now that’s another thing to work on.
It’s another morning. I’ve clearly abandoned ship yesterday before finishing this conversation. I’m going through a spell. I’m lacking motivation. Nothing turns me on but I’m working on it. I feel as if I can’t even get myself out of a wet paper bag. Sometimes I just have to put in the effort as if I do love it, whether I feel it or not. That’s life. What is it that gets you up and going? What are your secrets for joie de vivre? What keeps you on the job till it’s finished?
I’m sipping on my cuppa, my favourite diversion for not doing. I’m glued to my chair but at least I am flexing my fingers, tapping on the keyboard. I’m trying to stay awake, thinking of how to overcome my inertia, how not to feel overwhelmed about our climate crisis. What else can I do not to contribute to the carbon footprint? How can I get outside of myself to help the world I live in. These are some of my thoughts on this sunny cool June morning. Perhaps I can bake some rhubarb crisp to warm up. I’ve been making rhubarb sour cream muffins the last 2 days but I’ve run out of sour cream.
Another day begins, cloudy and overcast, but it is 4 degrees C. Be grateful, be happy and count your blessings. I am! I am and I will!
Spring is around the corner. The snow is melting. The slush and puddles are less and less. My amaryllis is showing its lush red promise. Sheba is over her anxiety funk. She can eat and piddle without someone standing guard. She sleeps in her usual limp and boneless mode. She is her bright-eyed, bushy-tailed self again. How wonderful it is! I can let go of my fears, too. There’s no boogeymen, witches, spells or hexes. We will go boldly forward. March!
Some days are harder than others but you just suck it up, get up, dress up and show up regardless. Some days are real grinds. You put one foot in front of the other and shuffle forward if that is all you can do. Sometimes I am surprised by how far I have travelled with my heavy footed shuffle. I’m reminded of my mother’s words again. Don’t put hard in your vocabulary. Be patient. A drop at a time may be slow and small but they will eventually fill a bucket.
My bucket is not full yet. But it has results – enough to spur me onward. On days when the drudgery is heavy on my shoulders, I look at those drops, those little igniters of hope. I take one step, then another. I put a letter, then a word onto my blank page. And so it goes.
When I least expect it, I feel a shift within me – fear leaving my body. I am relaxed and gliding through the waters. I am moving forward in life. And I go ahhh! So this is how it is. I am grateful and buoyed by the moment. I store the memory drop in my bucket for prosperity.
I wish I could understand the chemistry underlying inertia and procrastination. Why is it that we delay and delay in doing. Why is it so hard to move? Have you ever experience this phenomenon? I confess I experience it on a regular basis. To move, even just to blink requires supreme effort. Is there a psychological reason for this malady? What am I dreading that I am so frozen in action?
It’s a day later. I am finally able to move on from yesterday. I am going to starting to stare at the monster head on. There is nothing to dread. The dread comes from evading, delaying, procrastinating. I have shoe boxes and drawers full of dread – unopened and un- dealt with ‘issues’. I have shoved them in there and closed the door. They are out of sight, but not out of mind. They wiggle and niggle at me when I am sleeping. They interrupt my dreams. They crop up time and time again to haunt and taunt me.
I am now taking the time to know and understand them. What are they all about? Can I put them to rest forever and ever? If not, how we can live with each other in peace? There’s no quick fixes, I know. There’s no going back to the very beginning. I have to start right here and in this moment. Have I told you the story of a this friend when we were in nursing school?
She was from a very small town. Saskatoon was a big city and it was new to her. We were crossing the street. Halfway across, the DON’T WALK sign came on. She turned back and tried again. Halfway across, the DON’T WALK sign came on again. She realized that she won’t ever get across if she kept going back. She kept on going and got across.
I haven’t been as smart as she was. I haven’t learned my lesson as quickly. I keep on going back to square one each time. And each time I reach the snag point, I would retreat. I have been very much like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. I keep waking up to the same old, same old in my own way.
I would like to say, NO MORE! and mean it this time, but I know that I’m a human being with many frailties. I mean everything I say at the time but when the tough gets going, my resolve sags and then I lose heart. I’m not justifying but sometimes it’s better to give it a rest. Things come up. Life happens. It is not always wise to be inflexible no matter what. Sometimes I have to give up to continue. I give myself a grace period – to rest, recoup my strength and resolve, to clear my vision and mark my progress.
I am doing the best I can. My boxes and drawers are getting less and less – ever so slowly.
I am well into this month’s challenge. Besides writing a post every day, I have incorporated some healthy habits into this challenge. It would make marking my progress and assessment easier and in writing.
I have been faithfully getting up, dressing up and showing up. I have done my qigong exercises faithfully every morning. Some mornings I am more focus and in the moment than others. But I am always here, trying. I always feel the better for it. It opens up my channels to receive the world. So why would I neglect a good thing? After awhile it is like brushing your teeth and washing your face when you get up in the morning. It is a habit. Ahhhh, it feels so good after!
Another challenge is to keep the floors reasonably clear of Sheba’s hair. She sheds a lot and I haven’t been good at housekeeping for awhile. Some days, it is light duty and when time and energy permits – a thorough vacuum. It is a surprise to find the big vacuum is not really that big. With practice and practice, I have been able to do it in a relatively short time and with ease.
These are simple challenges that I have success with. I have been consistent and persistent or you can say, I have been neurotic about it. They are good neurosis, wouldn’t you say? But I have not been successful in other areas – the area of the heart and mind. The gremlins are still rearing their ugly heads. Though it is the holy time of Easter, the demons are still tearing at me. They are not succeeding yet. I have put up my shield and sending out hot and searing flames to thwart them.
All I need is consistency and persistence and lots of heart…and a good hearted Easter bunny, and maybe an Easter basket. Well, the hot chocolate sort of helped.