Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I Don't Want To Write This

There's this thing I suffer from called, "Lee." 

It makes me not want to do the things that are good for me to do like exercise, sleep, eat normally, and write.  Lee can really mess with my life, so I have to trick her into doing things, sort of a carrot and stick thing.

Tonight I needed to not worry about stuff.  I handed my Ginger over to Earl for Thanksgiving and I set about doing things that only I would want to do.  That involves copious amounts of procrastination, cooking a delicious and healthy meal, then eating a normal portion, followed three hours later by another normal portion, watching the second half of a movie, then another movie on top of that, grading a few papers, checking one really good one for plagiarism and being happy that it just happens to be a really good paper, and cuddling with kittens.

Now to the hard stuff, because all that stuff above is done, except the procrastination.  But I've come to accept that this particular task is never done, and that I will always have to fit it in amidst the other duties and chores in life.  Procrastination seems to be a means of prioritizing work in reverse order.  The thing with the looming deadline swings like a blade on a pendulum over my exposed belly, yet instead of addressing the imminent threat of that sharp and cutting task, I find it's the perfect time to do the dishes and empty the trash.  And heck if I haven't been meaning to organize all my receipts for the month of October.  Procrastination.  After clearing all the other tasks and to-dos from my list, I manage to get to the now SUPER-LOOMING deadline.  And I crank out whatever it is I'm supposed to crank out.  This is what they call being a 1) libra 2) grad student 3) writer.

Procrastination seems to be my tool that I use to create urgency and focus on the important stuff.  Sounds ridiculous, I know, but when I have a ton of time to do something, I don't parse out reasonable increments of time and get a little bit done every day.  Nope.  Who does that?  I worry and fret and feel guilty and think that I'm no good, a fraud, not worthy of whatever it is I'm not worthy of.  I find other things to fill the time so I just don't have to think about it even though I'm CONSTANTLY thinking about whatever "it" is.  And when push has come to shove, and there is nothing else that can possibly be done, I do the deed - I meet the deadline.  Usually just barely.  And I often meet it with a sense of disappointment.  If only I had spent more time focusing on this it would have been really great.  If only I had thought this through more, if only, blah, blah, blah.

Sounds like I'm being hard on myself, but I have noticed that this is what I've done with myself for a while now.  It's the things that matter most that fall to the last minute.  And there's a reason for this.  It's called self-awareness.

I'm fully cognizant of the fact that I am in a transition.  I am coming out of a cloud that I dwelt in for years.  It takes time for the smoke to clear.  Best not to run when I can't see three feet in front of my face.  But as the skies clear, as my vision improves, I believe it will be easier for me to do what I must.  It's all so freakin' incremental!  I'm so much better off than I was six months ago, but I'm still not fine.  And I probably will never be fully fine, because who is?  The goal here is to find ways to do what I must while I take the journey through life.  And my tool for success happens to be procrastination.  For now.

So maybe it's not so much suffering from "Lee" as it is coming to understand what this "Lee" thing is and finding a way to make it work.  It's like learning to drive a stick; the first thousand miles I'm just gonna' lurch and stall.  But as I get used to the sweet spot on that clutch, I'm eventually going to be able to speed shift.

And now for something completely different. . .

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