The Big Lie–If I could just (fill in the blank) then I would be (fill in the blank).

It turns out, work isn’t the reason I wasn’t “getting stuff done”. I’m very good at not getting stuff done, all on my own.

I am not so slowly driving myself crazy with my scattered mind. I don’t seem to be able to concentrate on one thing for a long time, unless it’s distracting myself with shiny stuff like everything that’s been posted on the internet in the last 24 hours.

I start off by saying, okay I’m going to follow my morning routine, oh, but wait I didn’t finish those labels for the Pool Boy so I’ll just do that and then get back on track. Then I kind of resurface two hours later and feel despondent that yet again, I’ve dishonoured my commitment to the morning routines. But wait, I’m on vacation, I shouldn’t worry about routines, this is my chance to get big projects done. I should get that garden built first because we’re running out of time to start actually growing things. But I should do it early because it’s so freaking hot that if I wait any longer I’m going to get sun stroke. Oh, and look there’s my bike. I should really take the bike trailer into get the wheels fixed so that tomorrow I can take Griffin with me on a bike ride. But maybe what I need to concentrate on is make a more welcoming environment, so I don’t feel tired every time I look at my messy desk and plain white walls, and way past expiry date carpet. Oh, look at the time, I should really get to the gym so I can take that workout routine up a notch in terms of frequency. I’m getting hungry. Gosh, maybe I should ditch it all and go the beach. I’ll get some fish and chips and enjoy looking at the sparkly water. And on and on it goes, until I get to the end of the day and the Pool Boy innocently asks me what I did today and I snap at him because I feel ashamed that I had ALL DAY to do stuff and got so little done, because really I spent most of the day starting and switching directions.

My stomach hurts just going through that mental process.

What I’m doing to myself is re-emphasizing over and over again, that whatever I’m doing in that moment is the wrong thing. I am doing this when I should be doing that. If I could just focus on this one thing then everything else would be better. I am wandering when I should be focused and focused, albeit on the wrong thing, when I should be wandering.

I am wrong. I am doing it wrong. All the time wrong.

My temptation is to look to someone else. Someone else needs to hold me accountable (didn’t work out so well for the Pool Boy). Someone else needs to tell me how to move past this crazy-making thinking. Someone else needs to tell me how to be creative.

But maybe that’s how this craziness all got started. I started to believe that everyone else had the answer. So, I’m stuck in trying to implement the answers from about 20 different experts. I have too many voices going on inside my head.

And I would try to say that I just need to listen to my own inner voice but it seems to be altered by the experts’ stamp on my brain. I now have inner representations of someone else’s thoughts and beliefs that I don’t think I could possibly separate them out anymore. This is when neuroplasticity is a curse rather than a blessing.

HOWEVER. There is something in the routine thing that is appealing. Here’s the idea that keeps cropping up. My idea is to keep going through my routines as listed on paper, but stopping when they hit a snag to streamline whatever it is that isn’t working. For instance, our get out the door routine hits a snag EVERY SINGLE DAY because the boys can’t find socks. So, I need to look at what’s going on in that sock step that’s tripping us up. Likewise, writing is on my list, but almost every day I manage to avoid it, and it is partly because my desk and office space is becoming delibatingly cluttered with the undone and the ugly. So, I still have to do the writing, but maybe I preface that with 15 minutes of clearing the decks. BUT I DON”T HAVE TO FINISH before I get to write. I’ll just get a little further everyday, in both the writing and the cleaning.

Even re-vamping the decor can largely be done in small steps with some concessions to the hours long project.

Can I learn to accept that life is perpetually unfinished and in process? And that I won’t get through the whole list right away, but will make a little more headway every day (or some days).

The problem is in this sentence:

If I could just _______, then I would be ________.

If i could just focus, then I would be successful.

If I could just eat better, then I would be thin.

If I could just have a nap, then I would be less irritable.

If I could just get this kitchen cleaned up, I would be peaceful.

If I could just get this one thing done then it all would fall into place.

And not that these thing may not be true. Maybe focus does equal success. Maybe not. But the way I’m perpetually phrasing it in my head assumes I don’t have it. It assumes a lack, a barrier. The good stuff is over there and I’m stuck over here.

So, here’s my paradox “If I could just stop thinking the If I could just sentence then I would be peaceful.

Doesn’t a double-negative make a positive?

Make no suggestions in the comments, just let me know that you sometimes feel like this. If I’m going to drive myself over the edge, I don’t want to go alone. It will be like Thelma and Louise but for the internet. Thelma and Louise 2.0.

And that concludes my meditation portion of my morning routine. Only 5 hours past scheduled time. Yay me!

About Tentative Equinox North

Theatremaker, Homemaker, Thoughtmaker. Great hair, Probably looking forward to my next nap.
This entry was posted in Gravity, Minor notes in the celestial chord, Moon. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Big Lie–If I could just (fill in the blank) then I would be (fill in the blank).

  1. This sounds like me in a nutshell every day of my life. Except Sundays because I never think I’m going to do anything on Sundays. That’s my day off…..which is kinda funny since I’m off all week long.

    I mean off as in I don’t work for a paycheque. Not off like I smell. Usually. I’m not past my expiry date. I don’t think.

    What was the question?

    Oh. Validation.

    Yes. Martha Stewart isn’t real.

    Love, Louise.

  2. Judy says:

    Sir Walter Murdoch wrote: “Success and unsuccess are best ignored. To have watched life with undiminished curiosity; to have faced the end of life with courage unimpaired; to have won prizes without the loss of humility; to have met defeat without loss of hope; to have loved and been loved; to have taken delight in simple things and common people; to have kept alive our faith in our fellows and to have done our best, according to the measure of our poor abilities, to serve them; to have kept our hearts from cruelty and our minds from cynicism; I don’t say that this is to make a success of life, but it is at least not to have failed ignobly.
    According to Sir Walter’s standard I think you’re getting stuff done!!

  3. weaselmomma says:

    creativity sucks the soul out of me. Focus on day to day survival.

  4. mhmoore says:

    Day to day,
    everyday day.
    Getting through today.
    Today is yesterday’s tomorrow.

    Going back into my cave.

  5. Barb says:

    Oh yeah, I hear ya, sister.

    I must be ready for a vacation because I am blurry and discombobulated at WORK these days – brutal! I am at work NOW. Not working, oops, hee hee but I will be in a minute – honest! I just had to check in with Tentative Equimox because I’ve been too distracted to remember to do that. First things first! As soon as I finish this note, I’ll write my list and get right to it. Today will be very productive, and I will feel FABULOUS for getting so much done. Even though I feel like doing other things that aren’t on my list. LIke making wind chimes out of all the stuff I have been collecting. Or building the rock wall with my rock collection. Hmmmm. If I could just survive without a full time job, I would feel my days with creative and lucrative endeavors and everything would be perfect!!
    Sigh. On to the list. God help me.

    • @Barb Reading blogs and sitting on fitballs instead of WCB authorized chairs?! Is there no end to your authority flouting shenanigans?

      Would I could make a living out of napping in hammocks, redecorating various rooms of my house and having coffee with friends.

      Wind chimes? That sounds marvellous! Hey, you could be an Etsy vendor, except that means giving up all the things you make when someone buys it.

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