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!