Wednesday, April 6, 2011
procrastination is ennuithing
like that dog whose so-called trainer had a fabulous dessert sorta named after him, i sit here waiting at my computer for its bell sound effect to >ding!< that tells me i have a new e-mail message coming in.
of course, i realize that not all of my e-mail messages are calls for interaction. many of them are news feeds that i subscribe to or dormant things i'm interested in. usually, it's other writers getting their $hit done. hmm. i wonder if that's a form of not-so-unconscious self-punishment...
but i won't get any calls for action unless i put out feelers for action. seeking action. but why won't it just come to me? i envision that little old lady character in all the Hitchcock films; the "aunt Agnes" type from "Bewitched" saying under her veiled church hat, "Molly? Oh, yes. I think she's fabulous. She does this and does that, loves to edit, loves to write... she could write a book -- certainly! People tell her often that she should write a book. Writing's in her genes. Her father's a writer you know; several uncles on both sides have written books... Oh, probably nothing you've read, but they've DONE it..." with her eyes widening and her hat tilting and a teency weency little "tcht" that thus ends that conversation.
writing's in my genes. so is procrastination. procrastination is in my genes. i come from a long line of procrastinators; and a long line of what i call "bootstrappers" - those who pull themselves up by their bootstraps and simply just do. and i've been known to bootstrap. but that's usually after i've run out of excuses... it's more of an "oh, all right. i'll fepg s epru wodeo t agh thdh oahtt twi duh... because someone has to fepg s epru wodeo t agh thdh oahtt twi duh."
ironically, the procrastination gene comprises a tenacious lot. i possess the energy and the fortitude to do things. what i lack is the confidence. that's usually what it is. and to some of you who've dared to continue reading to this point, that might come as a surprise. that i lack confidence. funny thing is; by the time you see me getting stuff done, is when i've decided to do it. sometimes it's a totally natural decision and takes less than a second. other times, not so much...
i'm uh, still trying to figure that one out.
"oh, sure! i could run a 10k if i wanted to. i just don't want to." but i can tell you this, i would run if no one were looking just because i don't want to face any criticism. would my time disappoint me? who knows. but then if i did well, i'd be bummed that no one saw me rock it out.
so i think the real question lies in motivation. omigosh, did i just finally sorta figure that out? no. i've often aligned myself with the motivation concept -- what we're interested in doing, we do; but i think the larger "question" in this then would be: for me, the opposite of motivation is probably fear. fear of failure or fear of success?
i was sitting on the edge of my bed the other day and i said to my beloved, "i have no goals. i have no plans; no real niche. i can do a lot of things -- sketch, paint, draw, sing, shoot film, run, write, bahhhh; there are many things that could use my help. but i don't like to look for them. i want someone to come to me and tell me what i'm good at and then ... >crash!< do it for me." (in case i don't do it right.)
i had lunch with a friend the other day and i regaled her (i'm sure) with the same story. she squinted, looked out the window, hunched her shoulders, hmmed, took a bite of her celery and said, "meh. i don't have any goals either, but that doesn't bother me."
>ding!< excuse me....
hrpmh. it was the Salon.com daily feed.
why do i subscribe if i'm not going to read it? is it because cool people read Salon? i dunno. do they?
oh, back to the lunch with my friend.
so if it doesn't bother her, then why should it bother me? well, i wonder if that's because we're different people (duh) but not only that, we are at different levels of satisfaction in our lives at the moment. she may be fully satisfied and that's not a judgement, it just is. she may be fully aware of what's going on or not in her life and has determined that it's OK and it's just where it should be.
does it mean i am unsettled if i am not satisfied? or is it even dissatisfaction? i mean, really - what IS it?
ennui |änˈwē| - noun
a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement.
there is plenty for me to "do" in this world. why, just inches from my keyboard is a stack of papers on my left that need editing and on my other left is a stack of papers that need to be tossed. then on the floor is a project that can be finished (or realistically -- started and then finished). in my head but not yet on the computer is work for the PTA.
i often consider that once PTA is over, the ennui will end. because, while i am proud of and have thoroughly enjoyed the programs that have come into being during my stint, i am frustrated by the levels of apathy amongst our parents. the 80-20 rule / principle applies: 80 percent of the work is done by 20 percent of the people. and in my experience, it's 90 percent of the same people with a couple new recruits. but somehow it manages to get done; but seldom is any new stuff rolled out because we're so busy just getting the old stuff done.
the laundry in the basement. ohmylord. don't let's go to there. it's all clean. it just needs to be folded, stacked and put away. my friend and i often joke that laundry is a 12-step program. i plan (see!) to write a book on just that.
aunt agatha turns from the doorway as she's set to leave, "you'll feel so much better, dear, after you DO something."
but apparently not until i get the laundry folded. and the PTA wraps up… 42 days...