It’s been a month, almost exactly, since I outlined my plan here to get my collective shit together and start acting like a productive person for once in my life. This mostly revolved around schedules and keeping to them, and… well, it’s a month later, and suffice to say it’s all kind of fallen apart. Whoops?
Part of the problem is that you can’t really schedule your life. There are always going to be things getting in the way of your schedules, and rolling with the punches is harder than it looks. You need to know about all the spontaneous things in advance, which kind of defeats the purpose of spontaneity. So I’ve had more off-schedule days than on. Part of it is things like day trips and family dinners getting in the way of things. The other part is that it turns out I’m not good at keeping to a schedule.
It’s funny. I was always so punctual in school, and I continue to be punctual and semi-organized in my adult life–just not with personal projects. I was reading up a storm the first part of September, and then, as the schedule fell apart, so did the reading. Ditto writing (well, let’s be real, that never got on track). If someone else or some other entity (like Failure) is holding me to a schedule, I will keep to it almost religiously. If I’m holding myself to it? Eh, whatever.
I wish I knew why my brain operated like this. I don’t care enough to get things done, but somehow I care enough to guilt myself about the things I don’t do. I want to have a finished short story by the end of next month, and here it is nearly October, and I don’t even have a first draft yet. I have a pile of books all due in a few weeks at the library, half of which I’ve renewed, and one of which I’ve actually renewed twice. I wanted to have the first three rows of the afghan done by the end of this week, but sewing the pieces together is such a chore that I keep putting it off. I don’t understand myself and my actions. I don’t understand how I can visit the same six sites online over and over for hours at a time, but concentrating on writing something for thirty minutes is an enormous difficulty.
These are probably things I could address with my therapist. Hmm.
The fact that I’m trying to introduce new things like exercise isn’t helping. I can barely do the three things I mainly want to get done, and now I’m putting new shit on the list? What am I, crazy? Yes, as it turns out, I am. Just not a productive kind of crazy. I want to make things happen, but I’m not sure how, and I’m really not sure how to hold myself accountable at all. I’ve started a writing accountability thread on my writing group’s forum, and it’s going fairly well so far, but that’s about it. And it doesn’t cover all the other things like exercise and knitting and reading books.
Nevertheless, I suppose it’s a credit to me that I keep trying anyway. I’m going to exercise here in a little bit, and I am hoping to sit down and binge-watch The Handmaid’s Tale while I sew afghan pieces together. Never mind writing and reading. Where do all the hours in the day go? I got up at 4am (AGAIN) this morning; why haven’t I accomplished more?
I think part of my problem is that I feel like I have to do All the Things every day forever. I can’t be okay with just doing Some of the Things. They ALL must be done, no matter what. It doesn’t leave a lot of room for the spontaneity of life, for example, or for bad things happening, like my cat dying. I need to focus on what I am capable of doing, day by day, and work things out from there.
Now I just need to convince my overachiever brain of all that. Definitely a task for my therapist, then.
I’ll be working on it, and I guess I’ll keep you all updated. For now, what do you do to balance what you need to do with what you want to do? How do you get things done instead of just sitting around online in all your free time? Let me know.