I wish I was writing this past tense. With an ‘after’, with a solution. I wish it was one of those ‘this is how I was, this was the catalyst, this is now’ kinds of posts. But it’s not. It’s ‘before’. God willing, someday, I will write an ‘after’.
I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with this piece, but sitting down with pen and paper and writing it instead of just thinking about writing it is actually more than I’ve done in too long. And now publishing it feels huge. I do have my moments. I wish they would last.
The Master List of things I want and need to do, to accomplish, is very long. And time is passing. Every unproductive day that goes by is one less day I have left in my lifetime to conquer my List, to fulfill my dreams. I know this. It scares me. At the end of every day I think to myself, ‘I’m going to do this thing tomorrow, I’m going to start that thing tomorrow.’ I pray for motivation, I pray for Jesus’s help. When the time comes, though, I don’t do anything. I’m running out of tomorrows.
I have made some pretty significant changes in the last 6 years. Joyce Meyer says, “I may not be where I want to be, but thank God I’m not where I was.” I AM grateful to God for pulling me out of the grave I had dug for myself. Psalm 18 describes that almost perfectly. As if King David wrote it about me. I believe that God has a plan for me, that’s why He saved me from my ‘enemies.’ I believe writing has something to do with that which is the driving force behind my blogging. Practice, learning opportunities, building good habits.
However, I’m stuck. I was praying Psalm 25 this morning and verse 15 says, “My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only He will release my feet from the snare.” I can’t describe the feeling of truth in that verse. It struck me hard. It took my prayer to a whole new level of intensity. A whole new, visceral sense of longing. That is going to become my mantra. Who knows, maybe that verse will be the catalyst in my ‘after’ story.
Right now, though, there’s this wall between my and the things I want/need to accomplish in my life. Between who I am now and person I long to be, the woman God created me to be. Between me and EVERYTHING I need and want to do.
It’s always, ‘I’ll do it later, after this thing,’ or, ‘I don’t feel like it right now’ (which is the hardest one to overcome) or, ‘I have to do x, y, and/or z first.’ Procrastination. How do I get past The Procrastination Wall? Maybe if I understood what the Wall is made of, how and when it started, I’d be able to tear it down.
I know I need therapy. I know, if I found the right counselor, it would help. But here come the excuses. ‘I’ll call tomorrow.’ Head first into The Procrastination Wall.
The ground in front of the Wall is littered with excuses. The ‘but first’ bump, the ‘I can’t until’ hole, and the ‘after this’ trap. In this instance they’re, ‘I need a Christian counselor,’ ‘I can’t find a Christian counselor that takes my insurance,’ and if I get past those excuses and accept the fact that I will have to find a secular counselor, then it’s, ‘first I have to contact Molina for a list of counselors who aren’t with compass health,’ and that’s pretty overwhelming. When I get overwhelmed, I end up doing nothing.
Of course none of these obstacles are insurmountable, but they work hand in hand with The Procrastination Wall.
I have discovered a couple of things about myself that are hard to accept, hard to admit, even to myself. I don’t know if this is accurate assessment of my personality, but it fits.
Number 1: I’m lazy. (OUCH) Laziness can be an ingrained, naturally occurring personality flaw or it can be a learned behavior, a habit developed over time. I don’t know into which category I fall. I do remember the stepfather calling me lazy when I was very young, so maybe I was born lazy. I don’t want that to be true, but if I’m going to conquer it I need to be honest about it. Because I can’t just accept being lazy. I’m not going to say ‘well that’s just the way I am, so I’ll just be lazy forever.’ Nope. It makes me miserable. I really don’t want to be lazy. I just haven’t yet figured out a way to overcome it.
And number 2: I lack self-discipline. This I know is a learned behavior. I’ve done enough reading to about self-discipline to know that I need to practice it, to make it a habit. Elbert Hubbard defined self-discipline as, “The ability to do what you have to do, when you have to do it, whether you feel like it or not.” I just don’t know how to start. Is there a school I can go to? (I’d probably make excuses not to go, though..)
You put those two things together with a propensity for procrastination and excuses and it feels too overwhelming.
The apostle Paul said in Romans 7:15, (TLB) “I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I can’t. I do what I don’t want to – what I hate.” He was referring to sin, but I think it applies to me in this situation, too. That is EXACTLY how I feel about myself and my life and my behavior.
I really want to be a go-getter, I WANT to be productive. I want to go out and get it all. I just don’t know how to get from here to there.
I try to follow Joyce Meyer’s advice. I know it would help to study my bible, to meditate on it, and to spend time in prayer. I know it would help me to figure out God’s plan for me, help me to become the person He created me to be. Because I don’t, CAN’T, believe He created me to be this, to be nothing.
All the time I tell myself tomorrow, I promise, I’m going to start making these things a priority. Tomorrow.
I put reminders on my phone, alarms, calendar notifications, I write myself notes on sticky notes and the white board. Everything I can think of to kick myself in the butt. However, when tomorrow comes, I do the same thing. Or I’ll manage to be productive for a day or 2, but then I find more excuses not to do it. Reasons to put it off. Why?
Why do I put off things that will be beneficial to me?
For example, going to the doctor. I make appointments, schedule transportation, and then find an excuse not to go. There are so many things that I need to have looked at. It’s kind of overwhelming. But some of the things can be crucial. Putting it off can be bad. So why do I do it?
Working out, walking again, eating better, all beneficial. All things I really want to do. And they all come with their own set of excuses. Some of which are even true. People push through stuff like back pain, lack of sleep, cold weather, hot weather, all the time, though. Why can’t I? What is wrong with me? How do I fix it?
I keep hoping some bible verse, sermon, or lecture, some blog or book, something is going to click and I’ll figure it out.
I’ve tried positive self talks, negative self talk, I’ve tried putting motivational quotes all over, I’ve tried productivity apps and programs, I’ve tried keeping a schedule and a journal, everything. I don’t ever stick with any of it. Nothing has worked so far. I don’t understand why.
My Master List is full of necessary things like cleaning house, things I just want to do, like art and writing classes. I just don’t do any of it. I don’t do anything about it except dream, lament, pray, and wish.
Please God, help me, fix me.