Everything takes too long. Life is short. That’s what sucks. That’s my dilemma. I want certain parts of life to be done faster, better, already. It’s unrealistic I know, but it’s what I want, and what I expect.
You shouldn’t be so hard on yourself. No sentence makes me shut down faster, this sack of word stuffing comes in one ear, and shoots out the other. But in the last few months I have taken the time to sit down across from ideas, like realism and expectation, and look at them face-to-face, and I mean really take them out of the box and see why I might be hard on myself.
I’m tired of holding on to what is not useful, and I’m done with clasping old constructs because I think they serve me. As time ticks ahead, life is going fast, and the flow is fantastic when it’s fluid, but frustrating when my brain doesn’t work like I want it to, when the dumb stuff doesn’t get done faster. Even as I’m writing this I’m thinking – Is this worth your time? Your attention? You know how slow you are.
There are three things, which keep me chasing my own tail on the daily: indecision, unfamiliarity, and a lack of acceptance. My perfect To-Do list would read 1.) Pick-up Dry Cleaning 2.) Write Novel 3.) Buy Stamps.
I spend a huge part of a lot of days thinking I’m not getting enough done, and the thought follows me like a kite tacked to my scapula. Always there. It’s like an inner “Life Coach.” Personified, it would be down on one-knee screaming in my face, “Come on! Gimme ten more!”
I tried to cut this thinking out. I barely was able to get through an hour, so I tried harder. (I get the irony there.) I tried, and I did in fact string together a few hours on two consecutive days, and guess what? I got stuff done. There’s an addictive quality to this nagging, background noise, Life-Coach dynamic thing. It’s kind of mean, but I can’t stop. I am so busy trying to get everything done, that it creates a log jam to the prioritizing. Looking at this Not Enough issue is embarassing, because it’s sloppy with old instincts, like misguided vigor, ego, habitual self-deprecation, and uncapped neurosis. These habits don’t seem to make me more productive, and I’m starting to think they make me less. So here’s my new To Do list.
1.) To resolve indecision – just make the decision.
Start with the most important and move on down the line. The only work after that is staying focused on the task you decided to execute, and complete it. Focus! In other words do not click on the article, Ten Adorable Child Stars Who Grew Up to be Ugly. There lies the quicksand of your day, and a thieving of your attention.
2.) Remove the idea that I should know how to do everything.
Every day I do unfamiliar tasks. Tech. Life runs on tech, and tech is technical. I am not entirely familar with this world, so I spend a lot of time learning how to execute something I need to learn, and I have to remove the idea that I should know. Tech is not intuitive for me, and it’s baked into my entire life. The amount of tech and my lack of interest in it means I am always learning and (usually) relearning. Tech does not feel like a convenience, although I know it is, because for me it’s confusing and laborious. That’s a fact.
3.) Accept reality.
I must allow the space that reality demands. So much of the time I feel disappointed with the facts. ‘R’ = Time things take + my skill set = Reality = R, which is for Reality.
Things take time, and it takes what it takes. Every day is a large box of lessons; navigating relationships, finding solutions, keeping my mouth shut, being succinct and effective when I open it. Some of these lessons I seem unable to learn, and so they repeat. I cling to the idea that a better mind would shorten my learning curve, and yet this mind is the only one I have. A lack of allowing it to work the way it works is a lack of acceptance.
When I focus on expectations that are not realistic, it’s just a failure to accept life, and that means I am trying to control what is not in my control. Ding! You can’t control the unfolding of a day, and you can’t actually control how other people react to the unfolding of their day. So what it boils down to is – Relax, nothing is in your control. This is the reality.
I seem to spend two-thirds of my life feeling I should be further along in two-thirds of my life. But what if I am right where I should be? What if there are no accidents, because the universe is not lazy, it’s listening? What if the limitations are just the game, and the results are not in any way the story?
What if the story of your life starts with who you really are, and who you really love, and the road to those realizations?
You’re too hard on yourself might be a clunky way to say you’ve got a blind spot to the story. Even as I write this – I’m thinking (GOD it takes you forever to write anything) and the other side says — please shut up, and just finish.
I’d love to be an overachiever, I’m not. I’d love to be more organized, more certain, and adept at time management, I’m not. But I’m going to fire my internal “Life Coach,” because it’s a misguided character that thinks her headset works, and the clip board has meaning, and things should play out like a metronome. If I’m going to face the reality of life, I can’t keep trying to manage it with my mighty hope that life is different, and my brain could work better in a faster way. It is what it is.
You-didn’t-get-enough-done today has become a bad habit. And I’m going to try and remember that I’m just attempting to get a few things done in a day – every day – one thing at a time. I am not evacuating an auditorium. There is no emergency.
It comes down to this, you’re not perfect. Perfection doesn’t exist, it’s subjective and not sustainable. Perfection is a unicorn.
I’m going to take a breath, and try to see this issue with some clarity. I’m going to try and see only two feet in front of me and really—no further. Here’s a cup of coffee, and two minutes. Don’t panic. Just do it as well as you can.