We have an ice storm in Minnesota currently and I hit the pavement this weekend - my back patio. On Sunday, I went sailing off the back step and landed in the middle of my patio, bruising my back end and my right arm in the process. Today my whole body feels like it's been beaten with a stick.
While sitting around on the couch with an icepack on my arm, lamenting that I didn't make it to church and reading random articles on the 'net, I had a bit of a revelation.
I have a huge problem with procrastination (no, that wasn't the revelation!). A huge problem. And I have had it for a long time. I know that. And I've been working on it. And I've made huge strides in the last year or two - especially after my surgery in fall 2009. I'm proud of that.
(Yes, you did know that was coming!)
I have a long, long way to go. Not only to be where I want to be but to get myself out of the hole I'm in and get moving forward toward that somewhere I want to be.
I can find a million ways to 'use' my time that aren't truly productive.
Analyzing a problem to death before starting working on it is my favorite.
There's also starting a new project. That's my second favorite.
There's the "Gee, I need to clean thus and such." technique too.
Or it's cousin, "I just have to look up one more thing."
Then I beat myself up for it too.
Reading the article I was reading, I realized that my motivation for procrastination is fear.
Fear of failure.
Fear of disappointing others.
Fear of not being where I want to be where I want to be when I'm 'done.'
Fear of the unknown.
The disappointment, failure and not being where I want to be are all related to each other.
I have a huge fear of disappointing my husband, my children, my parents, myself.
Myself being the biggest one there.
Because, you see, I don't like myself very much.
I don't like how I look.
I don't like how I physically feel.
I don't like how I do my job.
I don't like how I am doing on my research for my dissertation.
I don't like how I keep my home.
I don't like how I care for my children.
I dont' like how I care for my husband.
In short I don't like much of anything I do.
I realize that part of it is a tendency toward perfection and a desire to be all things to all people.
The bigger part is that I had bigger and better plans for myself at this stage of my life.
Heading toward 40, I was going to be physically fit, stylish, a full professor (or at least tenure track), known for my teaching (and possibly my research), and a doting wife and mother to boot with a well cared for home to come home to.
I don't really care about the tenure track thing anymore, but the rest still haunt me.
I want to be someone different than I am and I don't feel like I'm getting there.
Oh, I have my days where I make progress. But they aren't enough.
I realized that I'm also afraid of success.
I remember telling John when I got this job "What if dreams really do come true?"
He replied, "Count yourself very, very blessed."
And I am.
But I still struggle.
And until I like myself more, I know it will continue to be a struggle.
So my question for you all today, is what do you do?
Thanks for listening today.