Doing Versus Thinking About Doing

 


Do you have things you know you could be doing, should be doing, would be doing if you have the gumption to get up off your ass and do them? I do. I stood in the middle of my kitchen last night, surrounded by dishes and dim light and dirty curtains and told myself I needed to be completing my application to be a speaker at an upcoming conference. I made myself a drink instead. I missed the deadline. I need to wash the curtains and the dishes and probably change a light bulb. Knowing these things need doing have no control over my seeming inability (refusal?) to do them. The curtains irritate me because they’re dirty. Yet they’re still hanging there. The dishes irritate me because they need to be washed before I can even cook and yet I’ll wash what I need, use them, then be right back where I started. I care, but I can’t make myself do.

**

I have a tendency to give excellent advice to others but I seem unable to apply these same suggestions, admonitions, or gentle nudges to myself. When you feel overwhelmed, how do you climb out of it, what’s the first step? And by overwhelmed I mean by sheer ordinariness: dishes, laundry, groceries, mail, the sex you planned out so well in your mind four days ago and looked forward to but now it’s four days later and each night you’ve passed out soon after the kids because you are tired, so very tired. And probably tipsy.

**

Yoga has always helped me. I tend not to practice, though, because to practice I’d have to carve out time and purposely change out of my robe and into something more conducive to downward dog. It’s odd. I crave, genuinely crave the peace and mental stability and calm that yoga provides and yet I will opt for bed or a book. Or vodka. I care, I do. But how do I also act on doing the things I need to do? Regularly? Because telling myself what I should be doing doesn’t make me do it, even if I want to do it.

**

My robe. I went through a few pieces of clothes from the floor yesterday and determined most need to go to Goodwill. I put my robe in the bag. It’s only two years old and has been my best friend the entire time. But, it’s time for it to go. It is a hindrance, an eyesore, no matter how comfortable it is. It became my crutch. The signal that mommy is tired, wife is disinterested. It’s time to change the signal.

**

Lists. I like lists! I am awful at lists, both making them and crossing things off of them. But, I still feel like I need them. I need to list out what needs to be done in the extensive cleaning and reorganization of my bedroom. I will spend more time on the list than the actual cleaning, though. How do you get past the want of change and move into the effecting of the change? I’ve read about making a plan (aha! A list!) and simply sticking to it. I can see how that would work with a person who sticks to lists, but WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE LIKE ME?

**

I plan to at least try. I’m going to try to do the things that are good for me. I’m going to try to not do the things that are bad for me (but that might, at the time, also feel pretty damn good). I’m going to try to remind myself of how I want things to be: clean curtains, dishes done, clothes I don’t wear gone. And maybe buy some vitamins.

**

I am so fucking hormonal I could scream. There is a special place in hell for the person who thought that mother/daughter synchronized menstrual cycles was  a good idea. I am teary and sad because the girls are gone until Thursday but I am grateful and enjoying the semi-quiet that their absence produces (semi because the boy is, well, not quiet.) I cannot wait to hear about their trip and wash their hair and look into their faces and remind them that they have homework packets to complete BECAUSE I AM THE FUN MOM.

 

Comments

  1. says

    Oh do I get this. I’ve been in a deep funk for the past week (or is it two now?). I take a tiny bit of solace in what I have found when surfing the interwebs rather than doing anything productive — it seems like a lot of people are in this place. Mommies, yogis, writers, snarkmasters – everyone seems to be in down cycle. Is it the extra long winter? The spring that just won’t? The cold that has settled into our bones? I don’t know. But I think it’s in the air, or the stars, or the atmosphere (is it cold in here?). I’m gonna think real hard until I just come out of it…

  2. says

    Girl, I keep getting in a funk and PUTTING MYSELF THERE. After yesterday’s post about my college “bottom,” I am walking around with a huge shame cloud hovering. I keep doing that– exposing, feeling shame, hiding, coming out again. A cycle. I hate it. I’ll take that robe, because it sure sounds comfy. And seriously– the deferrals of the so-called easy stuff– curtains, sex, all of it….it’s brutal. Maybe we are doing enough. I am certain you are. I probably should wash the curtains.

  3. says

    I tend to keep blaming the late arrival of Spring for all of the very same feelings that you stated above that I have been having. Life has just gotten me so down lately. Too much to do. Never enough time. Illness after illness through my family (and not just the very friggin annoying germ illnesses).
    I think I need to have the windows on my soul cleaned. Maybe that will allow a little more light in and I won’t have to depend on Spring’s arrival since it feels as if it will never come. (28 degrees this AM. WTH?)

    • says

      And here it is a week later and the sun is shining and it was high 80s this week. The effect it had on me is nothing short of magical (and slightly scary because I can’t afford to go through this level of funk every winter.)

  4. says

    Maybe you just need a different place to do those things….like my house.
    You can do my dishes, and wash my curtains, fill up my pantry with groceries and do my laundry.
    It would be a different look of things. Different food to buy, (i have weird dietary needs) only 2 of us so not as many dishes, but we wear a lot of clothes it seems for only 2 people.
    But a change of location may make you appreicate being home. Oh okay so it’s not a spa but it is different. :-) just a thought…..

  5. says

    And that is why there can only be one vagina in our house. Although sometimes Shawn does act like one. Especially now with his bum foot and all.
    I have lists. They mock me.
    I just noticed that there is ketchup splattered on my ceiling.
    Which is kind of nice because it takes your eyes off of the rest of the chaos in the room.
    I can’t believe you let your robe go!

    • says

      The words on my lists taunt me. They turn into these creepy moving figures that dance and sing a song about You Can’t Finish Anything. The robe is gone. And you know what? I don’t really miss it. (and then I bought a sweater and I wear it every day. MY CRAZY IS CYCLICAL! And also borne from warmth?)

  6. says

    That first paragraph is completely me. 100%. So many things. And I love lists. Adore them. I often rewrite them just so that I can cross something out again.

  7. says

    do the down dog in your robe. fuck it. or down-dog naked (which might lead to the sexy, who knows, but just not in the kitchen b/c all that banging around might disturb the dirty dish pile and sex is more important than dishes–although a serious BIG turn-on in my life is when my husband (unprompted) does the dishes. AND WIPES OFF THE COUNTERS. Way to get me hot, big boy…and then I get sad that my life is so small that i get excited–or at least willing–by the fact that my husband is swabbing the pans).
    Your piece makes me laugh & wince in recognition…and then then the last paragraph made me think – OH OF COURSE. Thank god I don’t have daughters. One prepubescent boy is bad enough, but a girl? I shudder to think. Take down the curtains. Do you really need them?

    • says

      The curtains are coming gown. I’m determined. Absolutely determined. (Now to figure out what to do about the creeper next door. Must find new curtains. Ooh, or a cute shade!)

  8. says

    You have no idea how much we are alike. When it gets really bad, I enlist the help of my husband. He does great dishes and he’s a good handyman (with lightbulbs and such). I don’t have curtains yet, but we collect dust mammoths on a regular basis. Heros are made out of overcoming the ordinariness.

  9. says

    Man do I get ALL of these! But yes I dread the last one the most. My girls are not old enough for this yet. But holy hell it is going to be bad! :)

  10. says

    I hear you. I had to make myself get in the habit of action. I can think about things, I can list things (I’m the queen of a list) but I had to take it further than that and move my booty. How do you do that? It’s as easy and complicated as “just do it”.

  11. says

    I do this a lot. If only I can take the doing of this to actual doing of things, I’d be freaking productive. But. No. Commiserations.

  12. says

    I do all of the exact same things down to the lists. To all the various unchecked lists. I don’t have a robe though. When I get home for work, my favorite part of the day is taking off my pants and putting on my yoga pants. Yoga pants that haven’t done yoga in uncountable amounts of months.

    Yes, I do this all too.

  13. says

    Yes, yes, yes and yes. As I write this, I am sitting on the sofa with my favorite old, ugly blanket on me, not doing anything I need to be doing. It’s sad.

  14. says

    In my old age, I have found that just starting is sometimes enough.

    It’s the starting.

    I’m one to become so overwhelmed , that I just ignore.

    But if I begin, then I can keep going.

    Just start, A, just on one little corner of the sink, only one side of the curtains down, one line on the application: JUST START.

    xo

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