Sunday, October 13, 2013

Working When I Don't Want to Work


“You might say, 'What a dreadful day', without realizing that the cold, the wind, and the rain or whatever condition you react to are not dreadful. They are as they are. What is dreadful is your reaction, your inner resistance to it, and the emotion that is created by that resistance.”

Eckhart Tolle






I really don’t want to work today.  I’m a little tired and I could use a quick nap, but I don’t know what today will bring and I want to do some writing while I have a few extra minutes.  Eventually those few extra minutes add up to hours and days over the weeks, months and years.  I’ve also found that those extra minutes are best used sooner rather than later, because I don’t always get them later. 
In the past, if I had two hours to write, I would often take the first half hour and do something that wasn’t productive.  I would think it was okay because I still had an hour-and-a-half left.  Then, to my chagrin, something unexpected would occur, such as a phone call from a child who needed to picked up.  Then my schedule would be shot and I would get no writing done.  On the other hand, if I started writing immediately, I found that the interruptions often didn’t come.  If they did, I was emotionally prepared to deal with them and wouldn’t feel resentful or frustrated.
Every moment is a gift but I have wasted so many of them, as if I were throwing away diamonds in the trash.  There are several ways I can take advantage of these gifts:
·      Do my work.
·      Be grateful.
·      Be present.
·      Tell someone I love them.
·      Do a kindness for someone.
·      Breathe slowly.

Well, now it’s several hours later and I’ve had a pretty nice day.  A couple of points were stressful, but overall, it’s been a good day.  I’m tired and I’m falling asleep.  This is why I’m glad that I started this blog earlier today.  I’m 1/3 of the way done.  Had I taken those 15 minutes and slept, I would have to start from the beginning.  But a few minutes, used strategically, have saved me a lot of work.
So I rested for a while and now I’m able to work again.  Except that I still don’t want to do this.  I’m cold and tired and I just want to go to sleep.  That’s the story I’m telling myself anyway.  It might even be true.  The way I will know it’s true that if I’m still tired after I’ve written my blog.  Then I will know that I am genuinely tired.  There’s something about doing my work that elicits incredible resistance and it starts from within.  This really is the hardest part of this commitment: 
·      Doing it when I don’t want to do it,
·      Writing when there’s little encouragement,
·       Writing when there’s no payoff,
·      Writing when I feel cold, tired and lonely,
·      Writing when the road seems long and endless.

Tonight I started reading a book, The Promise of Energy Psychology, by Feinstein, Eden and Craig.  It promises a method that might heal me of my lifelong struggle with ADHD and with fear.  After I got past the exciting introductory chapters, I began reading the part that described the work involved and that’s when I got tired.  I thought it would be effortless, even though the authors didn’t promise that (though they did say that this healing method is much quicker and easier than traditional Western approaches).   
That’s when my fatigue hit me.   It is, as I said, entirely possible that I am genuinely tired.  But it’s just as likely that fatigue comes upon me just as I’m approaching a possible method of growth and healing and just as I’m trying to keep my commitment to write every day.  I rarely want to do the things I should or need to do.
Yesterday, I read Turning Pro, by Steven Pressfield.  He lists over 25 qualities that characterize the professional.  Here are some that are good reminders for me now:
·      The professional shows up every day,
·      The professional is committed over the long haul,
·      For the professional, the stakes are high and for real,
·      The professional acts in the face of fear,
·      The professional endures adversity.
·      The professional defers gratification,
·      The professional does not wait for inspiration,

I may write about each of these in the next few blogs (or I may do something entirely different).   I like these because they all apply to me – sometimes.  I’m not always consistent.  Sometimes I give up.  I get distracted easily. 
But I’m here now.  I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.  My fatigue is leaving me because I know what I should be writing.  That may have been another source of fatigue; I may have not known what to say.  I don’t know why I bother listening to that voice.  After more than 230 blogs, it seems that I would remember that I have never failed to write something different every time.  Never.  So even though this is hard, I keep writing.
I found a quote by Mohammed Ali:
I hated every minute of training.  But I said, “Don’t quit.  Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”

Here’s the thing:  I don’t hate every minute of writing.  Actually, I love it…most of the time.  There are times that I suffer though.  I suffer when
·      I know that I could be reading a comic book, watching a movie or doing anything else but work,
·      I don’t know what to write, but I keep writing anyway,
·      I’d rather sleep and perhaps I even should be sleeping,
·      I look at my statistics and see how few people are reading this right now.

Granted, nothing on that list is devastating, but they are still struggles.  The ultimate answer though is that none of that matter.  I just keep writing anyway.  I’m in this for the long haul and I act in the face of fear.  I Get Started and I Keep Going.   Like everyone else on this planet, I have a Purpose.  And I cannot allow anything, especially not my inner resistance, deter me from my Purpose.