Procrastination pt 2

I’m angry at myself tonight for what I perceive as a weakness. Once again it’s the end of the day and my writing is happening seemingly as an afterthought. It could have been injected into my day earlier, but I let myself go lazily along with the flow and put it off. I’m angry at myself for pretending. For making excuses for saying ‘yes’ to things when I want to say ‘no’. For waiting for a moment to edge myself in, instead of making space for myself. Sometimes I really just am going along with things to be easygoing, to not be a hassle. But I lose myself because of that. If I fail to assert myself, I fail to affirm myself, and I shrink. Maybe in the moment I only slightly see what I’m doing; it’s afterwards that I really feel the pain of what I did, feel what it cost me: time and energy I could have put towards my heart’s longings, my soul’s cry. That’s pain I have to live with, unless I do something about this pattern.

A moment after that thought is expressed I remember to loosen up the anger on myself – it was a part of me that made the choices I made today. Nothing was forced on me. At this time maybe it’s just a force of habit. Discomfort, luckily, shows up to tell us when a habit has become stale and hurtful. Becoming angry at parts of myself is not a path to inner peace. If I have opposition inside myself, then one side always loses. There are no winning battles when you fight with yourself.

… Anyway, since apparently it’s a theme that isn’t going away for me this month, here are some more notes on ‘procrastination’.

I’m noticing one form of it cropping up a lot this month, with the writing challenge. It tends to happen when I know I have to do something, but I haven’t made specific plans about when/how I will do it. It’s procrastination through failure to organize or plan. I let the uncompleted task just sit on my shoulders until it’s done, and as long as it’s sitting there I feel anxious and guilty about it.

As it turns out, those feelings aren’t the most powerful or sincere motivators for me in the long run. They might make me feel pressure in the moment to get something done, but they don’t sustain me when I commit to something bigger and longer-term. And I end up wasting a lot of my time when I’m relying on myself to ‘just do’ the things I need to do. So I don’t think this mental pattern is the greatest habit. That’s what it is, after all – just a habit, or rather, a lack of one. I lack a strong enough self-organizing habit.

As I’ve sat with this idea I’ve realized it makes sense that I don’t magically self-organize. Maybe I never needed to, before. Maybe my ambitions have outgrown my good habits, so now I need to tighten up, cut out more of the riff-raff, help myself focus in on what’s important. If I want to level up my game and keep my balance, I need to develop this skill. I need to put some intention and effort in. It won’t happen by itself.

Maybe organization can be a ritual, too. Maybe this invitation to grow is an invitation to bring more good into my life. Again, it’s like a garden, and choosing to water the good seeds. Embrace the challenges, for they teach me. They bring me to the place where it’s possible for me to grow into the next best version of myself. My patterns are only walls for me when I let them be; it’s time to move.

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