Sunday, May 25, 2008

An Eye on The Excuses

I don’t know what to do about this. The goal I set for myself is to write every day for thirty days. I am about a week an a half in and I missed two days.

I didn’t miss it because I was shirking, I missed it because I was working. (haha I made a rhyme)

Could I have gotten home from working on my feet all day, then feeding and putting the kids to bed, and gotten straight to my book? I could have, but yesterday I fell asleep crossways on the bed. Konked out. And then by the time I woke up I was all fuzzy headed and dehydrated and still tired. The day before yesterday we had plans to go to my mom’s, so I didn’t get the kids to bed until 10, by which time I was totally exhausted.

I could have pushed it. Didn’t. I could have gotten home and gone off into my corner in the enclosed porch to write for fifteen minutes. Didn’t. One night I watched a movie with Sean and Uncle, the next night we all sat and chatted.

Perhaps I don’t have the will power, but perhaps it’s better not to be too rigid about it. I don’t need to punish myself by writing when I am in extreme circumstances. I do, however, need to keep an eye on my excuses. Being tired happens to be one of my most beloved excuses to get out of doing things that scare me or are hard. Or things I just don’t want to make the effort to do.

Sometimes, I have trouble treating myself well. I am harder on myself than I ever would be on a friend or a student. Sometimes I get lost in my personal fears of inadequacy and I get down on myself or punish myself. Or I give up. It is in those times when I have to remember how I would treat the situation if it wasn’t about me.

If I were my friend, I would be supportive and write off the two days and just encourage my friend to do better on the rest of the goal.

If I were a teacher and my students did something like that, they would lose points for not reaching the assignment goals. They might cry that they were ahead of their goals for the other days… like I am. They might tell me sob stories about how they didn’t feel good and needed to sleep… like I did. None of that, though, changes the fact that they missed a couple of days. Now, the extra work on the other days might make up for the missed assignment in the long run… good job student… but in the short run, I think missing the assignment does matter.

So you know what? I am going to take the consequences. I said write everyday for a month or give up chocolate for a month. Instead of being draconian about it, and making it a whole month of lost chocolate for a normal lack of perfection, I think I lose only two days of chocolate. Starting when the goal is over, that’s when I will have to pay the consequences… just so I don’t happen to try to “give up” chocolate on a random day when I neither want nor eat chocolate anyway.

At the end, I’ll tell you how many days I am banned from chocolate.

Right now, the total is 2.

But my goal of writing everyday is still on track and I am still proud of myself for doing as much as I have been doing.

Good job, student. Good job, friend. Good job, me.


Anonymous said...

Some days I write; some days I don't. I try not to make my life or myself the enemy, because they are not two, but one. Even so, because I read this today, I'm going to open up the document I've been avoiding for sooooo long and write. Thank you.

Rowena said...

Karen, you are totally right. We are not the enemy. And we don't suck when we fall short of our goals. We are imperfect and wonderful and can keep on moving forward. :)

And hearing that I inspired you to write makes me happy. Thank you.

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