I’ve been meaning to clean my room, a good deep cleaning that includes rearranging furniture and going through my closets and making piles of keep and do not keep with my clothes. I’ve also been meaning to pick up where I left off on that piece I started in January, the one with the goal of being completed by the end of February. Also, I’ve been meaning to get started on this writing portfolio. Now that I have taken all necessary steps to getting the paperwork in order for applying for my MFA, I need to complete and submit my writing sample for approval to the program. Aside from those things, I’ve been meaning to be a better person, doing yoga, working out, eating better and taking better care of my general health.
I think it’s safe to say, as the month of March closes, I am no closer to having completed or even started half of these things, than I was when I first decided I would do them.
I have been consistently making checklists with all of these items on them, and yet, I find an excuse to continue to push off getting them done for another day and week at a time. I can’t tell you how many times I have told myself that I will write when I get home from work and end up lying in bed, resentful that I have to get up even for a minute to attend to something for either my parents or daughter. Or the amount of times I declared that today, in this hour, I will tackle my room, pull out a few items and then toss them in a corner to be dealt with at some other time. Or the amount of times I say tonight, I will play the Sims (don’t judge me) and end up succumbing to watch NickJr with my daughter and find myself uninterested in changing the channel even after she falls asleep.
My life has turned into me scheduling everything, from taking care of myself to cleaning my room. To putting in a significant amount of work in my writing and business plan proposals to determining an hour that I could just play games. And yet, with all of that scheduling, I still manage to get nothing done and still feel exhausted.
Growing up, I would watch my mom take a day off to just clean her house and run errands. I always looked at it as a complete waste of a day off. I mean, why would you take a day off if you aren’t going to be doing anything fun? I remember, prior to starting my full-time job, her warning me about getting things in order, because I wouldn’t have time once I started working. I had looked at her crazy for even suggesting that a full-time job would rob me of hours and necessary energy and I would succumb to requesting days off to do things like go grocery shopping, do the laundry, and even clean. And here I am now, wondering if it would be worth it to request a day off to do just that.
The issue isn’t however my severe exhaustion that is a direct result of my tiring commute, although it’s not nearly as long as it could be, nor is it a result of severe repetition in my day that my body has just craves the ability to lay down on a bed for extended periods of time. The issue is, I’m not doing anything.
I’ve read articles about how Beyonce has the same amount of hours in her day as I do, she just uses them wisely by not multitasking. And I’ve tried it, not multitasking, and it has worked. Not multitasking as resulted in me completing my work in half the time required to do so. It helps me not overexert myself and have some energy leftover to do other things, but what I realized is, I have a lull in my day.
My commute is that lull. It doesn’t matter how much energy I conserve at work, I use it all up during that lull in my day commuting from work to home. Why? That I’m not entirely sure of, maybe it’s because I go back to multitasking, prepping myself for the activities that will ensue once I get off the train, or the fact that I constantly choose to speed walk out of the train station to a waiting car, instead of taking my time. A large portion of my commute does revolve around me racing, often times without a reason to race, to get from one destination to another, often times, just to find myself standing around aimlessly waiting to either start work or my ride to arrive.
I’m almost certain most of my energy is zapped during this period, making me want nothing more than to collapse into my bed and not have to leave it until the next morning. But it’s still not an excuse, which is essentially all it would come down to at the very end of the day. I’m finding reasons to justify my lack of motivation to finish blow-drying my hair or even get started on my writing sample, let alone touch my room (it really needs to be cleaned). I’m arguing reasons why I’m lazy, as if somehow that will change the fact that I am.
Sure, I could stop speed walking everywhere and maybe that will help in conserving energy, or I can throw back a cup of coffee once I get off the train. I could make my bed completely off limits until a certain time of the evening, so I won’t ever get so comfortable in it prior to bed, that I don’t want to get out. And all of these things could help in breaking me out of my laziness and get me to just do more with my evenings, but I don’t think any of them will be effective unless I’m honestly interested in doing so.
I mean, what’s the real difference between me and Beyonce? I, am more willing to talk myself out of doing things for my betterment, while Beyonce probably just goes for every idea that pops into mind, wholeheartedly. And of course, Beyonce also has a team of people that are essentially her “yes men” letting her know that she should go for it and her ideas are awesome, while my “yes men” are limited in size and often times too busy with life to offer that “yes” right when I need it to help keep me motivated.
So just what am I saying? What indirect advice am I actually offering? The answer to that, I guess, is that it’s really mind over matter. And if that’s not it, then I guess we are all in the same boat about figuring it out.