Monday, January 30, 2012

Taking My Own Advice

I had a hard time getting going this morning... and a client called very early, before I had taken a shower, and when we hung up, I sat on the edge of my bed staring into space like a lump. Eventually I realized why I didn't want to pop up and start moving. I had a difficult and sensitive response to write to a work email that had arrived yesterday which I postponed til today. So my subconscious knew that if I got up, took a shower, got dressed, started work, I'd have to face that email.

That's when I reflected on advice a friend had shared decades ago:

You can't feel good about yourself lying in bed and not getting up.

I wasn't lying in bed; I was sitting on it, but the result was the same. So I got up and took a shower and while I was showering, I took advantage of another piece of advice:

Make a plan.

Decades ago, I had read a true story about a man who survived really horrid times during WW II and he would always come up with some plan which would help him survive. I know that answering an email and the horrors of war aren't the same, but the idea of a plan still worked. So I decided I'd do the email first to get it out of the way, even before I read other email and then picked the second and third items I'd do.

So I'm sort of chugging along, but listlessly. Over the weekend I had not accomplished all that I wanted, including paying my mortgage and health insurance. The mortgage doesn't matter since I actually have until the 17th of the month, but the health insurance is due on the 1st and I don't want to mess with that. I know what I'm about to say doesn't make sense, but there's some twisted part of my brain that says if I don't write the check, I sitll have the money. I also had a Netflix to return -- a film I didn't enjoy, stopped watching after 20 minutes or so but also resisted returning that since somehow if I didn't return it, then I would magically discover that I was wrong and really did want to try it again.

So as I'm doing "bad girl" over all of this, a third piece of advice came to mind which was given to me by a person in a 12-step program. He said:

If you want to feel better, do something esteemable.

So I wrote the mortage and health insurance checks and got them mailed, along with the Netflix. I could no longer say, "You didn't accomplish anything today."

Right now, I'm glad Monday is over. Gratitude typically works for me too, so I can say I'm grateful today that my entire apartment smells good. No live mammals (other than me) and no dead mammal smells anywhere.

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