One of the things that drives my husband nuts about me is that I am a procrastinator. And it is true. I try really hard to pretend that I am not, but I am. Some of my procrastination is the classic kind—not doing something because I just don’t want to do it. But I also procrastinate doing things that I want to do, that I look forward to doing. I know this sounds completely nuts, but here is the rationale that gets me there: I really should do the things I NEED to do first, the things that are “important,” the things that are no fun and that I don’t want to do. Then, as a reward, I get to do the fun stuff. So it turns out that I am punishing myself for not doing the things that I think I should be doing by restricting myself from getting pleasure from doing the things I want to do.
I know! Welcome to my bat-shit-crazy world of over-analyzing and justifying. It’s exhausting!
And here’s the rub—when you procrastinate doing the “have-tos” they breed like horny little rabbits and you get buried under them and, if you are playing with my jacked-up scenario, you NEVER GET TO THE FUN STUFF! I like to call it delayed gratification because it makes me feel better but what it’s really called deprivation. And that, my friends, is no way to live. It’s stressful. It makes you cranky and whiney. It makes you say things like, “I never get to do anything I want to do because I am constantly taking care of you people so you can do what you want to do.” It makes you feel tired, resentful and worthless. You get no sense of accomplishment. And worst of all, it makes you mad at yourself because, after all, it is your own damn fault.
So I had a little chat with myself that went something like this: Look here, Missy. There is a new sheriff in town. It is time to take responsibility for your choices and commit to yourself and your well-being. If you don’t, dear, they will soon be wheeling you away in an unflattering white jacket to a padded room where you won’t be any good to anybody, including yourself. Got me? Good.
That is how my simplification project was born. I realized I needed to get control of my life. No one was planning on doing it for me.
If you break life down into it’s simplest components you have two things: time and stuff. There is no end to the stuff, but the time ticks away and you can’t get it back. So it made sense to me to start my simplification project by getting my stuff in check so I could make room for time—time to be with my husband, time to be with my kids, time to be creative, time to just sit and relax and not worry about those “have-tos”.
I’ve been reading these two books to help me get there. They are great. Check them out here and here.