Saturday, August 14, 2010

So Bored and Nothing (Yeah Right!) to Do

Do you ever procrastinate things like housework, grocery shopping, and the like until it's absolutely necessary?  Do you feel guilt ridden over it?

It may be time to show yourself compassion and get to the root of the procrastination.

In my own recent experience, I had a long period of unemployment.  I ended up settling into a lifestyle of spending time each day looking for work, going to yoga class, eating packed lunches or fast food while sitting leisurely listening to KGO talk radio, Lady Gaga, or whatever my mood was calling out for.

I live with my partner, who is employed and was throughout my unemployment experience, and even though it was quite a toll on him financially to float the both of us with what little I got from unemployment benefits, he was SO supportive throughout the entire process of me either getting no response from potential employers to getting interviews and either finding out that jobs that once paid bank would now pay less than unemployment or I lost out to someone younger, to me going from depression over the situation to feeling a sense of liberation as I began to realize that I am not my occupation.

Because he stretched his paycheck to float us financially and stretched his heart to encourage me and lift me up emotionally, I was able to get through.  Sometimes I miss being able to get up and go to bed on my body's clock and not on a set schedule.  Sometimes I miss getting to be wherever I'd like to be: the park, yoga class, the library, the mall, the beach, meeting with friends at lunch time...I basically had a very long vacation, though the stress of knowing that my benefits would eventually run out and my efforts to secure employment - which had never been an issue for me in the past - haunted me and lingered in the background. My debt did not go away with my job.

Now that I am employed, I am so much more at ease.  I have more self-esteem because I feel that I am contributing positively in an environment where my efforts are appreciated and I get to use my creative side.  I actually like to be there keeping busy and using my brain. And, of course, the paycheck is nice. While I miss those lazy days, I try to make my weekends look as much like them as possible - which can be difficult.

I had grown accustomed to having full days that I could dedicate to cleaning the house, doing laundry, going grocery shopping, running errand, etc.  Now, since I live and work in the same rural town in the San Francisco Bay Area, I go home after work and am usually wishing that dinner were made for me and that the house would clean itself. (Did I mention that my partner recently broke his leg in a motorcycle accident and is laid up on the couch?)

I am so grateful for that time I got to enjoy, and learning to schedule my time continues to be a balancing act.  I have been pretty stubborn about "allowing" anyone to come in to help with housecleaning, but given all the variables, I've decided to give in on this one. We are actively seeking someone to come in and help with housework a couple of times a month.

But in the meantime, I must do it, and I often procrastinate.  When I "get away" with "forgetting" to wash the dishes, vacuum, or put all the clothes away, I almost feel like the little kid who got away with stealing from the cookie jar...only Mama eventually finds the crumbs, and he's left cleaning up the mess.

Today I sat in front of the computer refreshing Facebook and feeling incredibly bored. My mind turned to the many things I "could" and "should" be doing, and I began how good it would feel to accomplish some of them. But, I felt lazy and complacent. Part of me wanted to continue staring at the screen waiting for something to happen, but part of me wanted to do all the housework that I was putting off until tomorrow.

I started with the bathroom, and the momentum took off. Now the house is clean with just some dusting and laundry left for tomorrow. It feels good. It's kind of like exercise - for most of us, it's so difficult to get started, but after the workout, we feel fantastic.  That's how I felt after I cleaned the house today.  Now I can enjoy the rest of the weekend without the "should be doings" haunting me.

Last night, I was sitting in front of the tv. Nothing was on, so I practiced to a Tivo session of Wai Lana yoga. 30-minutes well spent. I slept like a baby afterward and it set the stage for my desire to sleep in a bit and do some gentle stretching before starting my day.

Why do we put off doing what is in our best interest/what is good for us/what we know will make us feel better?  Sometimes we need a little push from within. Sometimes we need to envision ourselves doing those things that must be done, and of course, how good we'll feel as we're getting them done and after we've accomplished them.

I admire those of you who are mothers and who also work and keep up with the house.  I have no idea how you do it and send you many, many blessings.

So, after you read this blog, of course, what is it that you can do today instead of putting it off until tomorrow?


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