Chasing Inspiration

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Making Time, First Be Honest

I'm great at making time to write. I feel a passion for writing. I burn to get words on the page, and I've built a habit over time that makes it easier for me to put my game face on and do the work. Home is a different matter. Making time to do the things that need to be done - dishes, laundry, cleaning, organizing the home office, paying bills, and so on - well, that's a struggle.

I sat down on Sunday to think about why this is. Why is it that when it's something I committed to do, whether I love the work or not, that it's so difficult for me to follow through. Especially at home. I find myself lacking focus. I'm distracted by prettier, shinier things. And my commitments get shifted further and further from the forefront of my mind.

Then I had my aha! Perhaps my lack of focus is because I don't want to take responsibility? What a humbling realization and a sneaky subconscious technique on my part. If I don't take responsibility, I don't have to be an equal partner. If something fails, it rests more on someone else's shoulders than my own. With less responsibility, I don't have to give voice to my fears or opinions. And, I don't have to feel like I must do the tasks involved if I really don't want to.

On the flip side, I don't get to share in the successes. I'm not using my time in an effective manner. I'm not playing the game on a level playing field.

My lack of focus is because my heart isn't in the game. Take this cleaning of the office I keep mentioning. If I don't clean it, I'm not working in a clutter and distraction free zone, but I also don't have to share the space because the husband doesn't have any room. If I don't clean the office, I have time for other things, but I ultimately waste time whenever I need to find something and have to search through piles and drawers. If I don't clean the office, I can forget about the tasks hiding for me on shelves, in in-baskets, on desktops and not do distasteful tasks, but if I don't clean the office something is going to bite me in the ass and it's likely to cost me big in either time, money or potentially relationships.

If I take responsibility, refocus, and just do the work, I will gain so much more than I could gain by putting it off.

This is the sort of exercise I had to do with myself to get to the heart of the matter. What am I telling myself about these things I keep pushing off until tomorrow? Why is that? What do I gain by continuing with my current state? What might I lose? Am I willing to change? Or am I okay with the status quo? Am I acting out of fear? A need for the status quo? Out of perfectionism? Out of a thought barrier of playing victim? Am I okay with that or do I want to break free and break through?

Without honesty, I don't think we can change. It may be hard to get to that honest truth. Facing our inner motivations isn't always pretty. And the work can be ugly. I'm here to tell you that it's worth it. Once you're honest, once you get your current motivation and whether it's counter to your goal/dream/passion, then you can start the process of change.

What do you keep wishing you could make time for? What do you keep putting off? Have you been honest with yourself about why? And if you're okay with the status quo, why are you still wishing?

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