Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Emotions rule

I've decided I'm an emotional person. I don't mean that I'm constantly laughing, crying or screaming; I'm not THAT emotional. But emotions rule my life.

I lost my voice four weeks ago and, while it's improved somewhat, it still doesn't last a full day. I've been on sick leave because I can't teach without talking and talking makes it worse. No one can hear me anyway. I've had nearly four weeks at home with nothing wrong with me except I can't talk. You'd think it would be a perfect opportunity to accomplish things, wouldn't you.

I certainly thought so. Four weeks is enough time to get a uni assignment done early and start on another one. It's enough time to write four chapters for my book. It's enough time to clean my office. But has any of that been done?

What I have done:
  • I went to the doctor three times.
  • I've made one batch of spicy tomato chutney and one batch of lemon and lime butter.
  • I've baked bread and muffins.
  • I've written the equivalent of one chapter.
  • I missed lectures at uni because I'm not supposed to be talking - and still haven't listened to the recordings to catch up.
  • I took my mother to see her sick brother.
  • I've been shopping. I've looked at heaps of things but so far have only bought chocolate.
  • I've read books.
  • I've wandered around the house complaining I'm not accomplishing anything.
  • And I've eaten a small shop-full of chocolate because that helps me whinge more efficiently.

Effectively, what I've been doing is waiting (probably with a good dose of feeling sorry for myself as well). It's self-defeating and it's time-wasting. But I can't break out of it. I have the perfect day today, with no interruptions to get an assignment started, but I'm doing this instead. I'm cleaning the house instead. I'm moving papers around my desk (let's not get carried away and actually put any of them away) instead. I imagine I'm irritating other people because I'm sure irritating myself at the moment.

This isn't new. It's a pattern that I haven't worked out how to change. When I eventually get back to work there'll be an incredible backlog of things that simply have to be done because I've been avoiding them. They'll all get done and, apart from the exhaustion, I'll feel great, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm deliberately not using a golden opportunity.

What I need is some tips on encouraging self-motivation. It's my greatest weakness.


Danielle Ferries said...

I could go two ways here. I could say - what the hell are you waiting for? Seize the day! Pull your finger out and get stuck in. Of course I'm always complaing to myself that I need to become more disciplined, and I think that is a big factor in getting anything done.

But, sometimes you just need to kick back and have a bit of a stroll around in your own space, just to contemplate, read books, eat.

And its not like you've been doing nothing. You've baked (of course I will obviously need to see proof of that on Friday night) and you've done some writing.

Everyone needs a break now and then. I don't think you should beat yourself up too much. Once the voice comes back and you're back at work, you'll be back on the horse again and working at full speed.

Geez, aren't I just full of advice today.


glediar said...

You'll have to wait another couple of weeks for the baking, Danielle. I won't be there on Friday - a wedding to go to.

I'm getting a bit panicky about the uni assignment thing. The first one is due at the end of the month and I haven't started it. It's my last semester and, with two subjects, it's going to be a full one. I need to get moving but can't seem to make myself do it.

On the up side - your magazine arrived today. Great to see you in print.