Procrastination

It took me weeks to get started on writing this post. Oh har de har de har.

Like many of the people I read on the Internet, I suffer quite badly with procrastination. That is to say, clearly the majority of the people I read on the Internet don’t suffer with procrastination, or I’d have nothing to read as they would have loads of great ideas but never get round to writing them.

I’ve been told that I’m a good writer. I’ve been fortunate enough to be blessed with the sort of friends that consider my jumpy, abject, long winded prose and the ability to never manage to write a short sentence as a good thing. I’ve been told that underneath all this self effacing concern for my ability to get anything done at all is a good deal of dry wit, something that I have been trying to exercise on the other blog – bloodycomplaining.com – but even there I sometimes fail to express myself properly and just come across as a bloody complainer.

Which, I suppose, is just the point. That’s my place to vent and complain about the world and all the injustices that it serves upon me.

Tangents… Hmmm… Lovely tangents. Where was I again?

So, I’ve been told that I would make a good writer, but the problem with that is the people who tell me that have read stuff that I have written. Ergo, they have experienced the benefits of reading good output when I finally get around to producing it, but that gestation period between an idea appearing in my head and me being sufficiently motivated to actually sit down and write about it can be a very long time.

I’ve tried countless ways of addressing the good old procrastination bug, but the underlying point, I think, about procrastination in the first place is that it originates inside your head, and the inside of your head is a incredibly complex place to start messing around with. Besides, the inside of my head is also where all the reading I do about addressing procrastination goes too, and that makes it kind of hard to deal with.

It would be like trying to evict a horrible smelly flatmate by reading lots of magazine articles and books on “evicting a horrible smelly flatmate” and leaving them open all over the place – if he doesn’t want to go, no quantity of subtle hints or strategies that he knows exist because you openly share them with him are going to make a difference. Do you see what I’m getting at here? The analogy is a bit tenuous, but up there in my convoluted brain it sort of makes sense.

There is a bit of me that is stopping me doing my best thing, but I’m not going to be able to overcome it by reading more things about overcoming it, because by reading about overcoming procrastination instead of just getting started on something I love doing, I’m not actually solving the problem. At all.

Ooh, just got distracted by the idiotic laughing lady in the room next door. I’m typing this in a hotel on my iPad, just after I spent the last ten minutes wondering what the hell I was going to do because I was so bored.

Anyway.

Ironically enough, the very point about typing a post about procrastination is kind of helping me get out of the very problem I was having in the first place. You see, I started this blog with a good reason in mind, typing little posts about the horrible illness I had, and how it affected my life and everything, but as time stretches on and it fades into the distance, just like I knew it would, I find myself wanting to nurture this online place I call home, rather than letting weeds grow all over it like so many other blogs I started.

Blurgh. Long sentences, poorly punctuated. Not my greatest moment.

Anyway, that’s kind of it for the moment. My bit of procrastination busting that might spur me on to achieve more things. At least I’m not staring into the mirror and wondering what the hell I’m going to do with the next half an hour.

Acceptance

I’ve been through a hell of a lot in 2011, and along the way there has been a fair bit of loathing, anger and downright misery.

My anger has not been limited to just the disease I had – the frustration garnered from a total lack of control over my health or the cures that brought me back to the position that I am in today have manifested themselves in a myriad of other ways.

Take for example, my almost famous bouts of road rage. Thankfully they are limited to me shouting at other drivers while safely cosseted in my car, but when they sweep over me it takes a significant wilful effort to stop them utterly taking over.

I get angry in queues, when other people don’t take up available space in front of them, and countless other ways that I will boil and simmer about on the other blog that I have created for just that purpose.

Anger is a horrible, insidious thing. Giving in to it achieves nothing, but suppressing it makes a person even worse, eaten away by all the things they can’t control, and bottling it all up for the inevitable outburst at a loved one.

2012 is therefore going to be my year of simple acceptance. For example, I can’t change the fact that Xfactor is on the TV, or that the hideous manipulation of the general public that is inherent to these types of programme is always going to continue as long as there is a willing audience. I can’t change the fact that I simply don’t enjoy Radio 1 any more.

These are things for which I no longer fit into the target demographic. When designing another ‘talent’ show, the producers don’t consider a 41 year old man to be their key audience member. Rather than ranting and raving about it, I have to simply breathe, be calm, and accept it.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

(Reinhold Neibuhr)

Acceptance is a hard thing to properly internalise, but it’s something that is worth the effort.