I stare at the screen, type a little, look up a piece of information or url, then get distracted clicking from page to page. After a while I need to stretch. I get up, pour a glass of water, fix a snack, look and see the stove is dirty, so I clean it. There are dishes from my snack so I wash them, I splash water on the floor and realize I need to sweep, so I get the broom out of the closet.
This goes on for hours. One domino into the next, justifiable distraction, leading me further away from what I need to be doing… but still accomplishing tasks on my to-do list. It is a sickness I am pretty sure. Why is it I can’t just sit at my computer, type for an hour and have it turn magically into a finished article and be done with the whole process so that I can get the other things in my life accomplished! Wouldn’t that just be wonderful?
The real question is, why do I seek the distraction when I know I have things which need to be done? Why must these distractions be both beneficial and anxiety inducing? Why can’t I just have uninterrupted focus for the morning and productive afternoons?
Perhaps I can. Perhaps I just need to re-read The War of Art and face my forms of resistance head on.
Truth be told, I think my biggest form of resistance is not feeling validated in my current career path. It is hard for me to feel like I have a “real job” when I am not in a dedicated space for X amount of hours a day, doing X for that amount of time. Working freelance is a whole new game, especially in the writing portion. Don’t get me wrong I love working freelance, I love the flexibility and the way it challenges my mind. However, I do not love the immense amount of anxiety it produces when I feel things slipping through the cracks or not being given the appropriate amount of time and attention.
Drew has been doing a lot of research on anxiety lately. One of the many things he has stumbled across, is that we (as anxious people) are often more successful when we learn to work with our anxieties, not against them. To me, this sounds like trying to sing the A-B-C’s while getting teeth pulled; although I do see merit in the concept. For him this means quieting the voices that try to distract him with worry, for me it means not obsessively running over every detail, of every moment, of the rest of our lives (ok it isn’t that bad, I am not a total loon, but I have an incredibly active imagination).
I would like to know how one accomplishes this. How to find harmony in chaos or quiet in a storm; the impossible made possible.
I am not going to stand (or sit) over here and pretend that I am good at this or have it remotely figured out. But I will say, calming the monsters that lurk in the darkest corners of our minds, beforeinviting them to tea, isn’t exactly the worst idea in the world. So what the hell, I will give it a shot.
Anxiety and resistance, it is nice to officially meet you both. I am sure we will all enjoy working together, but I would really appreciate it if you two would respect and not abuse my time. Thank you ever so much and welcome to the team.