I’m not doing anything right now. Sure, it’s Sunday. It’s a good idea to get some rest and relaxation on the weekends. But at the same time, I’m fully aware of how many things I ought to be doing.
So why don’t I just do them? Well, I know I won’t be able to get all of them done satisfactorily, which is so depressing that I just don’t even bother to start. Also, some of them are unpleasant, so I just don’t want to. So I’m depressed because I’m so freakin’ lazy, too.
What to do? I finally finished reading The Mindful Way through Depression today (it was on my to do list, and it was do-able). Here’s what the book had to say:
It is not so much making “to do” lists that is the problem. The problem is our sense of impending doom if we don’t get through the list.
OK. So don’t take the list too seriously. Don’t feel like you have to do everything in one day. Good advice, but easier said than done. I can’t just turn off the part of my brain that feels guilty about not getting things done.
The book also says that we should practice living in Being mode instead of Doing mode. However, as you may have noticed, the world pretty much runs on Doing mode. If I don’t pay my bills, utility companies and creditors will not care that I was embracing Being mode. If I don’t find the extra paperwork that the State of Oregon wants to prove that we were both working and paying for child care, we’re going to end up owing the state money. If I don’t clean the kitchen…well, you get the picture.
That said, I guess doing things in Being mode doesn’t mean they will never get done — assuming I do something more than hang around on the computer all day.
I’ve also recently been doing Getting Things Done (GTD). GTD involves collecting all of the things you need to do (in a list, file, etc), and developing a regular review system to make sure that nothing gets forgotten. This is supposed to allow you to relax, because your “stuff” is all in a safe system where it won’t get forgotten, and you don’t have to keep thinking about all the things you have to do.
Ha. Once again, easier said than done. I got a system set up, but somehow the daily processing and weekly reviews rarely get done. And that list of Next Actions is pretty much getting ignored.
Why is all of this happening? Well, every time I think about getting close to that list, I panic. I can feel it in my body. All of my muscles tense up, my stomach starts to turn, my head starts to ache, and I want nothing more than to run away, or maybe to curl up in a little ball under a table. Why is that happening? I don’t know. I just know that it does.
I’m missing something here. I can feel it. The mindfulness philosophy says that I should gently and lovingly acknowledge the negative feelings and move on. It’s the moving on that I haven’t got yet, though.