What happened today had nothing to do with my usual nemesis, procrastination. I love my inner procrastinator. I have to. She’s not going anywhere. This could have unfolded as exactly my usual situation of choice:
1) I waited until the last minute to do the research I needed,
2) I fooled around playing Words with Friends instead of sitting down to write,
3) I went outside and got lost in the garden and forgot all about it.
But it didn’t.
So what did happen?
On Saturday, I taught a full day workshop on Alexander Technique and Kodaly music analysis to cello students. Boy was that fun! Boy was that exhausting. On Sunday, I cleaned and organized my house for house guests, who arrived that evening and stayed until this morning. I love these folks, and I haven’t seen them in over a year. I wanted to really be with them, not around them while working from home. Yesterday I did go to the office while they touristed, and in the short time between clients I got two important calls as simultaneously, unexpected visitors showed up to consult with me about renting my studio space.
My guests were scheduled to leave this morning fairly early. They rolled out at noon. I had to teach an afternoon piano lesson. Instead of writing between twelve and two thirty, as I'd planned, I found myself catching up on all the other work things that had been piling up since Monday. No Words With Friends today!
Sometimes, life is just like this.
I could have spent the rest of the afternoon beating myself up. Or, trying to get the promised work done and producing an inferior product, which would have greatly upset my inner perfectionist. Fifteen years ago, I know I would have made one of those choices.
I could have chosen to be very anxious about all of this. I could have worked myself into a tizzy that would have prohibited me from getting even this post done. Believe me, I’ve done that, too.
So – I didn’t get a post done in the morning, I didn’t procrastinate, I didn’t beat myself up, I didn’t get anxious. What I did do was to accept the circumstances and realize that I am doing all I can do. I decided to take the small time I have left today and write a little more about inhibition and its relationship to direction, in order not to miss my deadline and let my subscribers down completely. This, at least, keeps my sense of integrity intact.
When circumstances are completely out of our control, we have all of the choices I mentioned above. And maybe a few more you can think of, if you take the time to pause and consider the choices in front of you. And that’s inhibition and direction in a nutshell, in the real world.
The next time something like this happens to you, I invite you to treat yourself with kindness. Do what you can. Enjoy the time you have with people you love. Know that everything else will get done in its own time (unless you procrastinate.) Oh, and laugh about it. That makes everything better, at least in my world.
Here’s to doing what we can do, staying grounded and in integrity with ourselves, and loving our lives and our friends.