I’m back, but I can’t figure out where I’ve been. Or why I went missing. All I know is that the last time I opened my head to you was two months ago.
Going missing for two months isn’t supposed to happen. In mid-August, I was fired up and writing posts. Then I was fired up but not writing. Then I was fired up, period. I took notes about topics for the blog. I jotted down ideas that made me laugh. There are cryptic scribbles that made sense at the time but need decoding now. None of them made it to the page. I just needed some high-quality mental space, a good block of quiet time. The idea of writing was appealing, but the will-to-action became elusive.
The really wierd part is that I was avoiding doing something that I actually enjoy. Unlike eating an extra serving of soft ice cream, there’s no guilt or remorse that follows writing. For me, writing is rewarding. Still, I couldn’t get back to it. Nothing was really stopping me, either. At first, I told myself that I’d start up again in a few days. Or, “next weekend.” When the house guests leave. Or, after the trip to Maine. When the second round of house guests leave. After Labor Day. Before Halloween…
Maybe it’s happened to you. You have great intentions to accomplish something. Like making your exercise program a habit: you know you’ll feel great when you “just do it.” (Thanks, Nike). So, why aren’t you doing it? That’s the question. Somewhere along the procrastination process, the “to-do” task morphed into a spectre that now greets you when you’re waking up and spooks you when you’re trying to sleep. That nasty, grinning, nagging spectre is in your head, at your back, staring at you in the mirror and sitting next to you in the car.
“Tomorrow! You are going to write!” the spectre snarls.
“WRITE!! NOW!!” it screams at me. “Why the hell are you cruising on Rue La La again?? The only thing that’ll get you is another odd-colored Le Creuset cooker that’s too heavy to lift, anyway.”
“Stop torturing yourself reading HuffPost stories about ranting Tea Party Mullahs… you’re obsessed by those mouth-frothing fear-mongering candidates underwritten by the Koch Brothers’ shadow organizations. (And we’re supposed to worry about foreign extremists? Has anyone else noticed a similarity between Glenn Beck’s technique and that of the dictator/demagogues who’ve been positioned as our national enemies? Does anyone else have satisfying daydreams of a raggedy-assed, unshaven Beck being smoked out of a foxhole, Saddam Hussein-style?) Ooops. I digress. This is the stuff of another story…
“You’re writing 1,000 word emails?!? It’s amazing that you still have friends, girl.” The spectre doesn’t let up.
Taunting me in the morning, it says, “Okay, you lazy drifter, have your coffee, but try a hefty slice of self-discipline on the side. And no, you don’t need to organize your desk or do a few loads of laundry before getting to work.”
I do everything else that makes me happy. I hike with the posse. Read lots of newspapers. Text my daughter. Hang with friends. Dine with my husband. Cut roses. Work at the hospice. Travel a lot.
Trying to understand my behavior — why I do (or don’t do) things — I search for reasons-why, for excuses and even blame-takers. (Hey, Nancy! Didn’t we agree that this two-month thing is all your fault?)
I wonder, too, if there was a hidden significance about “two months.” Maybe there was a vaguely Jungian, world-vibe synchronicity with the Chilean miners… trapped underground for over two months and now suddenly back in the world. Was there something cosmic or extra-terrestrial going on these past two months? Perhaps. How else to explain Christine O’Donnell and Sharron Angle?
As inexplicably as why NQB went AWOL… today became the day when I just sat down and wrote.