Frustration… Procrastination… Those Damn ‘tions…

English: A Diagram of procrastination cycle. T...
English: A Diagram of procrastination cycle. Task features, internal factors, irrational beliefs, behavior and consequences are shown. used for a university assessment. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am at a point now in my life where things are pretty much exactly how I want them (minus the ‘I’m rich’ status).  I have an amazing man in my life.  He pretty much encompasses everything I ever wanted in a guy (he doesn’t like sports – but I look past that!) right down to the way he touches me and tells me he loves me.  There are so many other things that have happened in my life in the last 6+ years… I sat here tonight and thought… “I am truly humbled.”

See, everything was so overwhelming when I first got sober… I had truly hit rock bottom.  I was living in my enabler’s basement, my kids were taken from me by Youth Services and I was unemployable.  I remember dropping to my knees one night as I sobbed and begged God to help me.  God heard me and stepped in.  Of course, I had to do the footwork.  I did that footwork with such thirst and hunger… I still do the footwork to stay sober.  Staying clean and sober is an ongoing process that requires little thought on some days and a lot of prayer on others. I can’t remember the last time I actually craved a drink or drug.  I am fortunate in that sense… there are times at meetings I hear people share about how they “want to drink.” I am not saying I am immune to ever picking up a drink, but I can’t go there.  Me picking up a drink or a drug is like an average human being walking in front of an oncoming train.  Suicide.

FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD

The statement above is one of the truest I have ever read.  Think about it.  You can pray for a new job, a new home, more patience or a smaller butt, but those things are NOT going to fall into your lap without striving toward them.  I prayed for a new job in 2007 and busted my ass looking for one.  I found a great one.  I prayed for guidance with my previous relationship.  All the clues pointed to ending it and I did so.  I could go on and on….

Here is where things get iffy.  All the ‘tions’ I mentioned in the post title.. those are character defects.  Or as my Al-anon sponsor says (I’m ad-libbing here) “character defects are strengths unchecked.”

My biggest character defect is PROCRASTINATION.  I am so good at it, I could probably teach it as an art form at the local community college.  I come up with excuse after excuse and reason after reason for not doing what I need to do to go where I need to go.  Facebook of course is a huge catalyst in my procrastination, but really it is me.  I am the culprit; my own worst enemy to throw a cliché out there.

So I started thinking:  How can I stop procrastinating?  Because procrastinating and not doing what I need to leads to an overwhelming amount of frustration.  I’ll tell you how I can stop.

JUST STOP PROCRASTINATING AND START DOING! JUST DO IT ALREADY!  There is no magic pill that will help me with this crap.  There is no book, no seminar, no class, no pill, no drink, no anything that will help me do what I need to do… I just have to do it.

I want to publish my novel that I wrote in November of 2011… hasn’t happened because I haven ‘t done anything about it.

I want to score a cushy writing deal regarding alcoholism/addiction so I can help others and myself… hasn’t happened because I am inconsistent.

So there is the cycle.  I want to change my life… I procrastinate.. I get frustrated.. I give up.  And it goes on and on and I am exactly where I always am which is exactly where I do not want to be (in terms of a career).

So if I have faith that things will go the way they should go and I do the footwork to make my goals, dreams and aspirations come true, things will fall magically into place.

Do you procrastinate much?  How do you get over the lazy hump?

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Where Do You Write Best?

Ok.. so I am finding out that writing at home is becoming a non-option. I get distracted by television, my family and my cat that I taught how to fetch. Oh, how that last one has come back to bite me on the arse.

Where did you throw my mouse, mother?

 

I find that writing at the office on my lunch is the best option so far. Writing in Starbucks also works out. Which is why, when I drop my daughter off at work tomorrow night, I will plop my butt at a table in the corner of Starbucks next door for three hours.

This will help me out in several ways.

First and foremost, no cat to bring me a little stuffed mouse to throw in the other room. Over, and over and over again.

Secondly, people!

If I am hulled up in the apartment all the time, how will I find interesting character traits to give my characters that layered “real person” vibe? Sure my cat is adorable and didn’t earn the name “Little Bastard” for nothing… Still… not much dialogue there.

The best part? Super caffeinated coffee! Oh, how I love coffee; the stronger the better.

The Investigation Discovery Channel will be miles away as I sip my delicious beverage and people watch (in a major non-creepy fashion). No distractions of grizzly murders (they do help – occasionally) and crazy people. I would say this channel is an excellent observation for behavior, but I wind up getting engrossed in the story and forget all about my work.

Bad Darlene!

My book is coming along a little faster these days. This is a blessing. I had awful nightmares of me publishing a book with blank pages. *shudders*

So I want to know from y’all (nope – not from the south, but sometimes I like to pretend!)… where do you write best? Alone? At home? On the subway? Under a tree?

Talk to you soon!

Muscled By Geese

Since I am having a hard time finding pictures online of items, animals, sports teams, musicians, etc., I decided to go out on this beautiful Sunday afternoon to take some pictures.

I didn’t have a huge amount of luck, as I did not travel far.  I get like that.  I don’t really want to be around people sometimes (of course looking like I just stepped off a street corner may have had something to do with that).

I did make myself walk into Starbucks and get a coffee.   I went to the one in Yardley, PA by the lake next to a church.  Both the Starbucks and the church are close to the road.  The lake is overrun with geese and ducks who have no problem approaching someone with a tasty treat.  I ate most of the banana nut bread I purchased.  I looked up to see a pair of eyeballs staring back at me.

About To Get Muscled For My Tasty Treat

Now, a rational person would just chuckle perhaps.  “Aww, look at the adorable geese!”

Not me.

I was bitten by a goose when I was a wee lass.  Now, I am nervous around geese.  And I mean, really.  They have those black hoods that hide their beady eyeballs.  Never trust something or someone you can’t look directly in the eye.

Needless to say, I ate about five morsels of my bread.  The nerves really started to go crazy as the geese approached closer.  There were ducks not too far behind.

I threw a piece of bread into the lake.   The geese careened on it like vultures on a carcass.  I stood and watched, sure I was safe for a moment.   The geese swallowed down the sopping bread.  They hissed at each other.  It was a battle of wills until the bread was gone.  A motorcycle roared by, snapping me back to reality.   Geese were staring me down, waiting for more.   My left arm threw small pieces of bread as far as it could muster.

I made a mental note to get back to the gym and high tailed it out of there.

Meditation for Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Learn Something New

As the days whisk by and we’re caught up in all of the tedious moments of meal planning, check writing and that fun task of laundry that seems to procreate all by itself (who wears eight socks in two days?) we start to feel like we are in a dirt encrusted rut that Luke Skywalker couldn’t pull us out of.

Learning something new will add excitement to your life.  It helps build self-esteem, enhances your character, and helps you make new friends.  Plus, it gives you something to talk about to your children and current friends other than crusty Cheerios and Dr. Phil.

There is one rule to learning something new. Make sure it is something that you want to learn.  Taking a jujitsu class is great if you want to learn how to better protect yourself in close combat.  But, if you are only taking a jujitsu class to impress the guy down the street, chances are the warm, fuzzy feeling you had in week one will feel like a crampy ‘this sucks’ feeling by week three.

If you aren’t sure what you’d like to learn about or brush up on, make a list of all the things you enjoy.  After you make your list, circle three that you like the most.  Then go online or go to the library and search for classes or seminars in your area on the interests you’ve circled.  Some may cost money and some are free.  If you feel it is worth a few dollars, treat yourself.

There is a great website called, meetup.com that has a slew of different groups, from knitting to motorcycle riding.  You’ll meet people with similar interests and maybe even make some new friends.

Thought for the day:  Learning new things increases my happiness and potential.

Sometimes We Need To Be Lazy

Meditation for Sunday, February 20, 2011

Being lazy has always been frowned upon.  We call unmotivated people lazy, children who do not excel in school lazy and the unemployed lazy for not pounding the pavement 24/7 looking for a job.  It is painful looking for work when jobs are so scarce.

For those of us with plates so full the tasks are spilling out over the sides, being lazy is a great idea once in a while.

When I say, “be lazy”, I do not mean, “do nothing.” I mean, slow down.

When we are overrun with errands, meetings, exercise, and what to make the kids for lunch on a daily basis, tasks start to blur together.   Before we know it, we open our carefully packed lunch to find a pb&j with the crusts cut off.  Your child is sitting in school scratching her head because she knows that you know she hates veggie wraps.

Being lazy helps us to regroup and realize our priorities.

Rome was not created in one day.  Cliché, I know, but it hits the point home (I’m hoping).

Take your time.  There are a lot of things in life that can wait until you get a few spare moments to tackle.

In the morning, quickly go through your day.  You can do this in your head or on paper.  Check off the things that need immediate attention.  Leave the items that can wait unchecked.  Be honest with yourself.   If it is Tuesday and you have a meeting, the kids have violin practice and the dog has to get to the vet, do you really need to vacuum the entire house? The fuzzballs can wait.

Realization for the day: Being lazy once in a while is okay when we focus on the big picture.

Daily Meditation for February 13, 2011

Get Rid Of Fear

Emerson said: “Do the thing you fear, and death of fear is certain.”

There are a lot of different emotions that fall into the category fear.  Jealousy, insecurity and selfishness are just a few.  When we are fearful, we give away our power.  Fear rears its ugly head when we say, “I can’t” or “But” or “What if”.  Fear stays in us when we are in a hopeless situation and remain because we are afraid of failure or change.

Talk to your partner about that issue, ask your boss for that raise or take flying lessons.  Once we get past the fear, there is nothing more to be afraid of.  Most often, we say, “that wasn’t so bad. I wonder what I was so afraid of?”

Meditation for the day: Letting go of fear builds my character.

You Have What It Takes To Meditate

We as women stress out over the tiniest things because it is in our genetic make-up to take care of everyone and everything.  Kids, work, mates, money, exercise and the list goes on of all the things in our lives that stress us out.  And let’s add one more thing… ourselves!  Meditation can help us through these trying times of overreaction.

If you can sit quietly for ten minutes then you have what it takes to meditate.

There really is no big secret to meditating.  Breathing and having a peaceful focal point, which often times is your breathing, are really the only two things that are essential to meditating successfully.

The first and foremost step to meditation is breathing.  Once you learn how to focus on your breath you are well on your way to meditating.  So you’re thinking, ‘ well I already know how to breathe’. Well, yes, but this is a more focused breathing.  Try to imagine your breath as a physical entity.  You inhale the fresh air through your nose while you suck in your abdomen and then you push the bad air out of your mouth as you slowly relax your muscles.

You can meditate in your home.

Meditating at home is one of the easiest places to meditate.  Just knowing you are in a  familiar place can be relaxing.  Try to give yourself a good amount of time.  For some ten minutes works; others might need up to an hour.  If you can’t make a meditation room (and really – how many of us can?) then just find the most relaxing place in your home.  Sit in a relaxed position.  Close your eyes and inhale through your nose (good in!) and then exhale through your mouth (bad out!).  If your mind starts to wander take it back to the breath.  You cannot think about more than one thing simultaneously.  So if you are concentrating on your breathing there is nothing going on in that already over loaded brain of yours.

You can meditate outside.

Meditating outside in a park or even on your front porch or stoop in the quiet time of the day is another great place to meditate.  The noises of nature; chirping birds, the wind rustling the trees and perhaps even a close by trickling of water, are great accents to go along with your breathing.  If sitting on the grass makes you uncomfortable then go for a walk.  Still, be sure to focus on your breath while your senses take in the sights and sounds of the outdoors.  Feeling the wind brush your skin is an added bonus.

You can meditate in your car.

This is a tricky one.  However, focusing on your breathing and finding a happy space in your head while stuck in traffic is a good way to get through your commute without wanting to repeatedly bang your head on the steering wheel!   Instead of turning on the talk radio or cranking the tunes (which I am guilty of often) try being in the quiet with your breathing for .. yep!  Ten minutes!  Then put your radio on.

You can even meditate at work.

It’s true!  This is probably one of the top places we all need to learn to meditate.  When deadlines are crashing in on you and your boss won’t stop hitting the intercom button it is great to know how to focus on your breathing and getting to that happy place.  If you have to step away from your desk so be it.  You’ll collect yourself and be more productive when you get back to that intercom.

So remember.  As long as you can find yourself a happy place in the midst of the insanity of your day-to-day, and you can focus on your breathing then you have what it takes to meditate.