Y’all have no idea how many things I’ve done in between writing that title and putting words on this page.
Procrastination is the most productive form of dysfunction, really.
Tonight I find myself avoiding what I know I must do. Inspired by The Nester, I have joined those writing for 31 days in this beautiful, glorious month of October. I’m equal parts jumping up and down (commitment to creativity! self-care!) and shaking in my boots (…crickets…). I can call it mommyhood or the busyness of life or my desire to curl up and take a nap, but really I know the disease that plagues me.
It’s called perfectionism-fueled procrastination.
Also known as avoiding hard things.
So as I’ve decided to focus on 31 days of lessons learned, it’s only appropriate that we get this first one out of the way.
LESSON 1: YOUR SOMEWHERE IS GOOD ENOUGH.
Have you ever not done something because you thought you weren’t in the right place or in the right season or in the right shape to do it? Like you knew you couldn’t do it well (yet), so why even try?
Yeah. I think that’s the worst lie I tell myself.
Let’s take this new series as an example. I’ve known I was going to do this no shorter than twelve long days ago and yet the day to begin is here, and all I can come up with are reasons why I shouldn’t take on this challenge. Things like, I haven’t mapped out my plan in the slightest, I’ve never done one of these “linky” things, my blog is a just a wee baby blog, I’ve almost never written on consecutive days, where will I find the time, what if what I write is boring, blah blah blah blah blah.
Lots of people think that it’s endings that are the trickiest: slugging through the last few miles of the marathon (not that I’d know), finishing the book you started, completing the last few stages of a big project, shedding the final five pounds.
But I’m here to say that–at least for some of us–it’s the beginnings that take the cake. The fear of setting out and not finishing, or not excelling, or not being accepted, stops us in our tracks.
The pile of clean laundry is already a mountain on my sofa, so let’s just put one more load on top.
I don’t want to go to the gym because what if my jiggles don’t fit in? Fat chance.
I’ll never be able to pass that class, so what’s the point of doing this homework?
I’m fifteen minutes late to the party and besides, no one will talk to me anyway, so whatever, I’m not going.
I’m not climbing that mountain because what if I get up there and it’s so high and I can’t get down?
I have no idea what meaningful thing to say to my grieving friend, so I’ll just smile and try to make small talk.
I don’t have time to clean out that entire drawer, so what does it matter if I just shove in one.more.thing?
I’ll probably never fit into my pre-baby clothes, so I think I’ll just keep eating these M&Ms. [raises hand]
I just can’t figure out God or why bad things happen to good people or the how and why in the vastness of this universe or the close embrace of a personal savior and so I just…I won’t today.
Y’ALL. As I write this and as you read this, I hope you see it: this kind of crap gets ridiculous because it’s just. not. truth. And I’ve lived every single one of those not-truths.
What I want to proclaim tonight to you and to me and to your grandmama is this: Everybody’s gotta start somewhere, and your somewhere is good enough.
YOUR SOMEWHERE IS GOOD ENOUGH.
Don’t ever let the fear of what might be keep you from becoming what you might be.
Because that what–that you–might be better or bigger or more beautiful than what your fear can dream.
Your somewhere is good enough.