In the last Friday Tomfoolery, I wrote about the liminal state that The Lawman, my work in progress, is in. I’m having to shift gears, again. From the onset of this manuscript, I’ve had one life event after another happen. Big things not everyday annoyances. Family issues, my own two surgeries, and my mother’s hospice and subsequent death. It was a long-ass three years that stirred up a lot of unresolved and/or forgotten issues.
One thing after another.
The funny thing was, I thought I was doing fine (I was). I thought I was making progress (I was). Then, one day I realized I was probably not as “fine” as I thought I was. In fact, I was most likely not fine.
I also thought I did all the things to help myself. I talked to friends. I recruited help. However, none of that helps when the internal voice keeps pressuring me with the “hurry up” refrain. Instead of doing the mysterious “catching up” I so desperately wanted, I tripped all over myself like George Jetson on his moving sidewalk,
eventually slowing myself down with mistakes, mishaps, and misunderstandings. Now, I was moving at what felt like a snail’s pace and I felt bad on top of it. I also felt defeated.
I wrote about something similar in an earlier Friday Tomfoolery. In it I mentioned one of the reminders I have on a post-it note, festina lente (make haste slowly), along with the other bits about time and movement. I also wrote about the internal push-pull to get things done as well as how I like to mosey and check things out, satisfy my ol’ curiosity, yet get things done.
That newsletter’s content was sparked by all the “mid-year” planners, planning, and check-in emails that exploded in my inbox. I only read one thing out of the whole bunch (because I was so overwhelmed) and that was an interesting Medium article discussing the use of music to help you become the person you want to be. I linked it in that newsletter. It’s worth a look-see.
The point of all this? I suppose it’s to reflect that you can be in two opposing states at the same time: in this case, fine and not fine. Also, stop worrying about what you cannot control. I can focus on the steps that I can take as well as my own actions, but I cannot “control” time or other’s actions, reactions, and opinions. No amount of shaming, blaming, or analyzing will move me along faster than I am going.
This is a difficult lesson for me because I grew up being told that I could make progress by pushing harder, and if I didn’t push harder, I was essentially shamed (until I did “it” or for not doing it). Either way, the message was just pull up your bootstraps and do the thing.
What’s wrong with you, just do it!
Sometimes, pulling up your bootstraps really does apply and is necessary. However, it cannot be your primary motivator all the time or you at least need to cut yourself some slack when things don’t pan out the way you’d like or were told they would. Boot strapping will eventually break you and/or your body down if you harass yourself about it or don’t allow rest. It’s a hard lesson learned. Besides, it all becomes a bunch of noise in your head that you most certainly do not need.
Now, I must return to festina lente and try to unlearn this particular lesson from childhood. I have some things to do, for myself.