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What Do You Want?

March 30, 2013

I am normally an excellent compartmentalizer. Work is at work and when I am at work, I am At Work. Home is at home, and when I am at home I am At Home. When I am with my friends, I am With Them. Not to say I have Being Here Now mastered or anything, but I’m fairly good at focusing on the situation at hand, especially if there’s nothing much I can effectively do about any of the rest of it at this point in time.

But last night, I just couldn’t shake Work. I left at 6:30 on a Friday night after an already long week. Grabbed some take out sushi (always a mood booster, I reasoned), and headed home. A friend would be coming over with a bottle of wine at 7:30 (another Sure Thing in mood management here). But the funk would not lift. I’d left angry at some peers who I actually like quite a bit, but who are making my work more difficult by not completing their own on time. I can’t say it’s all their fault – we’re all swamped beyond belief – but I do start getting bitter when they go home owing me a deliverable and I’m still there. (File under “Things not going the way we all agreed they should” on the list of unhappy-makers).

Still, last night’s bitterness was exaggerated. I could see it as such, but couldn’t stop it. Hanging out with Friend and drinking wine helped, after which I fell asleep on the couch watching the Daily Show, which is a third thing that Always Helps. Unfortunately, when I woke up at midnight, I went directly back into Rage Mode and stayed there until I fell asleep properly (i.e. in bed with clean teeth). I then awoke early this morning still ragey.

I’d intended to get up and head out toward the office – one of my favorite yoga teachers has a class nearby on Saturday mornings. I would take class, catch up at work for a few hours, then do my Easter grocery shopping (which is really just my normal grocery shopping plus some veggies to take as my contribution to the family get-together). 

But when I woke up,  I did not want to do any of that. I quibbled for a bit before finally asking myself the Essential Question: “What do you want to do?” Well as it turned out, I wanted to sleep another hour, to make myself pancakes and drink half a pot of coffee while idling on Facebook. I then wanted to spend a few hours on Unfocused Accomplishments before going for a walk (a real walk! It’s finally Springish!) and finally settling at the coffee shop for an unnecessary macaroon and  superfluous cup of coffee. All of this tackled both the delicate balance of idle time I require, as well as some progress toward being able to find things.

[Unfocused Accomplishments refers to time spent starting and completing necessary or useful tasks without the pressure of a list or of prioritization. If I were to prioritize my housework every week, I would never organize my kitchen drawers, tighten the bolts on the toilet seat to prevent incidents of panicked unbalance, nor clean the Giant Pile of Crap under the guest room bed. But today I did all of those things, as well as normal kitchen and bath cleaning, and none of it felt like work because at every moment, I did only the task I felt inspired to do.]

I still need to get that grocery thing taken care of, and there’s always more to be done around the house, and of course I’d like to squeeze a good yoga practice into this day, but at least I feel I’ve made enough progress to forgive myself whatever tasks don’t get done. And I stopped caring about making it into the office, which was always going to be a bad idea anyway. Mama needs her rest!

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