Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Confession Wednesday is Becoming a Bad Habit (no pun intended): The Overwhelmed Slacker Edition
It has 7 days and one new Pope since my last confession. I confess I am behind again, this is becoming a habit, a bad bad habit.
It's not because I'm slacking, well, being overwhelmed creates a different kind of slacking--let me explain.
To the confessional--
I confess when I am overwhelmed with a TO DO list of too many items, sometimes I turn into zombie poet, defaulting to the easiest activities--Facebook, reading articles, Facebook, looking at my To Do list, getting a snack, staring at my email.
Saturday I went paddleboarding for 2 hours. Yesterday I took a nap.
This overwhelmed slacker lifestyle doesn't happen often, just when I have a lot to do and a lot on my mind.
Many times I just find myself staring at something, usually my email and in my head the question circles, "What do I do next?"
Because of this complete shutdown I have when there's a lot on my plate, I have to make myself a smaller To Do list before bed with numbered items, so when I wake up I know what to do first, then second, then third. I know, this sounds ridiculous. But I'm like a deer in the headlights, or a scared poet at the mic, I just stare at the audience, the oncoming truck-- what do I do??
Knowing when I don't have a plan of attack (aka a To Do list) I will do nothing, I keep a To Do list.
Knowing, I will become a huge slacker if I have too much to do, I make a smaller To Do list to fool my inner toddler who becomes overwhelmed with too much.
Yes, I was that girl.
I was the girl who needed to know what and where and who and how long.
I remember being in second grade and seeing that some days the third graders went in and took their chairs down. Other days they lined up outside their classroom door. I remember worrying--How will I know what to do?! I will I know when to go in or stay out?
The answer was probably as simple as a locked or unlocked door, but as a second grader, I went to bed with this puzzle in my brain every night, dreading third grade and not knowing what to do.
Third grade came and I got another teacher.
All that crazy worrying (seriously, what 2nd grader worries over such things) and nothing happened. I didn't even get the teacher with the rules about what to do.
I have improved my worrying-brain immensely, though it took me most of my thirties to do so and one collection of anxiety poems (um, Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room), but occasionally when I get overwhelmed I wake in the middle of night wondering "What have I forgotten?" (You will see this theme in my next book...)
I confess I am glad I know the secret to me getting things done and getting back on track is just about ten minutes of making a large To Do list seem small.
Being an overwhelmed slacker presents itself in many ways-- maybe you do something you don't need to do (I, for example, uploaded about 60+ of my favorite portraits I've taken of poets). Was this needed? No. Should I have been doing something else? Yes. Why was I doing it? I'm not sure-- it was fun? Probably. Did it use a good hour or two hours of my time? Yep.
I confess sometimes I'm the most efficient person around and sometimes I'm Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Aloha, Mr. Hand.
But in the end, I do manage to get things done. Maybe I should just live the Spicoli lifestyle when it comes-- All I need is some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine.
I hope you're fine too.
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Written by Kelli Russell Agodon