Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The telling life: I don't wanna

When I was a little girl I would occasionally have spectacular tantrums. Lower lip sticking out, arms crossed, feet stomping and shouting, "I DON'T WANNA!!!"

I still feel like that sometimes and I bet you do, too.

We have all hit that place where we don't want to do that gig, deal with that producer or (in my case and right now) write this blog post. I. Don't. Wanna. It's a tough place to be because really, all we want to do is give in, have the tantrum and eat some chocolate. At least that's what I want.

When that happens I find it worthwhile to ask myself why? What is going on that makes me reluctant to get the work done?

  • Is it physical? Am I tired, hungry, thirsty? Am I premenstrual? Am I in pain? Would taking a nap, eating, drinking or ibuprofen help?
  • Am I lonely? Do I need support? How long has it been since I got some appreciation? Do I need to phone a friend and get a pep talk? Do I need a hug? 
  • Is this project triggering feelings related to something else? This has been especially relevant since Kevin died, but looking for connections can sometimes help and if I find them I can look for ways to make it less painful.
  • Is there a problem with the project? Do I think it's somehow unethical, inauthentic, or inappropriate for me? Does it involve someone I find troubling? What can I do about this, or is it just a lesson to be learned?
  • Is it resistance and self-sabotage? Am I fighting my own best interests because some part of me believes I am not worthy? Am I afraid no one will care about the work? If so, how can I remind myself that what I do matters and is meaningful?
  • Lastly, do I just need a break? Would taking a walk or exercising or reading for awhile help?
Depending on the answers I can usually work through the I don't wanna. Sometimes I just let myself have a tantrum, then get to work. That's what I did today before writing this piece. I avoided, procrastinated, did the dishes and finally decided the topic I had been planning to write about wasn't the one I needed to write about. I groused about it, decided no one would care about this, that clearly I don't have anything useful to say and then wrote it anyway.

We all will have times when we don't want to do something. We all have times when we feel ineffective or scared. We all need to remember that we are not alone in this work, we need to remind ourselves of what we love about it and, when we step up and do it, it will mean something to someone. And if not? Then at least we had a chance to practice and learn a little more about ourselves.

(c)2015 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

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True Stories, Honest Lies by Laura S. Packer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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