I didn’t work today so I had to make up extra excuses not to sit down and write. Those excuses were, in no particular order: laundry, because 11 clean pairs of underwear may just not be enough for the week; hiking on a gorgeous Fall day; another Reese’s peanut butter cup, because afterward my belly hurts and I can’t do anything; dishes, because I don’t have a dishwasher; a research paper I started 18 month ago and have neglected to finish; Sunday Night Football because…
My name is _____ and I am a procrastinator. I didn’t use to be one. In my heart of hearts I know that procrastination doesn’t serve us well, so why do we persevere? Because there is something to gain, obviously, or else our highly evolved minds wouldn’t spend so much energy scheming to postpone the inevitable. What might be gained? Sympathy, when we whine to whomever is around about our endless to-do list. A good pep talk. A swift kick in the head. The desire to appear tough and masterful when perhaps there is just too much going on. The failure to recognize that saying “I can’t do it all” isn’t weakness but courage. There is grace in vulnerability.
“I am imperfect and I am enough.“
Those are the words of Brene Brown, Ph.D., a social scientist turned Oprah regular who studies shame and courage, vulnerability and empathy. Her TEDTalks are well worth the time.
I know exactly why I haven’t finished that research paper. Fear of not producing good enough work. Fear of how I will feel when asked to rewrite a better draft – even though rationally I know that it is only by revising and rewriting that we produce better work. Fear that I have disappointed the lead scientist on the study and not wanting to hear their reprimand, one I deserve in its entirety. And yet I think about this darn paper almost every day. So there. Maybe now that I have named the fears, I can actually get it done. It may not be my best work, it may need multiple additions and revisions and maybe even a major rewrite, but it will be my work, the best I can do at this very moment.
I am imperfect and I am enough.
(and it truly was a gorgeous Fall day in the great state of Tennessee)