The Fear of Doing

Since mid-September, I’ve been in a funk at work (and in general, as you may have noticed), which means that I basically sit at my desk, do a lot of pinning and read blogs (this past month they’ve been about clothes:  useful?).  With the sitting also comes boredom eating.  GREAT.

Seeing my counselor helped me remember that in order to make progress, I need to do something every day.  It’s easy to get wrapped up in the idea that if you don’t get everything on your list done, you’ve failed.  Overachievers [like me] make ridiculously long lists, and the longer the list, the tinier the chance of finishing it.  Who wants to bother starting an impossible task?  Not me!  I’d prefer to read fashion blogs, thankyouverymuch.  So I’ve been trying to do a little bit each day, which was sort of working.

Cue the first amazing blog post last week from Jen Epting.  Jen, whom I met at the wedding of dear friends, liked instantly, and have gotten to know better and to like even more via her blog, writes here about stating a fact and then examining what’s really going on with it.  When I played her game with my work life, it went like this:

Fact:  I’m reading fashion blogs all day at work. (But what am I really doing?)

Fact:  I’m putting off the things I know I need to do.  (But what am I really doing?)

Fact:  I’m feeling afraid that if I start working, I still won’t be able to get everything I need to do done.  If I work my butt off and the science doesn’t work or it doesn’t show what I expected, I won’t have enough time to write my paper, get it accepted, and graduate in the time frame that makes sense for starting the next step of my career.  I am also feeling afraid of starting that next step and what it means about leaving my life here and being separated (however briefly) from my husband.  (Well that was enlightening, albeit complicated.  Maybe time to head back to the counselor?)

The combination of Jen’s post and the second amazing blog post that I read last week from Small Notebook really put everything together for me.  The reminder I got from Rachel was that doing anything feels better than doing nothing.  Funks cannot be shaken off by sitting still (or even by eating ones’ feelings).  Get up off your fanny and ACT.

So I did, keeping in mind that there is a complicated set of emotions behind the decision to take or not take action, and maybe I need to cut myself a bit of slack.

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