Sometimes, if I don’t have something planned for my day, I do absolutely nothing. I sit on the couch and watch movies on TV while noodling about on my laptop computer. I suppose I could justify it by saying I’m networking and reading the news, but really I’m being totally idle, and the longer I do nothing, the less likely I am to do something.
I know from experience that I need to put my shoes on early in the day if I’m going to go anywhere. If I am still wearing slippers at noon, I can stop kidding myself that I might actually get any exercise. I can spend all afternoon talking myself out of it, and I often do. Once it’s dinner time it’s game over. I don’t go out at night alone.
But then there is the guilt. A day wasted. All my creativity, energy, and intelligence just frittered away again. Actually, the more often I do this the less creative, energetic, and intelligent I become, so given enough time I will be able to do nothing and not be creative enough to feel guilty about it. That will be awesome.
Right now, though, it doesn’t feel awesome. It feels like laziness, but it also feels like fear. I recently read a blog post about someone’s reluctance to use the telephone, and I felt as though I had found a kindred spirit. I, too, would prefer never to use the telephone, although I manage to make appointments and such like. It’s that same feeling that stops me from drawing, painting, sewing, exercising, and so on. When I imagine myself doing something creative, my anxiety kicks in, and then I choose not to even attempt it. I’d rather feel nothing than feel anxious.
It’s not logical at all. When I do get going, everything is ok. I am passably good at my various activities, and nobody would really care even if I were not. But in my imaginings, being seen to be doing something badly is irredeemably awful.
Where does that come from? Can I blame my parents? Not really. They were always more-or-less supportive. Have I been shamed and embarrassed at some point? Probably, but I can’t remember when that might have been.
So, it’s a mystery. And it’s easier just to stay home and watch movies on TV.
That did the trick! Writing about this shamed me into going for a lovely two-hour walk, taking photos in the sunshine. That’s when I took the picture you see here. I call it “Inertia.”