Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Procrastination as a Lifestyle Choice

he not busy being born is busy dying
Bob Dylan

...haven’t been doing much productive lately...some editing and tutoring to not quite pay the bills...working with recovering addicts, writing this blog, practicing yoga, biking, a few other things...but not exactly doing my part to fulfill the hard-working, pulling-up-by-the-bootstraps American dream...more in fact, like the modern American reality of deficit spending and lack of accountability...and I’ve tended to think of that as a problem...and some of it—like that last couple of items—definitely is... but maybe not all...

Nonbeing penetrates nonspace.
Hence,
I know the advantages of nonaction.
Lao Tzu

...procrastination and inertia might be more useful than they seem...which is not to say that not doing shit is a good idea...necessarily...though there is stuff that’s better off not being done...and that really shouldn’t be done at all...or even thought about...actually, I disagree with myself about that last bit...everything should be thought about...because it’s being thought about anyway, down below, on an unconscious level...so it needs to be brought forward...looked at and understood....but, actually, the darker recesses isn’t really where I meant to go with this...I was thinking not of those deep awful urges from the id...even if there might be something to all that stuff about idleness being the devil’s play pen...though, if so, it’s the angels’, too...and that’s my point, I think....idleness is simply the space between something and something else...

Who can stop what must arrive now?
Something new is waiting to be born...
Robert Hunter

...in some cases, admittedly, inertia is caused by fear....the ongoing lack of real effort to get my novel published would be a perfect example of that...but I’m talking about other stuff...practical stuff...stuff that can make me money but leaves me cold....coldness freezes...can make life a glacier...slow moving, destroying whatever’s in its path...

One day you’ll wake up in the present day
a million generations removed from expectations
of being who you really want to be....
Ian Anderson

...sometimes procrastination happens because people deep down know that what’s to be done won’t get them any closer to what they want and need, and might prevent them from getting there at all, despite all necessary considerations....and inertia is the ground in which new, as-yet-unknowable life is going to grow...if we let it...

Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.
Rumi

15 comments:

The Clandestine Samurai said...

I suppose you're right, inertia and not-doing could just be the space between something and something else. I would just hope that the time period between those two objects are as short as possible.

FANCY said...

Don't we all have "do nothing days". I think that are the days we work hardest with our inner The brain is boiling and the refection and musing about "nothing" is on the top. To do that demands hard work ;)

svasti said...

Its a good thing we had that IM chat, so I've opened my own personal book of interpretations to the right page here...

And, I'm not sure actually, that everything does need to be thought about. Not really. Some of that 'stuff' of our inner recesses are more like patterns to be understood and dismantled rather than worrying so much about the thoughts they generate... I think...

Amongst the other things that are happening (despite your inertia and hey, I've been there many a-time), surely from amongst your readership someone knows someone who can find you an agent?

I know this place of the pregnant pause, the appearance that nothing is happening, when in fact...

The fear, and the fear of the fear and the fear of the result of the fear are all just energy too (like you talked about in your last post) and if you think about it (but not too hard), when you give yourself permission to go ahead anyway and you pull yourself from the strong gravitational force of inertia into actually making a start... its impressive, the energy that can be released.

I have faith in what you're aiming for darlin'. Reach for the stars.

Just get a move on! ;)

Aggie said...

Sometimes the musings of the brain are much more hard work than the physical. Until all the crap is thought out and dealt with, you can't motivate yourself to move on. At least that is how it gets for me at times these days ... and your priorities change as you get older too.

Christine Vyrnon said...

yes

earthtoholly said...

First of all, I love that you quoted Robert Hunter, writer of my beloved "Box of Rain."

I'm an awful procrastinator, maybe because of a little bit of both fear and doubt, and unfortunately, the Ian Anderson quote feels as if it were written just for me. If I were to tell myself that my "idleness is simply the space..." I'd be rationalizing. Thank goodness my depression is tempered by my optimism... :o( :o)

14theroad said...

I bet your novel is more novel than most and I want to read it, so your procrastination or fear or frozen state or whatever you want to name it is getting in the way of my enjoyment damnit! If you can't do it for yourself, will you (pretty please) do it for me? There's a dog rolling in shit in your future if you comply.

Echo said...

I really like this, thanks! I find my self procrastinating and frustrated because I can't seem to move foreward and I like the idea there is a reason for it. It becomes clear as you write it that this is true. Very very insiteful.

diabolicomix said...

Interesting thought. Very true. But maybe there are some things that we are better off not even thinking about.

I love Rumi.

Jeunelle Foster said...

Funny how some of us insist on holding ourselves back through non action.
It must be a disease of the mind.

Lana Gramlich said...

There's definitely something to be said for relaxation & procrastination, especially in the high-stress, Western world of "must always accomplish BIG THINGS!" I left that train long ago & have had no regrets. I put the "pro" in procrastination!

flawedangel said...

I am a procrastinator extaordinaire and this post touched a chord. I like the way you put it, 'idleness is simply the space between something and something else...' (just that for me that 'space' is bigger/longer than others'! *LOL*)

Love the Rumi at the end of this post. How true. Thank you for sharing.

rusty said...

For some strange reason we are in the middle of an ice storm up here. I am the only one I know with power, so for some reason since I am bored and can't call anyone because their phones don't work, I have a huge spurt of energy, weird, but I know whatcha mean sometimes :)

L. Venkata Subramaniam said...

each time for me it is laziness!

Bird said...

You've hit a sore nerve with this one! Right now I can't prioritise anything and it goes beyond procrastination, it's almost total paralysis. The stuff I'd really love to make gathers dust while I work my fingers off making what I hope will sell. Sigh. Be authentic and possibly starve, or make fairly nice stuff and starve a little less, no wonder I just can't choose. Ah well, I guess I could lose a few pounds :)