Is there anything worse than carrying around the lazy weight of an unaccomplished goal? There isn’t. It’s worse when reminders of it stalk you everywhere, showing you what you could have done, but didn’t. Reminding you of what could have been, but isn’t. It’s like carrying around a ball and chain uncomfortably, all over town and trying to go about your life like it doesn’t exist. Except, it does. It’s visible, heavy and drags you down.
My ball and chain is a failed attempt at accomplishing a goal. I had no real resolutions for this year, as has been the case for the last few years now. I did have one thing I wanted to accomplish before the year was done. I started off with alarming resolve — I had a plan, a list, and I went about knocking things off in extreme organised fashion. But somewhere along the way, I lost steam. Rather, other things took precedence, and I let myself lose steam. Even when I realised I was losing grip and needed to grab hold of the closest buoy and steady myself again, I didn’t. Instead, I let go and further slipped into that abyss of procrastination, counting the remaining weeks and months of 2014 that still lay ahead of me. Until, suddenly I realised it’s December. Then that familiar ache to look back washed over me, as it invariably does this time of year. And I realised it’s been a decent year in most respects, except for these two. People and this one goal I had for myself. Unfinished business, a largely unaccomplished goal.
My ball and chain this year, is the regret of wasted time. The months I let melt away assuming I still had time. It’s the weight of procrastination that leaves you deeply drained even after it has passed. It’s the painful tingle of failure, that feels like a scab hastily pulled away from a freshly healed wound. You heal, you move on, and then you stop to pull it off once more and find yourself back exactly where you started.
I was never very-self motivated to begin with, and have managed to get things done and operate with a good level of productivity and satisfaction for the last two years, purely running on the enthusiasm of the sense of liberation that quitting my job gave me. The sudden time on my hands and the possibilities it opened up kept me going. Now that that feeling is old and almost fading, I’ve struggled to do stuff. This year, I had the added challenge of looking for work in multiple places too. A search that was largely an exercise in futility. My productivity has taken a beating. And what’s worse is I’ve let that feeling take over me, and push me further into a state of inertia and lethargy that is extremely hard to get out of all on my own.
I realised with resounding clarity last week that I am an excellent doer of things, if a plan is chalked out and direction is set. I struggle with charting my own way. I even considered consulting a personal coach a few months ago, when the unbearable weight of inaction was eating me up. When I tried everything I could to get myself motivated and going, and it still wasn’t working, I thought perhaps I need professional help in planning out the way ahead, with my goal in mind. Anything to keep it from remaining unfinished business.
December came along and it took a week more of procrastination and finally some ass-whooping at the hands of the hugsband (calm down you pervs, I’m only talking figuratively) to finally got me back on track. Some semblance of it anyway. I’m managing with some ease the part where I stick with the new routine we planned out, and where I strap myself to my desk for the stipulated time we agreed upon. What I’m struggling with is following through and getting the work done.
My mind flits this way and that, in search of a more compelling distraction. I drag it back, ball and chain and all. I shut down emails. I don’t dare open facebook. I meditate. I try and centre my mind and get it to be still. I do all of that, and somehow when it comes to actually working, here I am writing a post.