[Guest Post] The Secret of Adulthood: Do the Work

awkwardyoga

Geek Yoga: Source

karinI’m on vacation this week and next so I have some guest posts lined up. This one is by my friend Karin. We were accidental roommates at a conference one year and we immediately fell in friend love as we talked about blogging and using twitter. It was 2009 and twitter was a whole lot less cool back then. This post was originally posted on her own blog Everyday Karin. She lives in Orlando, Florida. You can find her on Facebook or Twitter.

 

One of the most difficult yet freeing realizations of adulthood is that there is no magic wand. There’s no rich uncle. There is no Santa Claus.

If you really want something to happen, you are going to have to do the work of making it happen. And that is both difficult and freeing. Difficult, because somebody has to do the work and now that somebody is you, not the Fairy Godmother. But freeing, because now you don’t have to wait on that someday or someone. You can begin today.

Before I get too esoteric, allow me to explain.

I’ve written about my struggle to be consistent with running. Much of that has to do with the fact that running is pound-the-pavement, hot-asphalt hard. But it’s also because I compare myself with my friends who are far better runners than me. I wait for the perfect running conditions, convincing myself that will help me improve. But as long as there are large dogs and snakes on the loose, perfect running conditions there will not be. There is no magic wand. But I digress.

Today as I wobbled in yoga while everyone around me was graceful and beautiful and serene I thought, “maybe I’m not such a bad runner after all.” And I almost left, right in the middle of class. But that’s when it hit me. You practice yoga. You keep running. The difference in wobbling and steadiness is not because they are thinner than me or stronger than me or prettier than me. The difference is those girls have been practicing longer than me.

I used to think you were born a Michelangelo or Steve Jobs. But now I am starting to think you can become one. That there’s not a genius gene, but that God creates each of us with ability to achieve greatness. And a key to greatness is simply discipline. Day after day, doing the work. Feet to pavement. (Or yoga mat).

Confessions of a Recovering Procrastinator: Tip Number 5

When I wrote the post I published monday about procrastination I had to face a very unfortunate reality. Not only had I procrastinated in publishing that post, I had also procrastinated in a series of other things in my life. I made reference to this relating to my reimbursements and stuff. Today I spent three hours on reimbursements alone that I had put off since September. I have six piles of receipts waiting at the office for me to finish up in the morning.

I haven’t run in three weeks. This morning was a painful reminder of that as it was sunny out! And if I had looked at the weather forecast to even try to plan a run, I would have known it wouldn’t be raining and I could have run.

Might I add that I haven’t really done any element of my morning routine in the last few weeks other than wake up at 6:45, only to roll over and sleep for another 45 minutes?

I’ve been getting a lot of feedback from friends and family about this blog. People are telling me that they appreciate how honest I am about my successes and failures. Chalk one up for another in the failure category.

But! All is not lost. I was determined to set the ‘reset’ button today by diving into those reimbursements. I did have to break up the time so as to not go completely bonkers in the process. I went out for a walk and did some errands and came back to finish it. It felt good. It didn’t have to take 3 hours if I had done it regularly throughout the semester (like I had made my staff do! Gulp.). Yet, there was another moment in my day when a reminder popped up for me to start the next project and my first reaction was “put that off, it’s scary.” I half did. I thought about next steps for that problem and then stopped for another project that was way less difficult.

1. It’s Not Pointless

If you’re anything like me, killing procrastination sometimes feels pointless. “I’ll do it some other time when I have more character,” or whatever our excuses are. We know we need to do it because it’s really not helping our life very much, we know we need to do it as a part of ‘growing up’ and ‘surviving the real world’ yet it can be so darn intimidating.

2. Win the ‘war’, lose some battles

The lie I believed for a long time is that one failure equals total failure. This is not true. We can lose a battle but win the war. Learning this has helped me have big wins like today when I actually faced that literal pile of crumpled receipts and still walk away OK with the fact that I didn’t win every battle I faced. “That’s cheesy to call it a battle, Jess, it’s not that big of a deal.” Maybe. But for me sometimes it feels like a really big deal. A really big deal that through wins and loses I want to come out on top.

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