After reading The Cure for the “Perfect” Life by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory, I realized how painful life had become for me because of my severe procrastination. Praying for motivation seemed ridiculous looking at how I wasted time, waited until it was too late to finish something, or saying “I’m sorry” for the umpteenth time. Each night I went to bed with a heavy burden of undone items on my to-do list. Yet it was a relief to sleep since that meant I was off the hook for a few hours. Oh, I did laundry, fed the dogs, and picked up the living room. Those things were easy.
I’m talking about purposeful, intentional, and meaningful things. My Bible study was done after Eric went to bed on the night before my class. I would cancel an activity because I had not done what I needed to do to attend or procrastinated too long to sign up. I wouldn’t write for weeks and then would face the embarrassment of friends asking how my writing was going. How many times did I say I was working on my office? The room looked like a cyclone hit it. Yikes, it goes on and on. How did I look in the mirror and like myself? What had I become? Every month as I saw my psychiatrist I would mention my challenge of wasting time, sitting doing nothing, and playing games on the computer. I kept hoping he would tell me what was wrong or tell me I was a terrible person, but he didn’t. He did suggest many times that I set up a daily schedule, write out goals, and set a timer for working on a project. I heard those ideas but rarely followed through. My anxiety and depression weren’t getting better. I constantly thought about how lazy I was or how unworthy I felt. It was easy to use the chronic pain I struggle with for why I don’t do things but I knew in my heart that wasn’t always the reason.
Sometimes we’re only motivated to change when the ‘pain of staying the same’ becomes greater than our fear of making a change. – Leslie Vernick
Then I signed up as a member of the book launch team for Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory. I didn’t really know what was entailed, but I volunteered and was chosen. Well, now I would have to produce. There were people counting on me. I read the book and followed the private Facebook page of 100+ women. I actually did the assignments Kathi and Cheri gave us. Wow, this felt good! I put my blog on Facebook so I could provide endorsements for their book. I began to change. I began to see that I could be accountable. The chapters on procrastination were the best I have ever read on the subject. It felt like someone was listening to my inner conversations. I started getting more done than I had in months.
Each day I grew more fascinated with setting a few simple goals and seeing them through to completion. My office started to empty. There was a floor in there.
My husband left for a week. I wondered how I would do while he was gone. I allowed myself to watch the series Midwife that I had purchased on Vudu months ago never getting around to watch it. It was delightful, calming, and motivating because I was doing an activity that I enjoyed rather than doing nothing and feeling bad or blah. I cleaned more in my office. I could use my desk again. I actually sat in there writing my blog, catching up on emails, and working on my scrapbooking. The dogs loved it so I brought their beds in for them. We were happy campers. The biggest thing that I had put off was one last investment from my parents’ estate. My mom had passed away four years ago and I had let this slide. I went to the bank and found out what I needed to do to get it sold. Why was this so hard? I’m a grown woman. Are they going to bite me, yell at me, and tie me up? No, they offered me help. I have one more task to accomplish and the hardest thing on my list for three and a half years will be crossed off forever. Freedom! Yes, this kind of living is freeing!
I don’t know about you and your challenges. You may feel like you need to be perfect all the time or please everyone constantly, or perform to be acceptable. I suggest you read The Cure for the “Perfect” Life. God met me on so many pages changing my thoughts to good ones, helping me see myself though His eyes, and creating opportunities to do things differently. I haven’t played one computer game in weeks. My days are rewarding now. When I go to bed I can thank God for the accomplishments of the last twelve hours. The friends I made on the Braver Living Rebellion Facebook page cheered me on, encouraged me, and loved me just the way I am. They understood why I hadn’t fought my fears of taking care of that last investment. Kathi and Cherri were there to say, “Yes, this is why we wrote the book.”
“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” —Psalm 143:10don