Consider the following New Year’s Resolution: pressure self to achieve everything self knows that self must achieve.
Noted: clever use of third person so self won’t know self is at risk of being pressured into doing anything self considers to be a little over ambitious or that self simply has no interest in doing.
It’s a funny time of year, no? Speaking for myself that is – accountability being a major component of my personal brand. It’s confusing and somewhat stressful that the deadline for the majority of my current work is a couple of months away. The exception to that is the weekly Vancouver market and I spend at least some of the week devising ways to put that off too.
The confusing and stressful elements lie in the fact that everything, all of it, has to be done by the time the snow is gone, but really there is no rush. It’s a moving target of a deadline, of course, but after that point the inevitable, non-negotiable demands of spring, summer and fall farming will trump everything in a relaxing, sort of work-aholicy way.
So eventually, at my discretion and sometime before the snow is gone, the shop has to be organized and cleaned up, the fence posts have to be split, the voluminous organic certification application paperwork must be completed, the birch logs felled last spring need to be converted into firewood, the carrots and potatoes must be sold, and the novel must be written.
All this lurks in the back of my mind yet currently what I do is gaze at the new calf and watch the other cow hoping she’ll deliver while I’m there, Lego, go to bed early, read books, play hockey, and move about randomly (and gently) outside in the sunshine. In short, I am underachieving.
There is admittedly some degree of sanctioned underachievement earned last season and I intend to cash that in completely. Confusion arises when I try to pinpoint when exactly I should buckle down a wee bit. Stress follows when I fail to actually perform work. At this point my leisure activities become irritatingly salted with concern and hurry. In a week or two, if I haven’t made progress on anything, I can look forward to waking up in the night and over-eating.
The novel is not going to get written. Being well grounded in my own reality, I can tell. Another winter is passing me by. I grasp at it but it’s like trying to catch a slap-shot from the top scorer queuing it up at the faceoff circle. It’s the greatest feeling in the world to feel the tug of the puck in the glove, and there’s a perfectly good chance that’s how it will turn out, but then on the next play someone will slide it into the net under the poorly placed pad and a goalie is only as good as the last time the puck was around.
I fancy myself able to hold my own against impossibly energetic and skilled youth but the years between are vast in number and becoming more obvious. It occurs to me that when I was in my thirties and even early forties I really didn’t feel much different from being in my twenties. I always felt roughly 27 enhanced with common sense (and sore knees). However, 45 is beginning to feel like I am in my 60’s supplied with an athletic disposition.
I digress. Back to the confusion and stress of trying to bliss out while putting off work.
The resolution I am considering stems from my conviction that this situation calls for the triumph of reason over instinct. My brain needs to take over and tell my mind to pipe down, focus, and help out. Let’s turn “down” time into “go” time!
I’ll re-word it: cultivate a disconnect between body and mind – restrict reflection, resist reading, reward results.
Keep playing hockey, obviously. National team scouts might be watching.
I am sure everything will work out.
My brand depends on it.