Mostly, suffering. Suffering for fifteen minutes at a time.
Let me explain. No, let Gretchen Rubin explain. She writes about her struggle to tackle what seems like an overwhelming, highly procrastinatable task:
"I'd been promising myself that I'd organize an [family photo] album 'in my free time,' but the fact is, I never have any free time. I never wander aimlessly through the apartment, looking for something to do. But making the album was priority for me, so I wrote it on my calendar like a visit to the pediatrician. I would suffer for just fifteen minutes a day ... Maybe it's an aspect of my all-or-nothing abstainer personality, but counterintuitively, I've found the then I was trying to prod msefl to do something, it came more easily when I did it every day."- Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life
Anyone else relate? Of course, we're not talking about acute suffering, here. It's just that there are THINGS in this busy life that aren't that fun, or just that feel awfully like a huge Minotaur, and I'm Theseus, armed with a flimsy sword and not sure if I even want to enter the labyrinth, in case I don't come out alive. (Yes, we are studying Ancient Greece.)
Things like: Making phone calls to make appointments. Hello? Why is this so hard? No good reason. It takes three minutes to call Bradz Salon and say, "Hi, I need a hair trim; it's gotten pretty dire; do you have any openings yesterday?" But I procrastinate like nobody's business.
Or finishing last year's Project Life album. Because I got behind, and because Shutterfly has been crashing on me lately.
Or, the most Minotaurian of all: Preparing our house to put on the market. We have a 5-page checklist of tasks from our realtor and stager, plus the tasks we voluntarily clobbered ourselves with, like repainting all the cabinets and replacing the kitchen countertops and putting a "pop of color" (coral) in the laundry room. And there are moments -- every single day -- when I start thinking about it and I feel distinctly like I need to breathe into a paper bag.
But what I keep coming back to -- every single day -- is this: Suffer for fifteen minutes. Do SOMETHING from the list. Pack one box. Declutter one closet shelf. Pick out one can of paint. Call one professional to do a task you don't have the energy/time/skill to do yourself.
And that (plus a lot of help from my amazing in-laws) is how this is happening:
(We're still not done; not all the cabinet doors are installed; hence the narrow photo. Also, this photo makes it look like we have different shades of gray on the top and bottom cabinets, and we do not. It's all Amazing Gray, by Sherwin-Williams, a lovely warmish gray, and we like it lots.)
And that's where we are! What's up with you, reader friends? What are you tackling, large or small, these days?