Well hey there.
Listen, I need you to not judge me for the fact that I’m lying about like an invalid, drinking pomegranate juice and whining at couch cushions. I’ve had a very trying day, and I’ve missed my writing deadline.
That’s right: DEADLINES. IN LIFE.
Ugh. Self-betterment sucks.
During our trip to California, I promised my best friend that I would write for 30 minutes every day for 30 days. 30 for 30. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?
To bolster my odds of success, I convinced Greer to do this 30 for 30 with me, knowing full well that she’s the kind of responsible, dedicated individual who meets her own goals (and teaches first graders how to speak French, MON DIEU). Needless to say, she’s hit every one of our deadlines.
Meanwhile I sit slumped over on the couch, listening to pop music on YouTube and staring at a line in my checkbook that reads:
Cash out for Cheetos (20–)
This is killing me.
Until now, I’ve been good. Really, truly, I have. I DO want to be a writer when I grow up, and I’m willing to work for it, especially when ‘work’ consists of sitting in my empty apartment and talking to myself, manipulating the written word to applaud my own ideas. I set this goal to further my future as a self-employed literary mastermind, and I know I can do it.
Yet here I splay, unable to focus and unwilling to quit, twisted up in my need to achieve things even when my brain is fried and my body protests. I worked like a dog all day today, smoking with nose-to-the-grindstone fervor and the sort of stress-fueled intensity that often results in a salary increase or cancer.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m only working this hard because I have to. I’m not so crazy as to pin my self-worth on work deadlines or attempt self-actualization through scented candles. During the day, I clung to some priorities. I still ate lunch, for example. I left the office in time to do hot yoga. But I left a spent and broken woman, desperate to sweat out the stress-toxins of corporate America. When I emerged two hours later, I entered the humid summer darkness soaked in sweat and buzzing with awareness. On the drive home, I was totally conscious of every nerve in my body, muscles relaxing against the bones, eyes sitting heavy in their sockets, the taut skin of my face and neck hot and still hot and refusing to cool down even after I entered my apartment and took a shower and lay around like an invalid for several hours.
So here we are, and my face is still hot, and I think I might be getting sick.
And I know I must write, but my brain is acting like a kickstand, butting childishly against the ground so I can’t move forward. Rather than do the one thing I must, I default—internet!—and indulge in some mental whining.
Then, right on a site called FastCompany, I see the answer: “Self-control is an exhaustible resource.”
Take a few minutes and see for yourself. It’s really a fascinating study. In the meantime, I’ll be in bed, scheming ways to quantify self-control as a very limited resource which may or may not justify the fact that it took me two days to write this post.