Impatience

July 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

By nature, I am impatient. Fidgety, whiny, cranky, not-happy-until-I-know-something’s-going-to-happen impatient. Action is a relief and, largely, I am happiest when I am doing something.

At the moment, I’m deep in the midst of a big project. Writing 20,000 words by September, no less. That’s a lot of writing. And what I’m coming to realise is that, broken down into a daily task, that’s a lot of sitting doing…not a lot. But that mulling is an integral part of the process, just as much part of the writing. Most of ‘writing’ is actually finding information, note taking, sifting and, well, just thinking. Being. Stewing.

It seems pretty natural that this is more of a labour for me than I would like. Trying to be well is much the same. They key is just as much in not doing as much as it is doing. I can do until I can do no more. But sitting. Letting be. That’s more of a challenge. The appeal of over-eating, as an action, a small plug, a stop-gap, a line under something unwanted, is somehow still huge. And really, that’s a large part of my life. That postponement has kept large parts of my life blank. Parts I can no longer remember. Parts, chunks really, that have just dissolved into food, which I have then tried to dissolved from my frame.

So sitting, for long enough to decide what that itchy, nagging feeling or emotion is, is uncomfortable to say the least. Without that filler, time suddenly opens up in front of me and the question is how to fill this new world of possibility. My natural response to wanting is to suspect there’s no way I’ll  hold out to find out. I need it done now. Even if ‘done’ means, ruined, eaten, half done, killed off. That cranky little part of my brain wants it finished, whatever the outcome.

The way to come back to yourself, I guess, is to fall back in love with the process. The doing. The finding out. But of course, I can’t just sit around and do nothing. Which is hugely productive. At least now I have nothing except projects to fill my time with. I’m recognising my moments of self-distraction pretty well right now. But I won’t lie either. I’ve been here before. I’ve decided to run marathons, write novels, fit my life in a suitcase…and have everything alright again. It’s just another type of finishing.

The real challenge lies in knowing, and loving, that the journey is not over yet. It may cover this ground again, but everything that falls also rises. It’s not even a waiting game any more. It’s something different. But whatever that is, it’s in progress. And that’s always better than an almost-white blank sheet.

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