‘Life is not a problem to be solved’

Day 24 #iWriteDaily

Life is not a problem to be solved. It is an experience to be lived, to be open to, to be collaborated with. ~ Jennifer Louden

I’m a member of Jennifer Louden‘s online community, The Writer’s Oasis. I listened to Jen’s Friday audio today (it’s Sunday, but Jen always tells us, “There’s no behind here”) as I folded laundry, and this opening statement stopped me.

It’s related to a Soren Kierkegaard quote:

… but I loved her spin on it.

I spend way too much time focusing on what’s problematic about life rather than on its gifts and opportunities; on all the drudgery and to-dos in every day to be tackled and checked off rather than on those once-in-a-lifetime moments that won’t show up in quite the same way again.

I love the collaboration part, because it implies activity. I’m not simply waiting for things to happen; I’m stepping out, looking for openings and doing my part to move my life forward.

I had this huge a-ha, thanks to the audio: I make everything — and I mean everything — a much bigger deal than is necessary. And because it’s a big deal, it’s exhausting and scary and the last thing I want to do is begin — and that is where my procrastination begins.

Wow.

I tell myself: That will take too long. Don’t start until you have a longer period of time to work on it. Five minutes won’t do anything. (The pile gets bigger.) That will take too long. Don’t start until you have a longer period of time to work on it. Five minutes won’t do anything.

And on it goes.

The focus is on the insurmountable problem of laundry to fold. It’s overwhelming. (Eye roll.)

What a First World problem.

And yet, as Jen said, “Notice.” I did. I was curious, and didn’t feel shame about it. Huh. In fact, that little a-ha got me wondering what else I might tackle in small time blocks. Once I noticed the message I gave myself, I was able to shrug it off. “Oh, that’s just that silly thing I tell myself. It doesn’t mean anything. Pick up the towel and fold. Now the shirt …”

Soon I was finished, and what a boost that was. And I was ready to move on to the next “insurmountable” thing.

By the end of the day, I had turned those tasks into steps on an adventure through one day.

And I’m actually looking forward to seeing what tomorrow will bring.

Update: I just received an email about how different Myers-Briggs types can handle procrastination. What timing!

2 thoughts on “‘Life is not a problem to be solved’

  1. Elaine Fourie says:

    Jen has helped me a lot, especially with getting out of my chair and doing and living. I’m about to go to sleep right now and I find myself looking forward to the morning and all the opportunities for creativity and action that it has to offer.

    Liked by 1 person

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