Reaching Out Reaching In: Ten for Today


August 22, 2016
 
How do I make it through this election season without losing friends, lovers and hope? I have never been particularly political in the sense that I cared not overly for the outcomes of elections. In my 40 plus years of voting, I may have voted FOR someone on the ballot twice. And only one presidential tenure had me gritting my teeth and angry too often.
 
But for the most part, my life is lived locally and interiorly. That doesn’t mean that I don’t care about the results. I do. But I am fortunate enough to live a charmed life where I can choose to live in a cocoon. Going about my daily chores, cares and doings, I burrow down deeply and ignore the rest of the world, or participate to the degree that I wish.
 
Perhaps that’s called first world or birth privilege. I don’t take for granted my genetic demographic winnings to be born where and to whom I was. I vote. I discuss. I inform hundreds of students a year about the world, locally and globally. I am not nihilistic. I hope. I care. I do my civic and personal duties.
 
But this election is different, to belabor the obvious. And not just because of who is running and how. I think I’m different. My eyes and sensors seek the world more, and so am more susceptible to it. My practice leads me to confront this headache nation, this raucous populace, with equanimity. I’m finding it difficult, prone to suddenly remembering books that need urgent reading. 

Akrasia

  “akrasia, the mystery of why people choose to do other than what they think is best for them to do.” ― John R. Perry, The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging and Postponing

I am having a meta moment: procrastinating by reading about procrastination. My article is due by midnight. It is not even half way done and the one who assigned it, my possible future editor, is waiting for it to see if I am worthy to write his blog fodder will-write-for-food spin.The thought of this looming project deadline scratches at my peace every hour–at coffee, eating breakfast, scouring Facebook, chatting with a friend, doing yoga, watching a soccer game, eating lunch, texting anyone, playing with the kitten, reading emails–even every quarter of an hour, yet I cannot muster the urgency…yet. 

Curious about procrastination, I started reading widely over the net to discover why I am procrastinating. Finding no answers (and still not writing my work with an ever shortening deadline), I decided to draw the feeling of it, a cocktail of procrastination–slow and steady, slightly shaken–with a shot of stress on the rocks. It should be a jolt but it is more like an electric line down shorting out wildly slashing the ground like a toad on cocaine, like my brain some days. And this is what it looks like at the moment:
  
So now it’s getting late. I’m sufficiently motivated. Until tomorrow….