(From November 2017)
I’m sure you’ve seen those amazing Russian nesting dolls. They’re called matryoshka dolls, and I’m beginning to think they are an example of art imitating life.
It seems like everywhere I look I see a task that needs to be done, which could easily be done if another task were done, which can’t be accomplished until yet a third task is completed.
Take my office (“please,” as Henny Youngman would say), for example. There is a box of things to go to Goodwill, but it needs to be gone through to make sure there is nothing I might need. To do that I’ll need to make space on my table. To do that I’ll have to go through a pile of papers, since there might be receipts or other information I’ll miss if it’s thrown away.
A task, within a task, within a task.
Getting healthier can be a matryoshka doll too. Running? Not until I lose some weight so my knees and ankles don’t give out. Lose weight? Not without vigorous exercise.
Of course, these are all mostly just excuses. If I or anyone else thinks that getting from point A to point B will not include numerous stops along the way, we haven’t been paying attention.
I’ve always been someone who wants to take some grand action and then sit back and enjoy the splendor of what I’ve accomplished. I like playing the piano, but not enough to take lessons. I like writing, but avoid taking classes to improve. I like having a nice garden, and I don’t mind weeding it thoroughly, but when the weeds come back in two weeks my enthusiasm has waned.
I’m not lazy per se, but for some reason I resist opening up those nesting dolls to get at the grand finale in the middle – the creamy center of the Cadbury egg.
In the past, I’ve burst through these mental logjams by managing to put forth a spasm of energy to get through all the projects within projects within projects in one part of my life or another.
Honestly, I think the answer is probably to shut off my phone, computer, and television for a few days. And maybe I should start drinking coffee.
With shorter days and longer nights, it is especially important for me to dredge up some enthusiasm, so to assure that I’m successful in my efforts to make progress, I think it’s time to buy some Superman underpants. If that doesn’t do it, nothing will.