You know how it is: you should do something, but you just don’t feel like it. The flip side is: perform the action and positive thoughts, feelings and a sense of accomplishment will follow. For example, say your elderly neighbor is outside shoveling snow. You watch for a few minutes, thinking of every excuse not to go out and help him. Grudgingly, you get on your snow gear, grab your shovel and before long the snow is gone and so is your bad attitude. Or, you might have your evening all planned–an early bath and hours in your comfy chair with that book you’ve been wanting to read. You get a phone call. Will you baby sit for a couple of hours? No! But you say “yes” and it turns out to be the most fun you’ve had all week.
This is not meant to be a lecture on doing good deeds, rather it is to encourage you, to call you to action when you don’t feel like doing something or because you have convinced yourself you can’t. Perhaps you feel inadequate, burdened with self-doubt. You think of every “because” excuse possible. Rest assured, each one of us does that at some point in our lives.
As a writer, I’ve had countless days where the scope and creativity of my excuses not to write is amazing. But, I make myself sit down at my computer. I type a few words, then think, “that sounds really stupid.” I keep at it, pushing past those negative thoughts to concentrate on the activity I need to do: write.
On those contrary days when writing is more like my least-favorite chore than something I treasure, I remind myself of something I have learned and experienced many times in my life. If I perform the action, positive thoughts, feelings and a sense of accomplishment will follow.
Christine Husom is the author of Murder in Winnebago County and Buried in Wolf Lake