Fake it ’til you make it

My beloved inspired me in this writing prompt, because he shared with me some things he does on unmotivated days. Which is a lot of days for me, lately. I like staying home, and have plenty to do, so this COVID thing shouldn’t be that much of a hardship. But when there’s nothing scheduled outside the house, each day looks so much like the next that it’s easy to drift through life without ever doing much at all.

I do manage to exercise every day. I really don’t like exercise much, and lately it’s worse because I’m on a medication that makes my body stiffen up and hurt when I sit still for long. I’ve learned those symptoms improve when I get moving, so exercise is the best choice… but it really is hard to convince my hind-brain that the treadmill is the right place to be when it’s insisting I should crawl into my den and hibernate until I feel better. So, I trudge up the stairs to the treadmill, muttering “fake it ’til you make it” at my husband, and my workout starts with sluggish, low-resistance movement. Until I start to feel better, and then I’m OK with cranking up the speed and resistance to get a real workout.

On that same philosophy, my sweetie notes that it helps him to keep a short list of small, achievable tasks that will move him toward bigger goals. So, when he’s adrift, he commits to doing something from the list. Maybe that’s all he manages, but it’s something. And maybe once he gets started, he’s inspired enough to keep going. That sounded pretty smart to me.

So, in response to that, here are some small, achievable things I could look to do when I’m adrift?

  • Small household tasks
    • Water plants
    • Clean the kitchen sink
    • Clean toilets, sinks in bathrooms
    • etc. Probably I should write up a long list of such tasks and do them in order, then I’d never need to clean house.
  • Something physical to loosen me up
    • 5-10 minutes of yoga, stretching, or exercises to strengthen one core muscle group. Write out some routines and keep them on hand nearby the rug where I do yoga? RIght now I’ve collected some ideas on Pinterest. But having something right at hand would probably help overcome the barrier to start moving.
    • Walk around the block, so I’ll also get some vitamin D and get outside the house.
    • See aforementioned housework tasks.
  • Handicrafts
    • Crochet a square for an afghan project
    • Sew a couple of repair blocks on a quilt that needs repair
    • “recover” a discarded clothing item by taking it apart for materials (rip seams to free up salvageable fabric; remove usable zippers, buttons, buckles; unravel knit items and wind the yarn for future use)
  • Learn something
    • Do a unit on Khan Academy to refresh my knowledge of math, physics, chemistry
    • Do 15 minutes of Spanish practice on Duolingo
    • Look up articles or YouTube videos about how to do bigger projects that are currently intimidating to me
  • Organize and archive
    • Scan a folder of items in my filing cabinet that don’t need to be kept in hard copy form.
    • Work on organizing and labeling the photos and documents already on my hard drive
    • Do a complete inventory of one spot in the house (eg all the furniture in a room, all the books on a shelf, etc) for insurance records.
    • Copy an old posting form social media or other more ephemeral place, store a copy on my hard drive and post a copy (back-dated) on this drive.
  • Work on art skills
    • Do a zentangle or other doodle
    • Find a youtube video about how to draw or paint something and try to emulate it
  • Write something! Here! In this journal!

So, that’s my list in response to his.

Also, I’ve signed up for an online class with regular meetings, as a way of providing some externally-enforced goals and deadlines in my life. I expect I will write something more about these in future.

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