While reading a new title to my list (I was given two books today), the trees fell away to views of fields and hills, and a sky of orange, yellow and pale blue- the colours melding as though I wash with water; and some of my tension fled.
I was reminded of Ali’s comment on my previous post. I’ve been thinking on this a couple of days now, for though I’m not very patient (my patience is something I’m working on improving), I don’t jump into things often without some thought. She mentioned that one way of motivating myself into action, would be to incorporate things that cause me to act into those where I fail to do so.
So, step one, is to define the activities I’d usually “prefer to do”. These include:
Writing –blogs & poetry; during my mid-teenage years, I wrote over 800 poems in the space of two or three years. I’ve recently taken it up again; experimenting with words once more. I’ve also been blogging since 22nd July 2005; only 4 months after I joined allpoetry.com.
Watching – movies & television; I only watch four programmes – one of which they only show for three/four months a year. I watch two spoof news programmes (which is my ONLY course of news other than blogs as I find the news makes me passionately vehement towards the world; and Top Gear.
Singing – involves less physical effort; and can be done while doing many things- including movement such as exercise or tidying my room or even showering.
Fiction – I will always rush to continue reading a book where the story draws me in. I used to read 3-4 factual and 2-3 fiction books a week; switching happily between fiction books in between chapters. Now I can read a couple of fiction books; and those books which have a story-style (The Celestine Prophecy; Becoming the Enchanter, etc) but the more factual books I struggle to read. I can’t read them in environments where anyone’s talking (television, radio, parents, other students nor any music which has a rhythm which changes often).
The main pattern I’m finding relates to multitasking. I’ve mentioned before that this world is of too-fast, must-be-busy mindset and a university student from a middle-upper class family is expected to:
have good grades, turn in work on time, read 200 pages of core texts a week, do extra reading for assignments, have a money-earning job, write up lecture notes, gain work experience relating to the field of our degree, memorise the lessons of the day/week/course, have a tidy room, shower/bathe often, socialise with other people, eat well and exercise.
Also; no human would be complete without adding some method of relaxation. Although I wish to spend time in nature, do yoga, meditate, read, dance, draw, paint, and/or take photographs; when presented with options that allow me to multitask and take no effort in relation to movement; I’m likely to choose them over those presented above.
Not surprisingly, (though I know some students DO manage to do most, if not all of the above), I fail often to have three healthy meals a day, 7 days a week and often don’t make notes on all 200 pages; often not even skim-reading them nor have I ever had a job (though I do look/apply/attend interviews/constantly give out and update my CV). I’m not suggesting this is an excuse nor is this a complaint. I choose to be a student and I choose to prioritise certain sections of that list. I’m just stating what I believe to be likely causes of this feeling.
Now it’s the summer holidays and suddenly I’m at a loss, especially with so many books on my list, and also with wanting to meditate + go back to doing yoga daily + spend 10 minutes in nature every day (open bedroom window and observe the garden) + do bellydance weekly again + begin practising keyboard/recorder again + keep my room tidy all at once. I want to suddenly throw myself into doing all of this; and with so many choices and no easy way to multi-task on a lot of them; I don’t know where to begin.
Ali mentions on her blog how she intended to work through her druid studies with a form of structure. Many people work best like this, and I agree, I think I could be one of them; however, my self-discipline (oh yeah, add go back to karate lessons and practise for at least an hour a week to that list) is.. out of practise. Like patience; self-discipline is something I desire to have but.. erm.. lack the discipline to put effort into (oh the irony)..
I’m forever intrigued how I can so obviously notice this and yet still am not motivated to put some effort into changing it. I’m fed up with it and starting to dislike myself for this trait yet don’t make effort to alter it. Which then brings me to dislike myself and thus the cycle repeats. I’ve read the books and watched the programmes; I’m a psychology degree student and know that I need to start by implementing one small change and stick to it for a month before instigating a new change. Perhaps it’s the combination of impatience with depleted motivation. I’m too impatient to see results (hmm, example of society’s quick-fix attitude?) and thus; any change I make is easily lost.
I’ve diverted slightly. Ali suggested incorporating one of the less-motivating interests with a common pursuit. Currently I’m writing this while watching Have I Got News For You (spoof news programme) and reading bits of my book when the commercial break occurs (having muted the television). Perhaps writing this all down might get me off my lazy backside and at least start doing something useful with my day again. If any of you feel like enforcing a schedule upon me with things I wish to do, please let me know. =P I have twitter and MSN so you could send me messages when I’m to change activities.
As mentioned earlier, I received two new titles to add to my summer reading list. My two new manuscripts are Alain de Botton’s The Consolations of Philosophy, which is the first Philosophy book I’ve ever owned and Endless Path: Buddhism by Diane & Jon Sutherland, which is only on lend to me. I got to chapter three of Consolations during the car journey home and hope to be able to finish it in the next fortnight. I’ll let you know how that goes.
P.S. I really admire those bloggers who can write a post/series/essay without using brackets as much as i do – if any of you have any constructive criticism on this topic (or at all), please let me know!