Plans keep me in the ballpark of Productive and Not Crazy, and a decent amount of distance from the marshlands of Deep Despair (where the ballparks were originally planned to be built, until zoning issues were discovered). Liking plans, and me, together, those are well-documented things. Every evening, I sit and I draw up a to-do list for the next day, and on the days I get through them–or even a reasonable number of action items–those are the good days, the happy days, the days where everything is worth it and life is a pretty sweet fruit.
It’s late on a Sunday, as I type this, and I haven’t made my plans for tomorrow yet. I’ve thought about my to-do list, and considered a handful of action items, and I know what I’ve got to take care of and what I want to take care of. And yet, I have not picked up my pen and made my neat date notation on the top line, started my list down the side of the page, with extra notes on the side for follow-up items. The notebook’s open, the pen’s next to it, the page is blank, and what is my problem?
One of the things I want to do tomorrow is run. Not on the treadmill,
but around the little park across the street from me. It’s about a
half-mile around, and there are trees and pretty houses to look at, and
it’s supposed to be a nice day, I think (I think? I haven’t checked. I
fear snow) and I’m excited, in theory, to get off the treadmill and
start running the way god and nature intended. But it’s the first thing
on my list to do tomorrow–well, get up, and then run, and then shower,
and then etcetera, and then etcetera–and I am hesitating. Pausing.
Freezing up. Shy. That’s what it is. I’m shy about going out in my
running pants and my running shirt and my running shoes and flinging
myself around the block in front of just anyone who could come walking
down the street and look at me. They’re allowed to look at me! While I
run! Why am I doing this?
Because it’s easier than walking down to the gym? That’s a remarkable
strain of laziness and bizarre logic that should be preserved in amber
so that future generations might study it. Because running on land that
does not move is less easy and therefore better for you than running on
treadmills that move? Well, that is a true fact. Because I like the
idea of running in the fresh air and enjoying the wide world and nature
so much more than running in place and looking at three television
stations? That is just smart. Because it is good for me, to be stared
at? It will toughen me up! And hey, maybe they don’t care if I am
running around in a circle, my neighbors. That’s entirely possible.
If I write down “run” on my list, I’m going to have to do it. I try to
do the things on my lists; I’m learning that not doing them is not
worth the Psychic Toll, which is painful and expensive and which I have
to pay in tears. Tragic, tiny gold tears. If I start not writing down the things I am afraid to do, or don’t want to do–well, that’s a very, very slippery slope, isn’t it?
I’m going to go write down
“run.” I will follow it with something encouraging like “(only
obligated to go around once! twice would be bonus and then you can have
a pony)” and maybe that will help. Something has loosened up in my
chest, so I think that has probably helped. I am easy to fool.
Sometimes this is a liability, such as when I get spam from Nigeria.
Sometimes it is cardiovascularly useful and might also be the thing
that saves me, in the end, from myself.