Thursday, August 22, 2013

Day 18 of 365: It's Not a Choice

I know it's tooting my own horn, but I do a lot of stuff, and get a lot of stuff done. I learned to play ice hockey, to do yoga, to do tai chi. I've been signed to two separate agencies. I've written two manuscripts (and am working on a third). I can run up to 8 miles in a single go. I've traveled across the country, to foreign country, to the tops of mountains. I've gone skydiving and hang-gliding and jet-skiing.

Some of that is just lucking out in the gene pool. I'm naturally a go-getter. I'm not comfortable just sitting in front of the TV and marathoning a series. That's part of the reason why I do crafts in the first place: something to do with my hands when I watch television. I feel best when I can accomplish something, especially something that I didn't know I could do.

But, really, having that mindset from the get-go is not enough. Because I wake up and, a good chunk of the time, I don't want to run. I don't want to write. I have an off day and don't feel like doing anything and suddenly a couple TV shows sounds pretty appealing, even if I'll feel like I'm crawling out of my skin by the end.

For me, the only thing to do then is to say, "It's not a choice. Do it."

"It's not a choice" was a phrase I picked up during my preschool teaching years. It's what you're supposed to say to a child who is telling you, "no," -- or to a young toddler who is innocently trying to explore something he's not supposed to explore. And kids really do need to be taught that some things are choices, and some things aren't.

Don't feel like running when today is a scheduled running day? It's not a choice; lace up your shoes. Feel like turning around early? Not a choice; keep going. Don't feel like writing today. Not a choice; get to your computer and go. Don't feel like cleaning up the house? Not a choice; get your broom.

The truth of the matter is that I find myself essentially kicking my own ass more often than not. In an ironic twist, I find it harder to get certain things done now that I'm freelancing, if only because I don't have the time constraints like I used to (time constraints that forced me to get things done during a very specific time of day).

I'm saying this because today is a running day. It has to be a running day: any training schedule will tell you that you need to do a semi-light run the day after a seriously major run. But the weather is already turning (and it's 7:30 in the morning!) and the gym I go to is terrible about their AC. But it's not a choice. I have 3 or so miles to run. And I'm only cheating myself if I figure a way out of doing it. So now I'm off to the gym. After writing a blog entry. Because that, too, is not a choice.

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