It turns out that I’m a child: if promised the incentive of candy then I’ll get things done. In the one hand this can lead to a wildly productive day, like today. On the other hand, candy isn’t really the healthiest incentive in the world: for my teeth or my waistline. After a while it stops being an incentive and starts becoming a bad habit.

Today, at least, it proved to be a helpful motivation to make progress on a number of fronts all at once. For once I started to feel like I was putting some things behind me for a change. It may l only last until tomorrow, but it was a good feeling.

I found myself wondering why I feel so compelled to over-commit. It does seem to be a compulsion, but I’m not sure that I can articulate what drives me to do it. Partly, I suppose, it is just that I don’t recognize it as over-commitment in the moment: an opportunity comes up and interests me so I pursue it. The problem seems to be that I can’t seem to be satisfied pursuing a single commitment at a time so I end up with dozens of irons in the fire and struggling to keep up with them- I only seem to have the wherewithal to handle two or three at a time.

So maybe the problem is partly due to a wide range of interest and a strong desire to pursue opportunities, but also an inability to let go of things until they are absolutely nailed into their coffins. Finishing projects was always my weakest point: I have an alphabet of angel illustrations that is missing five letters, I start books and don’t finish them, the curtains in the studio still has pins in the hem, etc. I mean, I like to blame the lack of time, but even when I do have time I never get back to them.

Yet I can’t quite bear to abandon them either. Here was something that I committed to, how can I just break that commitment? What does that say about my resolve? Correspondingly, what does it say about me when I take weeks to get around to doing something that will take minutes to do? It seems that I have trouble letting go.

Anyway, this seems to be something that I need to work on- whether that means starting fewer things or finishing more of them, I don’t know, but I intend to find out.


~ by Gwydhar Gebien on September 25, 2015.

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