I just read in someone else’s blog that it’s best to write when you have energy and are focused on your writing. Well, today I am tired. Not just “It’s been a hectic week,” tired, but the “I feel drugged and lethargic,” type of tired. I guess I should wait and do this another time but the truth is, I’ve set Friday as my publication deadline and it’s Thursday at 4:30pm so…it’s now or I miss my deadline.
As I sit staring at that first paragraph I’m aware that it illustrates my need to be responsible, organized and on time. All. The. Time. Of course, it also highlights that much of my drive to be so responsible is self-imposed. After all, this blog is mine, the deadline is arbitrary and chosen by me and really, at the end of the day, who cares if I’m on deadline or not? But somewhere, honestly, I know where, I internalized the message that I must always follow the rules and do what is expected of me.
It’s funny how the lessons we learn in childhood follow us throughout our lives. I was taught all of the above and more. But I know people who are chronically late, and/or forgetful and/or unorganized and they seem to do just fine. These are perfectly lovable, good people. They seem unburdened by external pressure or social norms. To me, they seem happy as clams meandering through life. They don’t beat themselves up when they keep others waiting or need reminding to “bring the, whatever, tickets, wine, dessert, etc.” Their desks and offices/bedrooms are messy. And they don’t care!!!! Or do they?
I often wonder if those happy-go-lucky souls look at uber-organized, in control folks like me and wish they had just a hint of my get-up-and-go. Do they feel shame when they are the last to arrive somewhere and see everyone else waiting? Do they beat themselves up if they lose things? Do they feel remorse when they forget to do something?
The truth is, in the end it really doesn’t matter what life is like for anyone else, or for me. We each walk through life, hopefully working toward being as authentically ourselves as possible. And if I’m being totally honest, I kind of like being the responsible one that can take charge and help out. It makes me happy to look out for and take care of others. I don’t mind (most of the time) being relied upon to follow through. My struggle is to allow myself room to mess up, freedom from arbitrary rules and restrictions that tie me up in knots and the grace to be what we all are…human.
And, I’ve met my deadline.