Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Have to, Want to, Should do...WILL do.

"Every vice has it's excuse ready." ~Publilius Syrus

I don't know who this Publilius guy is, but they sure are right. And I hate to admit it, but I'm not just a terrible procrastinator, I make excuses for not doing the things I should. Well, I do the things I have to do, I do things I want to do....but sometimes, I don't do a lot of of those "should do" things. Like fully clean and organize my room. Like have a consistent workout and nutrition plan. Like pursue acting, or go back to school, or figure out what it really is I want for myself and out of life. Like writing on this blog! In come the all powerful excuses..."I don't have time to work out." "It's hard to eat healthy when I'm driving in my car all day and not in an office." "I will write when I have something to write about." "I'll get my desk organized on my next day off." - Then that next day off comes and something ALWAYS comes up. Mind you, the majority of the time it's one of those "want-to-do's" which I could absolutely not do. But again I say, I'm a terrible procrastinator...my brain fully welcomes distractions. Classic dog sees squirrel type situation.

Then the other side of my brain is terribly driven and likes to cross things off the to-do list, likes making goals, having a clean room, all that good stuff I make excuses for not doing. This part of my brain hates that first part I just talked about. Sometimes I think I'm just a big walking contradiction, and that's why I never feel like I get anything done. On one hand, I've got a list of a gazillion things to do, and the other I just keep saying I'll do it later, when it really needs to get done. One of my favorite sayings is "if you wait until the last minute to do something, it only takes a minute to do." That's not going to fly forever. I know it's easier to get away with all these making excuses and half-assing my way through most things now because it's just me. I don't have kids, I don't even have an animal to give up any of my time to right now...so all this time is just for me. To do not just some of, but ALL of the have-to's, want-to's and even all of the should-do's.

So my good brain side says I am setting a few small goals. I know myself, and if I set up a bunch of huge goals just because I am on a roll and ready for change, I end up failing at them all.

Step one: Caitlyn and I are doing any sort of activity for this whole month. While I may have failed 2 of the days (not making an excuse for why, and saying I will do better from here on out), yesterday I joined the gym and have an excellent personal trainer (and great roommate) willing and ready to be help me anytime...I will do it.

Step two: Writing. This has actually helped me even now realize that if I tell myself I can do something, I can sit for 20 minutes and write a blog about doing more things I have been making excuses about for so long, then I SHOULD be making these goals, and making it a priority to cross things off of the never ending lists. So my goal for writing is, whether it's on here and Caitlyn and I have topics to talk about, or if it's for 15 minutes right before I fall asleep...I will do it.

Step three: Organization. This one might take a little longer - but it has to start somewhere. Everyday I will designate at least 15 minutes to putting clothes away, or going through papers, taking things out of my car....that 15 minutes a day turns in to almost 2 hours a week of getting things done...I will do it.

Time is Treasure

It is always sad to lose someone. Even more so when you have things you wished you could have said or done with that someone and suddenly they are just no longer there.

Ellen asked me a long time ago if I knew how to iron. I said, "Well, I think so...I kind of just put the clothes out and iron them, no real plan of action."

She proceeded to tell me that there is a specific way to iron, that her mother-in-law taught her how to do so and that she would love to show me. I told her I would love that and we should plan a time for me to come over with some of Oliver's clothes.

Time went by, we continued our weekly dinners with Oliver's parents, and saw them often, but never quite planned that ironing lesson. I always thought to myself, "we'll figure it out, we'll find a time."

Ellen began to get sicker and as she began to get even more weak, I remember thinking, maybe I could set up an iron in the hang-out room where Ellen was in her bed. She might not be able to show me, but if I were right there she could guide and direct me.

It seems simple, an ironing lesson. Ironing is ironing, you get the wrinkles out, you're good, right? But it was more than that. It meant something that my mother-in-law-to-be wanted to pass something on to me that her mother-in-law passed to her. It was just really a moment to share. And I wanted that moment. And as time went on and her sickness quickly began to completely take over, I lost my chance. I lost my chance to spend the time and make the memory. Like I said, it seems simple, but it tears me up inside that I missed out on that moment. I was lucky enough to marry into the most amazing family, have the most amazing in-laws. Even if I technically only had a mother-in-law for three days.

I miss Ellen everyday. I'm not really sure I will ever forgive myself for letting that moment pass. I am extremely blessed that I got the chance to say everything I could ever want to say to her, to thank her for her son, for making him who he is, for loving him the way she had his whole life, for teaching him how to love and for welcoming me with open arms into their family. The most amazing woman, the pride of the family, the elegant matriarch. I learned a lot from my mother-in-law and I am thankful for that. This lesson, instead of teaching me how to iron, has taught me to treasure all moments and never take time for granted because you are not always guaranteed to have it.