because fretting isn't productive

My boyfriend is a smart cookie. Like, one of the smartest cookies I know. Even though sometimes he pretends to be a garden variety smarty pants he's actually brilliant. Don't tell him I said that. It'll go straight to his head the way donuts go to my ass. If he asks, just confirm his fallacious belief that he's lucky to have me.

So, I was fretting last night about my lack of focus, the way time seems to slip through my fingers. I've been fretting about this to my shrink, too. And fretting about fretting and then continuing to fret because now I've spent all this time fretting about fretting.

Where was I? Right. Fretting. So, Boyfriend suggests last night "Well, why don't you take 15 minutes everyday and blog about the things that caught your attention that day that you didn't have time to investigate further." I nodded and smiled and then remembered - just now in fact - Hey. I have a blog. I've had a blog for a while, and it's once in a blue moon that I use that sucker.
And then I remembered the name of the blog - with gratitude to Auntie Anne. The thing about the violence inherent in articulation is that it's a definite action. It's, in fact, the opposite of fretting. Or worrying. Or distracting yourself by looking at bikes on Craig's List. Or fantasizing about bigger apartments (you can't afford) or cars (that you REALLY can't afford).

There's a peace that comes in articulation. There's a support that comes from the universe as a reward for choice. Sometimes choice - any choice at all - is the right answer if the alternative is worry and fret and inaction and wasting this precious time that we're given looking at things you can't afford.

So. Here are the things that caught my attention today. Things I would like to investigate more fully:

Avoidance - something I hate yet something I've been cultivating in myself without really noticing that's what I was doing. Avoidance and waiting and refreshing the email and waiting for answers to questions I need to answer myself and action I need to take regardless of who is or isn't with me.

Fear - so much fear. All around. All the time. I want my art to be fearless. I want it to run and expand and get things wrong so it can get other things right. I want it to be as specific and driven as the art of the people I admire. I want to be as specific and driven as the people I admire. It's not. I'm not. Not yet.

Modes of transportation and wanderlust: blame it on my Air Force Brat roots - if I'm faced with fight or flight, I want to fly. I always want to fly. And what I really need is a little more fight. I don't need a car. I need to get rid of my credit card debt. I like the idea of having a bike. I like the idea of renting a car and driving driving driving driving.

Work before Play: I am the worst setter of deadlines and I am simultaneously the most lenient on and disappointed in myself. What am I trying to get away with? What am I trying to prove? To whom? And why?

Owning bits of identity: Owning. And earning. And discovering. And being okay with uncertainty and the evolution of answers.

So - there.  We'll try this kind of articulation and see if Boyfriend is on to something.  I think the problem is less that nothing is capturing my attention and more that So Much has been capturing my attention for So Long that we've reached a point of overload.  Hence the irrational desire to ditch all my various obligations tomorrow and rent a car and drive home to Nebraska.  That's not the most productive solution, but it seemed like a damn good idea for about 45 minutes.  Mental Wanderlust - maybe this is the solution.  Or at least a way to articulate the questions.


  1. Interesting...I think that people lose a lot when they take a focused, reductionist approach to something--life, a project, etc. They may complete that project, or find order in their lives, but they miss all the points of view, thoughts, ideas, issues, etc. that comprise our ever more complex world. It is better to say, "Most of life's big questions have no answers--or maybe many answers." Then try to learn something from multiple strands of thought, ideology, etc. You might never complete the puzzle even as you constantly add pieces to it (as the conundrum will be growing before you eyes), yet your life may be more enriched by the journey.

    On another subject, keep in mind that once you make a decision, you cannot change it. Sometimes it is better to delay making a choice than it is to make one too hastily. Regret is a much more painful feeling than is worry.

    Finally, I think that the majority of Americans are just like you. They waste time, miss deadlines, etc.

    Just my thoughts...and written quickly, so forgive the grammatical errors.


  2. Hi Anthony - thanks for your thoughts. But I have to disagree - I think that decisions don't have to be final in the way you suggest; I think they're a starting point. Especially in the kinds of conundrums I'm talking about - inaction / looking for puzzle pieces at the expense of any forward movement. I'm talking about the kind of paralysis that comes from that indecision, from fear, from blowing through self-imposed deadlines. It's more a question of how do I feel about this status quo I'm establishing - and the short answer is that I think I can do better.

  3. Hi Jess! Glad to see you blogging again! Whenever you want to take flight, come visit me in Chile! Maybe you can come for the international theatre fest in Santiago! Can't wait to read more of your posts.


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