Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Mandingo Diagnoses Himself Certifiable. Looks for Straight Jacket on eBay

I have a problem with procrastination, with laziness, with systematically inventing ways to prevent success. I diagnosed myself last night while enduring a muggy bike ride over to St. Paul to drink beer and play Mario Kart.

My problem: I am consumed with worry...so much so that it has become a natural part of my life. Since I can remember I have always had some problem or unfinished task that roiled in the back of my mind, but paradoxically it became comfortable to worry and to leave things unfinished. Thus, procrastination, and its genesis sloth, became not only a method to leave things unfinished, but it became a problem so commonplace that I forgot I was even procrastinating. For example: This summer I had two tasks--get a job, and finish my final paper for graduate school (no I'm not even technically graduated yet!). Well, I got a job shortly after I returned from our honeymoon, but the paper wasn't done. Why, you might ask, didn't I just write the paper soon after I got back? Hell, it might take a week to write fifteen pages, but after it's turned in not only will I have graduated, but there won't be any pressing worries for the rest of the summer. But nooooooo. I believe I subconsciously put the paper off throughout the summer so that I could worry and also feel guilty for not having it finished. See what I mean? This is but one in an innumberable line of similar situations, most of which don't pertain to school. I've put this paper off until now with about a week to go before I embark on a semi-permanent road trip.

Now I'm stricken with a certifiable case of severe mental block that courses through my veins like that new-age Avian flu that I most likely picked up while eating some Grade-A American birdshit. Birdshit no doubt that looked like butterscotch behind the cluttered, no-win madness inside my head. Just an hour ago I considered myself two days away from doing a cannonball off the Marshall Ave. bridge.

What's worse, rather than telling myself that I can do it, that I can finish this paper (which is really just a convenient proxy for my general condition) I beat myself up with a defeatist attitude. It is cringeworthy what I say to myself on a daily basis. I am filled with dramatic, self-loathing as this post will attest. And what if this post is neither cathartic nor instructional but rather just a written manifestation of the ongoing problem? Then where does this end?

At the moment I'm improvising an arm-chair solution to this defeatist attitude. Get ready for some unsubstantiated self-help.

Feel free to roll your eyes now and remove any editorial privileges. Thank you.

5 comments:

Ilya said...

A defeatist attitude, eh? To cheer you up: once I remarked, "he's a defeatist." The person to whom I was talking replied, "what? a fetus?"

Git 'r done, 'Dingo, you're not a fetus.

Anonymous said...

I think yer a fucking masochist. And enjoy perssure. Even if it is self imposed. Pick your ass off the goddamn pitty-potty and take the bull by the fucking horns. CHA CHA CHA!!!

Brother.

xtrachromosomeconservative said...

'dingo, you're a little bitch. Get with it.

A Green Cowboy said...

Getting over the writer's block, the imposing paper, and most importantly, the over-arching frustration with having placed yourself in this situation is simple. The catch is that it is not easy.

You do, already, actually know exactly what you need to. You have done it a thousand times before, and have always found some kind of success, sometimes great, sometimes not.

The simple but difficult task is to just start on it. Be completely open to the fact that your first efforts will be worthless; your later efforts will prove it all worth it.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

(Aaaaaaannd - Pepers, start flaying me alive for using such a cliche and sounding so goddamn new-agey. Bring it on.)

Anonymous said...

Mandingo,

Against my better judgement, I'm rising to your defense. For I to am a self-loathing procrastinator. For some reason I feel comfort in knowing there's always something I could be doing (even though I sure as hell find enough distractions from not doing it.) And paper writing is the worst! Because not only do I put working on it off, I actually convince myself that while I'm out for dinner or drinking wine with the girls, the inner recesses of my mind are hard at work formulating a logical argument. In fact, right now I'm suppose to be helping Xtra get ready for a bbq we're having this afternoon. But am I? Have I even showered? Of course not...

Okay, I best go be Xtra's bbq bitch.