I’ve been very deserve-y since I got back from Europe.
(Sorry for that sentence. “Since I got back from Europe” is a heinous thing to say. Makes me think of my first day at my private all-girls school in 9th grade. During lunch, one of the fanciest girls in the class — her last name was one of those VanDer names, and was Dutch for “Fancypants” — said, “I’m so glad there’s yogurt. Ever since I got back from Europe, I’ve eaten nothing but.”)
What I mean by deserve-y is: I constantly tell myself, “I deserve it.”
I’m going to sleep another hour, I deserve it. I’m going to watch The Leftovers on my iPad instead of working, I deserve it. I’m having ice cream. I’m taking a nap. I’m ignoring email. I’m going to say no to that extra assignment I don’t feel like doing and enjoy my night. I deserve it!
I’m not sure what makes me so deserve-y.
I didn’t have food poisoning.
I didn’t have surgery.
Nobody died. (Well, no one I know.)
I didn’t pull an all-nighter partying.
I didn’t pull an all-nighter writing.
Didn’t work out harder than usual.
I had jet lag, but that’s over.
I taught a 3-day workshop to 35 people, but that was already 3 weeks ago.
So why do I feel and act like I’m recovering from something?
Creatively speaking, I was all jacked up like Tony Robbins on meth back in January. So why now, during my favorite time of the year — when the air is so nice I want to eat it — is my brain is going, “Make something? Bleh. Shush, I was just falling asleep in the sun. Is my back getting red?”
During this phase, I think of my dad.
Excused-due-to-still-being-mid-recovery-from-something-long-past is his favorite state. When I was a kid, he’d say, “I’m not up to that task. Could you please take care of it for me? I’m still severely hampered by this tail end of the flu.” A tail end would last for 5 months.
It seems unfair to use recent, age-related examples. So I’ll say that he loves the word “curtailed.” As in, “I’m writing a book, but my efforts have been curtailed by my [insert health event] of last [insert name of month half a year ago].”
Maybe I get it from him.
Or maybe there is no why. Maybe creative motivation is like the weather. Not correlated with the weather, but like it. In that you can’t control it or predict too far in advance whether it’s going to be glorious, or rainy and muggy with a chub-rub index of 100.
I hear you squishy coach-y types.
You’re saying, “Don’t fight your flow. Your body is telling you to take it easy. Honor that feeling. You deserve it!”
I know I do. That’s the problem. When you spend too long saying “I deserve it,” and honoring your sloth, all you deserve is a drop-off in business and the big dent you made on the couch.
And here’s what else:
The people you serve don’t care what you deserve. (Oh snap, so tweetable. Did you know you could highlight any section of this post to tweet it?)
So don’t loathe your laziness, but don’t lean into it either. You might have to lean away.
Why do you think I made myself write this?
Do you go through unpredictable, alternating seasons of motivation and deserve-y laziness?
What do you do about it?
TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS.