catching up is easier than fretting about it

So, today, I have started actually catching up. I had a deadline I met yesterday, and with that, I have got myself a surge of energy to begin catching up.

And guess what? That consolidation of my to-do lists that I have spent quite a bit of time and a lot of energy fretting over, took all of ten minutes🙂 The closing of last year’s diary and starting a new diary for this year took another fifteen minutes…

One funny thing about being busy is that I am never too busy to read stuff I want to read. Or to take a long walk, or listen to a talk that interests me. The ‘busy-ness’ of my life manifests in stuff more to do with socializing or other stuff that takes more ‘focus’ from me, and which I suspect will yield less pleasure. Actually, quite a few of the stuff I always manage to procrastinate about turn out reasonably satisfying, and even fun, when I get down to them. What diminishes the potentiality of enjoyment is the tension I’ve keyed myself into by imagining how horribly tiring and boring and overwhelming it may be.

There’s another funny inconsistency I have noticed about myself.

(1) There are things I just do, regardless of how long my lists are…like reading.

(3) Then there are things that I make into bogeys and keep postponing (while fretting about them and tiring myself and making no progress)

(No, I do remember that 2 comes between 1 and 3, and here it is:

(2) And then, there is this middle category. These are things I know I will enjoy when I get started, but that I feel I have no business starting on unless I have got into total control over category (3) — which is unlikely — because I need to ‘earn’ the right to do these. Yesterday, I met a deadline, and that was when I felt everything else had spun out of control, but today I pulled out paper and pencils and got the names down, and I did a re-mapping, I learned a lot of new stuff about myself.

My sense of incompleteness and out-of-control comes from categories (2) and (3), and it is really silly, because the key is attitude and expectation. If I just remember that (2) items are usually fun, and that (3) items may not be that difficult or time-consuming, I could save myself a lot of mental space and worry calories.

Social interaction is one area I need to look at. At one level, I really enjoy connecting with people, especially at non-trivial levels, but I also hesitate a lot re-establishing contact/ continuing contact with people when i am tired–it is like I lack confidence establishing connections when I am even slightly tired. I mean, what’s the worst that can happen? Lose touch with them? By not contacting people, I am already doing that🙂

And going further on contradictions, try this: sometimes I write about caregiver isolation and how we are traveling to a different planet, but at other times I explain that I am an introvert, too. Then I say, I like connecting with people but I also show reluctance to do so… There is a thread of internal consistency between these, as far as I am concerned, but it occurs to me that it reads as quite a confused and messy way of looking at things. I guess I will explore and explain this in a later post.

This introspection business ends up making me feel stupid too often…

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About Swapna Kishore
I'm a writer, blogger, and resource person for dementia/ caregiving in India. I have also been a dementia caregiver for well over a decade, and am deeply concerned about dementia care in India; on this blog I share my personal caregiving journey, my experiences as a resource person for dementia care, and musings on life, aging, dementia in India, and such sundries. More about me and the work I do for dementia care. For structured information on dementia, for discussions, tools and tips on caregiving issues, for resources in India, and for caregiver interviews, please check my website http://dementiacarenotes.in (or its Hindi version, http://dementiahindi.com). For videos on dementia caregiving (English and Hindi), check the youtube channel here.

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