Get it done. Or don’t. It’s really your call.


I put things off. I put things off and I do it with malice aforethought. I put things off because of my anxiety. Or my PTSD. Or my humanity – I’m never sure about attribution.

I get overwhelmed by requirements and obligations external and self-imposed. And when I get overwhelmed, things don’t go well for me. Anxiety rises, panic threatens, and negative coping skills shake off sleep. The thoughts feel like they have physical pressure, pushing at my skull from the inside out.

Sometimes I wish I could scratch my brain.

It’s interesting – or maybe not – that I react the most poorly to the demands I place on myself.

When I get overwhelmed, I start to spin. Not literally though I suppose my path through the house might resemble a dervish if one could follow it from above. Do this. No, that. But first, let me take a selfie.

Just kidding. First the other. I don’t take selfies. I also don’t stay on task if the list is large. I jump from this to that, frazzled but unable to stop, determined to get to it all. I’m a slave to the list. If it made it onto paper, then it has to get done.

Too bad erasers aren’t a thing.

This is how you end up resentfully meditating at nine p.m.

This is how you end up feeling this close to tears the whole day.

This is how you end up thinking that you’re the biggest screw-up on the planet, the only one who can’t do anything right, ever, an absolute overreach but my brain likes to attack with superlatives.

It didn’t get the Stephen King message about adjectival descriptors.

Stephen King is a brilliantly clever writer,
and exceptionally good with the snappy one-liner.

When did brains figure out that making us feel like failures was an easy way to make us malleable and open to dysfunction? Or to maladaptive coping, but I don’t feel like giving myself that kind of grace when PTSD is driving the bus.

Perhaps my tendency to treat my brain as an enemy is part of the problem.

Luckily, triggered flares are happening less often for me these days. Except for two days ago, but none of us is perfect.

I have learned, however, that I’m no longer the ‘get it done’ girl. I was, once upon a time, no matter the cost. Give it to Michelle, she can do it. I’ve evolved. Mostly because I’ve learned that “no matter the cost” will take you to dark places you’d rather not visit.

Also, that “no” won’t get you chased from the village with pitchforks.

The idea of procrastination only exists because of the should. And shoulds are bad news. The eleventh commandment exhorts us to not should on ourselves, and it’s one of the best pieces of advice I’ve been given.

That, and you can say no. To other people, and, most importantly, to yourself.

This is a hard one to always believe.

Don’t we ride ourselves hard, much of the time? We ask a lot of ourselves, we rarely give ourselves grace, and we don’t get much in the way of a reward for our hard work.

I wouldn’t work for me if I had the choice.

Though working conditions improved the longer work I on staying in recovery. For instance, I no longer try to do ‘everything, everywhere, all at once.’ Which is a fabulous movie you should definitely see, by the way.

I prefer mustard.

I no longer trigger my neuroses with my “honey, do” lists.

I trigger them in other ways, but new is evolution.

I make smaller lists. I ask less of myself. I don’t feel compelled to fill every waking second with proof of value. That was made easier once I stopped trying to prove I’d earned my air.

I’ve found, as I’ve aged, grown, and evolved, that what I think I have to do and what I actually have to do are different things. The trick is to put only items from the latter on the list.

Letting go of the demands of perfectionism also helped.

Good enough is good enough.

Tuum est.

14 thoughts on “Get it done. Or don’t. It’s really your call.

  1. I love how you put an EEAAO reference in here. I’m obsessed with that movie. I’m in the process of learning how to say no to myself and others. I’m working on prioritizing better. It’s tough because I feel like there’s so much I want to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I am too. I love it, so much.

      Learning to say “no” is hard. When I first started doing it, I was very aggressive. I’ve mellowed now. But I get the desire to want to do everything – it’s a big world with lots of cool stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As I read this post, I thought of how when you say ‘I didn’t do enough’ means different things to me and to other readers. Through various blogs, I’ve found out that I sometimes do more than others and don’t get as tired as they do, but I also do a lot less than others and get tired quicker than they do. So very subjective. I think it’s good to remind yourself of that sometimes, too. Not in a ‘compare yourself to others’ kind of way, but as a reminder that one does not have to do a million things to feel accomplished.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly. You stated this so well. Comparisons are another one of those human traits we’d be better without. “Comparisons are odious” is the quote, though I forget the follow through often.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I relate to this post 100%. My to do list used to have 25 things. I narrowed them down to 10 or 15. I used to calculate my productivity based on how many tasks I finished and consider myself failed if I got less than 100% productivity (less than 10 tasks done). Some tasks take 5 minutes like dishes (I no longer write them on the list) while others take hours (like reading blogs).

    Liked by 1 person

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