Not motivated? Waiting to feel up to it? Plagued by doubts? Maybe, I just have to do it anyway. Sometimes I just have to show up, it seems, and do the task at hand, regardless of how I feel.
I’ve been plagued by depression lately, and this week has been particularly bad. I got in my mind a few weeks ago to do the social media thing on a weekly basis; to put a few videos on YouTube and to do a blog post. It turns out that it’s a good idea, because it adds some structure to the week, gives me something to work towards, but more importantly, I can look at the work after it is done as an accomplishment, rather than feeling I had a week with nothing done.
“Every book seems the struggle of a whole life. […] Best thing is to get the words down every day. And it is time to start now.” – John Steinbeck https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/03/02/john-steinbeck-working-days/
Yesterday morning, I did no piano practice, feeling “not up to it”. I had this attitude as soon as I was out of bed. And I didn’t just do it anyway.
Today, I didn’t want to get out of bed, but I did. I certainly didn’t want to shower, but I did. I kept hearing myself thinking “I better quit piano, I’m not enjoying it, and practicing especially the assigned pieces is really getting me down, and it’s a waste of time anyway. Why do I even bother; I’m not talented at this at all, and I think I’m actually getting worse this year, instead of better”. But, knowing what Steinbeck said (more quotes below), I decided to just plow on ahead and put in my time, and practice, regardless of whether I think it’s crap or not, or whether it’s pointless or not. And afterward, I’m glad I did.
— Kimberlee Dharsan (@yogaaddict613) October 14, 2016
It turns out that it got better as I trudged along. The first half hour was a lot of thoughts about it being pointless. It was more palatable once I committed to just doing it, regardless of what I felt, or what I thought. As time went on, I became more at peace with it, rather than fighting it and questioning why I even bother.
After my practice time, I figured I’d better make something to eat. I didn’t feel hungry, and I didn’t want to do it, and I thought it won’t change things, but I did it. I don’t really enjoy eating lately, and I certainly don’t enjoy taking the time to make something. But after I ate, things seemed a little calmer. Almost too calm, because I had planned (as I am doing now) to complete this blog post, and I wasn’t feeling miserable enough to write about the miseries of depression 😉
“In writing, habit seems to be a much stronger force than either willpower or inspiration. Consequently there must be some little quality of fierceness until the habit pattern of a certain number of words is established. There is no possibility, in me at least, of saying, “I’ll do it if I feel like it.” One never feels like awaking day after day. In fact, given the smallest excuse, one will not work at all. The rest is nonsense. Perhaps there are people who can work that way, but I cannot. I must get my words down every day whether they are any good or not” https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/03/02/john-steinbeck-working-days/
So I’ll leave you with some random quotes, pix and postings that I found this week, that in my isolation, I didn’t not want to re-post on Facebook. Enjoy!
Love of self, in contrast, is an appreciation of our dignity and value as human beings. Love of self is an expression of self-realization, from which springs humility. May God show me that when I can like myself, I am duly crediting Him, since every living thing is a work of God.”A Day at a Time” October 21 © 1989 by Hazelden Foundation
— Kimberlee Dharsan (@yogaaddict613) October 13, 2016
“People suffering from depression are locked in their own thoughts. Everything revolves around them and they don’t connect with the external world,” said Northoff. Ottawa-led breakthrough could hold key to ‘holy grail’ of depression research