Celebrating Avoidance

I woke up to the sound of rain this morning.  And it melted all my ambition, just like that.  There were dishes to do from a dinner party last night, things to clean, business, um, stuff to move ahead on…

If I keep listing it all, I’m gonna need a nap.

I’m a huge fan of Allie Brosh of Hyperbole and a Half fame.  And this one is my current favourite post, partly because I’m convinced I’ll never be a real adult, either.  I regularly (whine)brag to Alan about my (in)abilities at Cleaning All the Things.  I  spent an inordinate amount of time yesterday trying to decide whether it’s better to half-clean most of the things or mostly clean half the things.  Before that, I was all happy about my new life and getting the house sorted and working on my garden.  But then I hit the wall and decided to mostly clean half the things, expecting to be an adult again today.

But then it rained. 

Any day that starts out wet and misery-inducing gets what it deserves.  So, instead of cleaning any of the things, I dragged a table up from the basement and put it together in the bedroom (it was in pieces – that’s the only way it fits through the doors).  So now I have a spot to do some sewing and work on my cards without having to clear it all away every time we want a meal.  I also don’t have to do a weight workout today, cuz, holy crap! That thing is heavy! Plus, now I don’t have to torture my husband with moving it this weekend.

I also got caught up on some correspondence/Facebook and got started on some sewing projects I’d like to have ready should the long slow Spring we’re having round here ever actually take off into summer.

And here’s what I’ve learned about Avoidance.  It’s not really the sinful time-waster the productivity coaches or your teachers/parents/boss will tell you it is.  It can be amazingly productive.  Puttering about, not doing what you “should” be doing can knock an amazing number of little annoying tasks off your to do list.  It’s also how your brain rests.  I go into avoidance mode when I’m tired and haven’t been paying attention to that.  So I potter, I do little tasks, I play.  And somehow, I usually also end up doing the things I set out to avoid doing without really feeling like I’ve had to be an adult and actually do them.

Be gentle with yourself when you’re avoiding something.  There’s far more going on there than you’re giving yourself credit for.

Please share your favourite avoidance activities with us.  It’s always good to add something new to the repertoire.  And have a lovely weekend!

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13 Responses to Celebrating Avoidance

  1. ~Sacha says:

    my goodness, I needed this today. Thanks, Barb!

  2. Patti Winker says:

    Here in sunny Florida, I relish a rainy day. Sunshiny days seem to be so insistent that we “Do” something, almost preachy. I feel so much more relaxed waking up to gray skies. Cloudy rainy days are so much more forgiving, gentle almost.

    For the very same reason I used to look forward to fall and winter coming in northern Wisconsin. Because summers were so short, we rushed around like crazy people. Then, when the leaves fell and the cold set in, we slowed down. It was nice just to take it easy and pick away at all those little things you meant to do all summer but didn’t dare take time away from the big things in order to do them… if that makes sense.

    Anyway, thanks for this great post. I’m anxiously awaiting the next rainy day so I can take heart and do a little avoidance of my own. It’s gonna feel great!

  3. Barb says:

    Thanks so much for this, Patti! I love your image of different kinds of days having different personalities! Made me smile.

  4. sandy says:

    whenever I’m overwhelmed with ‘Life As We Know It’ the best thing I do for myself is spend a day as you say ‘pottering’. No list, real or mental, just jammies, tea, a look around the room and set something to rights. a nice long bath after a day spent that way and i’m re-energized to meet the world again. too many days between, and i’m a cranky-pants. and that’s not good. 🙂

  5. Barb says:

    Wouldn’t you just love to give productivity lessons that involve pottering, jammies and long soaks in the tub?

    I can think of a few stressed-out executive types who just wouldn’t get it 🙂

  6. Patti Winker says:

    Ha! Could you just see a super-duper-productivity coaching conference with a room full of clients in their jammies sipping tea? No notebooks, no handouts, no powerpoint presentations… the soaking in the tub part would get interesting… I’m signing up!

  7. Barb says:

    We could totally make this work!

  8. Tweekala74 says:

    I just stumbled upon your blog and as a constant sufferer from the condition of avoidance it made me smile. This is such a recurring issue for me that I just had to invest in three of these prints from Alyson Provax’s ‘Time Wasting Experiment’ [http://alysonprovax.com/time-wasting-experiments]
    – I suspect they may resonate with you too!!
    It took me several visits to her website to make my selection, I then eagerly awaited their arrival from the US, I then duly tucked them away for 6 months before FINALLY getting them framed beautifully…the framed prints are now waiting patiently in bubble wrap for me to stop procrastinating about where to hang them. Will I never learn?!

  9. Barb says:

    In some circles, that would be known as ‘savouring the moment’

    Thanks for introducing me to Alyson’s work. I love it!

  10. Tweekala74 says:

    Ah yes! I am not a procrastinator…I am a moment savourer. Genius.

  11. Barb says:

    Stick with me, kid… 😉

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