Friday, February 19, 2010

Procrastinating Happiness

"Not now, honey" sex
"Too much to do today" exercise
"After this one" nutrition
"Let me check email first" meditation
"When I have more success" Chicken List
"When he's in a better mood" ask for what I want
"After I cook dinner" family time
"When I have the money" travel

Why do I keep insisting upon "one more thing" before allowing the very experiences that make me happiest, wealthiest, and healthiest? I know what makes me feel good. I have a list right by my computer. That's right. I had to make a list. A few years ago, when my kids were very young, my husband had a broken leg that would not heal, and I had a brick-and-mortar business with overhead, I felt I was drowning in a sea of responsibilities. I ran myself ragged. For my own sanity, I made myself a List of Things I LOVE. And I made myself do at least one thing on the list (which includes "doing nothing") every single day.

It worked out great until Left Brain got a hold of it. Then I made a Chart setting out how many fun things, how many work things, how many household things, and how many Other Things I was supposed to do each day. It was as ridiculous as it sounds. Pretty soon, all my fun things seemed like drudgery because they were Required.

Eventually, I gave up the Chart, but I still have the List. The List contains, coincidentally, 31 entries, with all the variety and pleasure of Baskin Robbin's 31 flavors. From swimming to screaming, organizing to breathing. I have the luxury of more free time these days than I did back when I made the List, and I still do something fun everyday. That may not sound like an accomplishment to my eight year old, but for a 48-year-old mother and business owner, I consider it a huge success that I have made having fun a priority again. One of my better accomplishments this decade, even.

So why do I still procrastinate happiness on so many levels? It all comes from that old sense of "deserving," I suppose. I have to earn the time off, the dessert or thing I really want. And yet my spirituality tells me that I need do nothing to deserve all the love, light and happiness in the Universe. In fact, my beloved Abraham tells me that taking action without feeling good first is useless: "Take the time to line up the Energy first, and action becomes inconsequential. If you don't take the time to line up the Energy, if you don't find the feeling place of what you're looking for, not enough action in the world will make any difference."

So in fact I am going about it all wrong. It isn't easy to break old habits of "do first, then deserve to feel good," but I am willing to give it a try. Dessert before drudgery, who doesn't want that?