Saturday, August 3, 2013

There's No Excuse

Our laundry room is in the basement. Fortunately, it’s not one of those creepy basements like you see in the movies, but I still avoid it like the plague. Primarily because the laundry room is down there, and to me, that is scarier than even the scariest basement ghosts and goblins.

Unlike my big sister, who infamously did a load of laundry while in labor with my nephew, I am not a fan of this the most mundane of mundane chores. I do it only when completely necessary, and usually when only granny panties are left in the underwear lineup. The excuses I can fabricate to evade laundry are both numerous and varied and, at points during my history as a laundry-doer, have included: 
  1. Well, I need to give some of my other clothes a chance to be worn anyway.
  2. I don’t want to go downstairs and risk aggravating my creaky, possibly injured knee on our reasonably steep staircase.
  3. I heard something in the basement and will wait until Jeremy gets home to investigate (at which point, I totally forget about doing the laundry and successfully put it off to another day completely).
  4. The laundry basket is too heavy and may cause me to fall down the stairs.
  5. Meh, it can wait until tomorrow. “After all, tomorrow is another day.”

Making excuses is easy. It’s one of the easiest things I do. If it’s something I don’t want to do, I can give you a list of at least a dozen reasons to delay it or to not do it all. You could call it a skill of mine. For the longest time, Jeremy and I made excuses for not exercising. The most common excuse? “We don’t have time.”

Strangely enough, we did have the time to sit around and watch TV, to play around on the internet, to immerse ourselves in video games or books. We could do any of those activities for hours in the evening after work and not even blink an eye, but somehow we didn’t have time to go work out.

In the last few weeks, we’ve attempted to stop making those excuses. We faithfully go to the gym three or four times a week and make a conscious effort to not talk ourselves out of it. But even as I write this, I can feel my need to start making excuses again bubble up. Especially in light of some of the recent and upcoming changes in my life.

I’ve had a writing breakthrough. After a long and complicated dry spell (fueled by more excuse making), a turnaround is upon us. I’ve committed to spending more time focusing on writing and making a bigger effort to finish my novel.

In January, if all goes well, I will begin Graduate School to complete my Library and Information Science degree.

Both of these goals mean that I will have to be more disciplined and determined than ever. I’ll have to quit making excuses and start making things happen. But with each new challenge, time becomes more and more precious and fleeting. The time that I devote to going to the gym will be time away from writing and away from studying. Because of this, I could continue to make excuses. I could give up something in the name of time. I could go back to being less than all I can be. That would be the easy thing. And Lord knows, we all need a little more easy in life…

But instead, I’m going to continue to fight against easy and excuses. I’m going to ask more of myself and expect more of myself. Time is precious and fleeting, that’s true enough, but that’s the exact reason we should not waste a second of it.

But hey, when you hear me still making excuses to not do the laundry, don’t judge. It’s a long way down that staircase…  

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