Hitting ‘Snooze’ On Life

I used to think laziness was just another charming aspect of my personality I couldn’t help. But over time I have found that I’m certainly not lazy and don’t lack interest — I’m just afraid.

This weekend I was completely unscheduled aside from some freelance work I could sprinkle in whenever. I’ve been trying to read more and develop my writing portfolio so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to spend some time on both. But once my alarm went off on Saturday morning I lost all motivation and kept sleeping. By the time I got up it was well into the afternoon and I was too groggy to function.

Wasting an entire day makes me feel like a garbage person. I will give myself some credit though, when I have things to do I do them fully and on time. My “free” time is the problem. When I have time to pursue more personal ambitions I bail and keep hitting snooze.

Am I just lazy or is it something else?

While I do love sleeping and often keep vampire-like hours it’s more a fear reaction than anything. It’s so much easier to sleep well into the afternoon than to try something and fail.

I’ve come to this realization after some introspection, therapy, reading and listening to a nauseating number of podcasts. Fear is a powerful force in our lives — perhaps the most powerful. We all react to it in different, pathological ways.

My major fear is definitely failure but also not living up to my own expectations. If I were to start work on a novel and saw that it was terrible I wouldn’t just fail, I would realize I’m not as skilled as I thought. What do you do after that? Do you try again? Do you find something else?

I’m certainly not conceited (more of the opposite, really) but there are some truths about myself I have always held and one is that I am a decent writer. We all have these truths and any kind of challenge to them can be crisis-inducing.

My resolution right now is to take the negativity out of it and see it for what it is — procrastination. Recognizing the pathology behind our worst habits is probably the only way out. Tonight I will spend less time rewatching The Office and more time working on my pursuits. Hell, I’m already doing that by writing this!

It’s time to stop hitting ‘snooze’ on life.

Former journalist, current marketer from Boston, Mass. www.brittburrows.com

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