Excuse me?

Sometimes it seems I let my life be run by excuses.

When I stop and think about it, I find that there are so many ‘reasons’ I use to explain why I didn’t do something.  Many have become habits.  Sometimes I call it procrastination, but whichever word I use, it’s really the same thing.

Now that I’ve actually identified that I do use excuses in my everyday life, I can see that perhaps it is time to knuckle down and eradicate a few of these from my life.

I didn’t go for my walk today because it was too cold.  Or —I ran out of time as I have to go to work today and if I’d gotten up earlier I wouldn’t have had enough sleep!  Plus I won’t be able to go after work as it will be too dark — and too cold again.

I didn’t make that phone call because they might be picking the kids up from school, driving, getting tea ready, going out or whatever!

When I have more time I’ll be able to do X, but I’m really too busy at the moment.

Or, when I’ve saved some more money I’ll be able to afford to do Y but money is a bit tight at the moment……

I also hear some of these in others as I go about my daily life.  I know I am not alone in using excuses for a myriad of things, but that doesn’t make it all right.

I think I’ve become so accustomed to using excuses that they have begun to seem normal, as part of my everyday life.

Oh and I meant to call so and so, but it got too late and I never phone anyone after nine thirty at night.  That would be rude!

I sometimes wonder just what life would be like without excuses.

How would I function?  Somehow I imagine I’d be extremely productive, I think in reality I would most likely have more time for leisure activities and just maybe I’d be a lot more successful than I am now.

Well, I can only write a short blog today as I have to go to work and if I do any more I will be late….

 

What’s your excuse??

 

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Colouring between the lines.

For the past couple of years, adult colouring books have been quite the rage.  Walk into any newsagent and there will be a display somewhere of them, particularly around Christmas time, Mothers Day, Fathers Day etc. as they are great gift ideas.
The idea is that they can be fun or a form of meditation, something to relax you and not just for children.
  I guess they are a great money-spinner as once you’ve bought a colouring book, then you need to buy the pencils.
Some months ago I succumbed and purchased a mandala colouring book, then I bought the pretty coloured pens and pencils.  Not content with that, I had to have a nice pencil case to keep them all tidy.
Then I sat down to do my ‘meditation’.  I had to choose which colours, being really careful so that none of the little parts had the same colours side by side.  Hmmm, starting to get a  bit difficult here – but it’s only a colouring book and I’m an adult so I can handle this with one hand tied behind my back!
So, I selected a colour and started, and discovered it really wasn’t anything like meditation for me at all, as I was paranoid about colouring between the lines.  Grown-ups shouldn’t go over the lines, because they are – well ‘grown-ups’!
I found it more difficult than I’d thought it would be as I discovered I have a bit of a neat fetish.  So in doing the colouring in, I revealed the really pedantic side of myself.
I started thinking more about it, and likened it to many of the tasks we attempt in life.
As children when we start colouring in, there is no attempt to keep within the lines, not even any pretence of colouring according to the ‘rules’.  Children have green bears – sort of – purple suns and various weird colours for things and they don’t think there is anything wrong with that.  Really there isn’t, but we make it seem so.
Then the adults come along and tell them that the sun should be yellow, the bear should be brown or black an so on.  Plus the child is praised profusely when they manage to keep within the lines.  So they learn that colouring should be done a certain way, and when it is done to the satisfaction of the adult nearby, then they are rewarded for their efforts with praise.
As adults, we often approach life tasks much like the colouring in books.  We’ve learnt that if we follow the ‘rules’, then we are praised, and most people like to be acknowledged positively for their efforts.   So if we do the ‘wrong’ thing, or go over the lines, we beat ourselves up. Feel bad about what we’ve done and often give up because it’s too hard.
People who don’t conform to society’s rules, who don’t colour between the lines and dare to be different are often looked at with suspicion.  What makes them so special that they can get away with being different?
I think too that the early stages of some mental illnesses, can be like that.  Things don’t go according to the life rules, so that means they are different from the flock.  Looking back now,  I recall Kelly going through a phase of being quite different from the Kelly we knew.  Our Kelly was precise, neat, tidy and part of ‘normal’ society.  The changes were subtle, gradually becoming obvious to us, and it was puzzling.  But not enough to make a big deal out of it – “She’s just going through a phase!”   but that continued, until she wasn’t anything like our Kelly.  She seemed to be someone quite different, embarrassing even, but now I see that it was the beginning of her mental illness and we just didn’t understand.
So perhaps we to relax and  not worry so much about conforming, and look more kindly on those who don’t seem to be colouring between the lines.
I think that the really important part is doing the colouring in the way you want to do it, not the way others  think it ‘should’ be done.