I believe that it is human nature to avoid doing something that we don’t want to do. Either we think that it will be unpleasant or we aren’t sure of the outcome. Will we be successful or will we fall flat on our face?
Sometimes this procrastination pattern is subtle and not easily recognized. At other times, we have a visceral and even a verbal response to the situation and it is obvious what we are doing. Sometimes I am distracted off of the task and never seem to get to it, at other times I will worry and worry about completing the project and yet not sit down and actually work on it.
We have alarms on our phones to remind us to give Nick his medication and alarms to take him to the toilet. We have alarms to get him up and alarms to put him in bed. Not preforming these tasks on time, can have dire consequences.
All new parents begin to learn this same lesson with dirty diapers, soiled beds, feeding a screaming baby who woke you up at night. All of these are critically important situations and have to be taken care of immediately. Avoiding these tasks for very long would be very bad, even deadly.
Caring for Nick with the unexpected and unavoidable changes in our plans, has given me many opportunities to face this behavioral response of mine. Sometimes I will even say out loud, “Why do I have to do this? Right now? Really?” I then take a deep breath, square my shoulders and do what needs to be done. I have discovered that just jumping in and taking care of whatever it is, that is the immediate need, is always the best course. I waste less time worrying and actually have more time available for the joy that is part of life.
I still have many times, even daily, when I avoid doing something. Even after over 37 years of caring for Nick, I haven’t generalized my learning about avoidance and procrastination. The good thing is that often, I do recognize my behavior, and see what I am doing, sooner rather than later. I laugh at myself, take a deep breath and do what needs to be done.
Please share your thoughts, how do you avoid avoidance?
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