I probably should have worn galoshes today. This is the thought that occurred to me as I walked across the Queensboro Bridge—all the while hoping that the slush-ice wouldn’t invade my sneakers. With each step I took, I half expected to feel that familiar cold-wet sensation seeping in at my toes. But, and quite miraculously, my feet stayed dry for the entire walk.
Walking across a very gray cityscape, enjoying weather that felt temperate after a few single digit days, I found myself at odds with myself. It’s Friday, and you haven’t written anything yet. Would I let myself off the hook? Would I grant myself a bye? But nagging from every corner of my mind, a solitary (though persistent) thought: If I could find the time to write the weeks of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even New Year’s Eve, then how, on this very ordinary and not over-scheduled week, could I so easily give up on my promise to myself to write weekly?
My motivation was waning. This has been one of those weeks where writing has felt like a chore—an uphill battle when I don’t want to climb or fight. A week during which procrastination has been my shadow—or as easy as a sigh. And so I found myself here—today—Friday—with nothing written, no outline, no thought I wanted to explore or rough draft I was inclined to sand and polish before putting it “out there.” And Friday is my self-appointed deadline—go or don’t time.
I find it interesting how easy it is to be unfaithful to myself. How comfortable I am breaking commitments or turning my back on goals I’ve made for myself. Perhaps this is the true reason I don’t make resolutions. It’s not just the studies suggesting they aren’t kept by the majority; it’s my self-knowledge—my premonition of failure.
It’s probably a good thing I didn’t wear my wellies today. They’re not comfortable for long walks. Counterintuitive as it may seem, wearing sneakers on a slushy and slippery day made it more likely that I’d opt to walk across the bridge. And if I could find the wherewithal to walk in conditions such as these—and risk getting cold and wet feet—then couldn’t I just write something about nothing in particular? Couldn’t I write about not being inspired to write anything? And that became my mantra for the remainder of my walk: Write something. Write anything. Just write. It might not be the most glamorous route to the top of your objective mountain, but it will get you from here (the pit and valley of procrastination) to there. And that’s enough.