Ever face a task that you can't seem to buckle down and do? You might think about it, or try not to think about it, or hate the fact that you're still thinking about it even though you've determined not to think about it.
It saps your energy. Like a dark cloud, it infiltrates and dampens otherwise good moments with its looming presence.
This can happen to me when I'm faced with a daunting amount of grading. While my gut reaction might be paralysis or dismay, I've discovered something: Facing the task directly is rarely as painful as worrying about the task. (Nike was onto something when it advised Just Do It.)
This weekend, I finally completed a chore that I had been avoiding: stitching the arm back on my daughter's stuffed monkey. As far as stuffed animals go, this monkey isn't anything special. It's cheap. Nobody can recall its origins. It's never even been given a name. It's like a third string quarterback who doesn't get much play time.
That being said, do you know how much time it takes to sew an arm back on a stuffed monkey? Under three minutes, from start to finish. Do you know how long it took me to sew that arm back on this particular stuffed monkey? About three months.
Yes, for three months I kept that monkey in one of my bedroom drawers next to its detached stuffed monkey arm, waiting for some elusive day when I'd have "plenty" of time to pull out a thread and needle and nothing else on my agenda.
Those elusive days never come. Instead, every time I opened that drawer and saw that monkey, I had just sighed. Better get to that sometime....
Sometimes, you simply must make that "sometime" today. Right now. No, I can't do anything else at this exact moment. No, I'm not going to take a detour and use the restroom first. I've got an armless monkey to fix, so -- seriously -- don't get in my way.
I might be behind in a multitude of other things, but at least the monkey has two arms. Odd as this might seem, this counts for something in my book today.
Have you been avoiding some task? Are you feeling its pressure on your shoulders? Just sew that monkey's arm back on already.
Facing the task directly is rarely as painful as worrying about it.
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