Sunday, March 30, 2014

Just Sew the Monkey's Arm Back On Already.

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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10 comments:

  1. I totally get this. And then it just stresses me out every time I see that "thing" that needs to be done. I finally sewed up several toys the other day - but I still have one bear that needs attention. I just need to do it!

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  2. Alexa, glad that I'm not alone! The funny thing is that right after posting this, I utterly procrastinated on a deadline for tomorrow. I have to keep repeating this mantra to myself: just do it, just do it, just do it....

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  3. Ha! I love this!

    Just last week I started a list of the things that I've pushed aside (but annoy the heck out of me every day). There's the name letters on my daughter's wall that come forward off their hooks and every night I push them back on. There's the toilet that every hour or so runs for about 3 seconds and then shuts off. There's the battery in my daughter's clock that needs changing. The list goes on and on. What's worse is every day I encounter these things and they seem to suck some life out of me. Odd and annoying.

    Thanks for this reminder Robin. Sometimes those little accomplishments release us into a freedom we couldn't possibly imagine.

    It's time for me to sew the monkey's arm back on (you coined a new term there my friend).

    Wishing you a blessed day.
    xoxo

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  4. Oh, my list still would be long. Toward the end of every semester, I start a dream list of what I want to accomplish once classes are done. I love lists!

    Putting batteries in things always seems to be one of those tasks that I never get to. Perhaps because I think when toys don't make noise anymore.... :)

    I hope that you can tackle some of those projects, my friend!

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  5. Ha! My hubby had a shirt that he wanted me to sew a button back onto. It sat on a chair in our room for weeks. I finally did it last weekend because he needed it for a business trip. As you said, it took all of about 5 minutes. Sometimes we have to make sometime, right now - indeed!

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    1. Sewing buttons... that task ALWAYS falls to the very bottom of my list, as well!

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  6. Most days I feel that I am drowning in monkey arms (figuratively, not literally- eww.) In my head I know, KNOW that I will feel so much better if I just take a little time and clear those projects off my list. And yet....and yet....

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    1. It is so hard to stay afloat in that sea of monkey arms.... Yesterday, in fact, I procrastinated like it was my job. Like I was the BOSS of procrastination.

      And yet.... and yet...

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  7. OH how I get this Robin!!! You are SO right about that... the anticipation and stress over thinking about 'getting it done' is far worse than just actually doing IT!! So why oh why do I procrastinate?? I hate that kind of pressure... I have so many things 'un'done... and the burden gets heavier every day I don't do them. Ugh.

    Good for YOU for sewing that cute little monkey's arm back on!!

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    1. Thank you, Chris. Such an ongoing battle, is it not? Maybe we should institute a personal "get it done" day where all we do is check off tasks that we've been avoiding.

      The only problem is that by virtue of ignoring our children all day, they would have created a whole host of OTHER small tasks that we'd eventually have to get to...

      At any rate, it certainly does feel good to do some of those "un"done things, and that creates some motivation!

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