The trouble with "should"

I have a problem. Well, several actually, but let’s limit this to just one:  my personal To Do list has lost its sense of urgency. And I’m not getting anything done. Not only that, the list is expanding, growing to a size that is unwieldy and daunting.

It’s all because of “should.” As in, “I should write a new blog post.” Okay fine, you can see I finally managed to do that. But that item has been on my list for weeks. I’m a writer. It’s just not that tough to write a blog post. Except lately.

There are seemingly thousands of them, these “I should” tasks which lack immediacy or short-term consequences. No, you don’t want to know what they are. They’re boring and tedious. Except they really are things I SHOULD do. But they all have such an optional kind of feel to them, completely devoid of any sense of priority. An equal opportunity listing of “meh.” A far cry from, “I have to sort these papers right this minute, before they burst into flame!” Or, “If I don’t trim the bushes by Tuesday, the ground will crack open and spew molten lava.” Or, “If these pictures aren’t packed up in the next half hour, the bomb will explode and all the hostages will die!”

Not even the satisfying prospect of crossing things firmly off the list has been sufficient motivation — and usually that works, along with the certainty that no one else is going to do this stuff and I need to just suck it up and DO IT already. Really, I’d feel so much better if I did. But lately– [sigh] it seems I’m languishing in the land of lethargy, immobilized by inertia, sinking slowly into the depths of depression. Ahem. Sorry, just trying to manufacture a modicum of melodrama here.

I’m starting to suspect these tasks are quietly gathering strength and purpose, simmering in a dark stew of neglect, and will reach a critical mass of imperativeness ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

God help me.

I really should do something about this.



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4 responses to “The trouble with "should"

  1. Merry

    Now that’s what I call dirty pool.
    Deliberately stopping your writing long enough to put up a blog post so that I will be shamed into doing the same.

    (Yes, it’s all about me. You see a problem with that?)

    paquadab – if you could just pack a dab of something high-caloric into my lunch today, I’d appreciate it.


  2. McB

    Oh yeah. The sense or urgency is in direct proportion with how long you’ve been putting it off.

    destom: dat ting on da apple, mon. It’s da stom.


  3. Merry

    ooh, new colors! Is this a change to signify a more colorful blog feng shui?

    retteat – the general called for the troops to retreat. Unfortunately, due to his noticeable lisp, everyone was too busy laughing to run away.


  4. BCB

    Feng Shui? Me? Pffft. I’d break something if I tried.

    Nope, this is the blog equivalent of rearranging the furniture. Sometimes you just need to stare at a different wall.