This Moment

This Moment: Rabbit Hole

This is the first example of a series of thought pieces written in the moment. They will be created spontaneously, reflecting my thoughts by way of self-journey, expression and stream-of-consciousness.

My head is spinning. As I sit here amidst a battle for productivity and positivity I find myself spiralling down a rabbit hole of possibility. Sheer, unending possibility.

My web-browser becomes inundated with new tabs for things to research and read. In fact the tabs all reflect this very subject matter of spiralling rabbit holes of thought. A web search for “overwhelmed by possibilities” revealed the writer M.J. Ross. Beginning with her article (When You Feel Pressured and Overwhelmed by Possibilities) I briefly felt relieved to encounter somehow experiencing my same turmoil.

But of course the article featured in-text links to other links by other authors on similar subjects. Meanwhile, three other articles that came up in my initial web search, those tabs remain open and unread on the far right of my browser, shoved further and further westward while I uncover more and more possibilities.

It may be helpful to view this as akin to grocery shopping, picking out bits and portions to eat at supper when the time is right. But history shows this doesn’t happen. The stack of records to my left shows this; the piles of books to my right shows this; the boxes of movies and cassettes and CD’s and magazines… proof positive, insulating my living room with guilt-tripping reminders of what could be.

The endless To Do List that barely gets pecked away at.

I have my productive days. My “Get this out of the way already” days, usually mid-week or weekend. I get on a roll and plow through organizing and cleaning and listening and reading. Sadly those don’t occur often enough.

A new thought (also food–related): Parents like to say, “No dessert until you finish your supper.” Another way to look at this is, “No new food until you finish what’s in front of you. Clean your plate first and then you can have other things.” As such, instead of piling up dozens of web browser tabs to maybe read weeks later, I should not allow any new ones (even temporarily) until I make use of whatever I’ve just opened.

What’s happening here is a battle between practicality and impulsiveness. Impulsively I look at books in a bookstore and think, “Oh that looks neat; ooh, I’d love to read that.” Practically speaking, I won’t always be able to read those things immediately. And so they go on the back-burner. Practically speaking, I’m planning and organizing my time.

Or at least I think I am. Pragmatically I tell myself, “I can’t read this even within an hour of buying, therefor I will set it aside for later.” But what is “later”? What is this vague paradise of “later”, this wonderful world in which I can sit down and engage in activities both productive and enjoyable?

What is it that disconnects me from this utopia? What is it about productivity that leaves a bad taste in my mouth, leaving me to moan, “I don’t wanna,” like a child? I’ve long pondered this in the past, wondering when and why I became so painfully aversive to things that “must” be done. “This has to be done,” my parents would say, “just because“. And resentment on my part would set in.

No doubt I’m entirely human in this. There’s no way this is unique for me, as if I endured some sort of trauma as a child that rendered me inoperable as an adult. Or at least I don’t think so.

But here it stands: Anything that entails a feeling of “I must do this” becomes painful. Even if I wanted to do something (read that book, watch that movie, listen to that album, make that money), no matter how positively excited I was in the beginning… it gets flipped. I feel resentful and guilty and pitiful. And it doesn’t get done.

The books remain stacked high. The possibilities remain endless.

There’s a dream in here. A dream of accomplishment. These books, these albums, these limitless ideas – they signify mountains to climb. Goals to achieve. Through achievement comes fulfilment… right?

The stream-of-consciousness has run dry for the moment. As usual, to be continued.

© 2017 Day By Day Mental


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