Has something overwhelming ever caused you to procrastinate?
I am a 60-year-old hippie artist, in a casual relationship with discipline.
Running a high-quality, custom jewelry business for 40 years in the small, rural state of Vermont has been challenging, meaningful and rich in personal freedom.
During the unprecedented life changes of a Pandemic, our business has slowed as engagement and wedding plans changed with the times.
This past summer, I heard my subconscious voice, (I call it my wild voice), quietly, internally, repeated the word “column,” day after day.
Unsure of the meaning at first, I had come to trust my inner advisor, and soon realized I was being shown an important path forward, a path I had been searching for so long.
For nearly 10 years I had been trying to write the book “Funology,” but writing it proved to be overwhelming, boring, and just too hard.
But now in Pandemic mode, our business had slowed, and I had something I had not had before — time.
Time, normally used to run our business.
So I took some of that time to consider my assets. What did I already have to help me reach the goal of writing and sharing “Funology?”
A bit of writing/self-publishing experience (two tiny books). Creativity. Bullseye determination. Pen and paper.
What did I need for this goal?
As a 36 year disciple of Funology, my wellness-lifestyle methodology + philosophy (what I call a methodosophy), I knew that simply telling myself I should be disciplined — would not work.
“Should” based behavior changes had never worked for me since it lacked my personal trifecta of motivation — Adventure+Outdoors+Movement.
When considering any personal challenge, in this case, gaining enough discipline to write a book — one column at a time, I knew the best solution for me would be found experientially.
So, I took a job as an attendant at a State Park.
As a lifelong business owner, it was the first 40-hour-a-week job I had ever had, and one that typically attracts high school and college students during their summer break.
Nonetheless, I was outdoors and moving — with a daily schedule to adhere to — so I viewed the job as getting paid to take a class in discipline.
I lasted five days.
The first day at my new job, I realized that an eight-hour shift is four hours too long.
The morning flew by pleasantly enough but by lunchtime, I was ready to get on my scooter and jet.
Each day I embraced the newfound discipline of preparing for work and enjoyed the youthful, positive energy of the crew and leaders, and hearing their college and career dreams as we cleaned the bathrooms, swept cobwebs, raked campsites, and shoveled ash from fire pits.
But the state-mandated, Covid-19 cleaning protocol meant each eight-hour shift was spent mostly deep cleaning the bathrooms, showers, grills and all touchpoints with multiple spray chemicals that did not pair well with a brewing lung infection that worsened with each shift.
After five days of trying to find a workaround to save my lungs, the crew leaders and I realized I could not safely continue, and sadly, I handed in my navy green T-shirt at week’s end.
But in those five days, I got what I needed.
Experiencing the routines of a job, I experienced a subtle shift in my relationship with discipline, and taking advantage of it, began a new ritual.
Rising at 6 a.m., I putzed around the house and yard until 7 a.m., then set a timer for 1 hour and 1 minute.
Walking straight to my computer, I sat down and wrote.
When the timer went off, I pushed my chair back and walked away.
I had gained the perfect amount of discipline I needed — one hour’s worth.
This daily ritual is delightfully short, pleasant, productive and sustainable.
In other words, Funology!
Joining in, my husband Bill now works on our deadly boring taxes and accounting one easy hour at a time.
We both love the mental roominess — where all the shoulds, have to’s and procrastination used to live.
Why the extra 1 minute on the timer?
Our commute time — both ways.