So there’s this blog,Weekend Assignment, which gives you a new question every week to answer in blog format, and to spur your writing. And since I’m in a crisis with that right now, I figured I’d give it a try. Here’s their question:
Weekend Assignment #315: It seems that we’re all too busy these days to get around to everything we’d like to do, even if we had the money and means to do them. Is there a particular activity that takes up far too much of your time, and thus prevents you from getting around to other things?
Extra Credit: What is the #1 activity you wish you had more time for?
Here’s my answer:
If I had to pick just one thing that is the #1 time waster for me, it’s no contest. My wife and family would say being on the computer. But they don’t seem to realize why I spend so much time on there. I could lie, and tell you it’s because I’m writing the next great American novel. No, sadly its usually checking game, movie and music sites to feed my insatiable hunger for all things media. But even then, I’m doing the one thing I waste time with the most:
For those of you not in the psychology field or a depression sufferer in treatment, Catastrophizing is the fine art of thinking things are going to be worse than they are. It’s like having your own personal Glum from the 70’s kids cartoon “Gulliver’s Travels” in your head all the time. A little voice saying “We’re doomed. We’re never going to make it.” every five seconds or so.
But I’m 40 now, and I am the Leonardo DaVinci of catastrophizing. You want to know how good my little demon(which is what I call my inner catastrophizing voice, and yes, it is a Fleetwood Mac reference) is at it? I’ve been treated to the breakup of my marriage, the death of my children,and the loss of life of every single living relative I have. My little demon’s rationale sometimes is that I need to be prepared for every eventuality. Well in those cases, I’m the Boy Scouts.
So what should I do about this? Well, therapists say I should write everything down when it happens, and write my way through it, thus forcing my brain to process it logically. This would be fine,except that when my wife gets ticked off at me, or my daughter gives me the disappointed look she should get an Oscar for, the process goes off at light speed, and slowing the little bugger down takes some serious effort. Not mention it’s hard to do when driving,or lying awake in the dark.
But there is another part of me that wonders: what would I do if I was free of catastrophizing? What heights of activity would I scale? Worse yet, would I just keep doing all the self destructive,time wasting activities that I do because of it,just because I don’t know how to do anything else?
I’d sell my soul to find out, though.
Extra Credit Answer: I’d love to find more time for laying in bed, first thing in the morning, my four year old daughter laying between my wife and I . Because I know every day those moments are getting fewer fewer.
As required by the blog, here’s the link to their blog: http://weekendassignment.blogspot.com/