Dec 7: Act

Act. I think this word goes hand in hand with commit. Intent and action feel like they should be tied together in a conceptual harness, or at least live and play in the same figurative neighborhood  Decide, then do. No stops on the line between them. (It’s evidently metaphor mixing day for me.) Once a decision is made it’s a short, sweet hop to action. Or it should be. But it isn’t, not usually.

The question of course, is what to do. Or maybe the problem is the scale and the scope of that question. It’s hard to act when I don’t know what to do, or can’t decide what to do next, or when I become too worried about consequences of what I might do. The decision are paralyzing. Action becomes impossible.

This is why I love lists and sub-lists and charts and cards. They mark the raging, scary,  All-The-Things  monster with target zones I can hack away at, reducing each of those pieces one at a time–and without getting frozen by the icy gaze of the This-Might-Be-The-Wrong-Thing monster lurking in the underbrush of the  future. (Hey, I warned you about the metaphors and the mixing and the prose is always purple here.)

I call the death by to-do list system “hacking away at the dragon tail-first.” It works for me. For cleaning, for shopping, for organizing, for moving….all the practical, grounded life actions.

Funny, though, the one area where I don’t make lists is writing itself. (Authoring, yes. That’s task stuff)  For writing, I need only give myself emotional permission to act without concern for consequence, and I can dive right into the making and the discovering. In writing or any creative effort, the same structure that makes work manageable makes play impossible.

Go figure. I’m made of contradictions. And I’m over time, but only by a couple of minutes.

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image by MDIRAFLIMAT via