I wonder how other people manage to complete mundane tasks without getting irritated? For me, for example, I notice a feeling of pleasure when I find a matching mate for a sock. It is the feeling I get turning them out inside of each other. Like match makers must feel when they put two people together who end up hitting it off and both of their lives are better having met each other. I have actually grown to despise the socks that seem to have eternally lost their mate and lay unfolded and lonely in my sock drawer. The kids have such crazy colored socks with missing pairs, I will often just find two that look similar in color and amuse myself by putting them together. In spite of these little details, I feel a sense of bitterness for having to fold clothes and put them away. Not sure why menial assignments irritate me from start to finish, but if I cannot find a creative way to perceive the task at hand, it will not get done, or if it does, there is some coping needed at the finish line for forcing myself to do something I did not want to do. This is how I imagine people get burned out in the workplace. I can’t help but wonder how other people keep their focus to complete boring tasks or make themselves do things they don’t want to do. Another technique that has been a determining factor for whether or not I complete something, is taking before and after pictures and sharing them with others as a sort of accountability. I am a visual person, so seeing what my time well spent created, makes me feel content with myself. Disgust for the smell of old food motivates me to do dishes and manage trash disposal. Overgrown grass and uneven edges makes me want to mow and trim. Inconsistent grass growth makes me want to water and fertilize the landscape. I hate driving a dirty car and living in a cluttered home.
Unfortunately, desire does not equal accomplishment. I can have a desire for something to be achieved, but if I lack the energy or the right attitude, it will not get done. Then there are just other things which I have no motivation to do at all, but someone has to do them. Those are the things I am willing to pay someone to do, like cooking, for instance. I despise messes so much, I won’t even cook or start projects half the time just because I don’t want to clean afterwards. I’d rather do nothing, so there is no mess and nothing to clean. Sadly, tolerating things I can’t stand and not doing the things I want to do has probably contributed to this state I find myself in most if the time, which I call apathy. I have met many people in my life and wondered, why is this person so cynical? Why is that person so angry and bent on destroying the lives of other people? I have learned that hurting people hurt people. I have learned that my apathy is worse than anger because at least an angry person cares. Someone who has apathy doesn’t give a damn. They are lazy and careless because they could care less. I know tragedy comes to us all, and everyone handles it differently. For me, not caring is a coping mechanism. I maintain the belief that different aspects of my character can handle different scenarios and emotions. I entertain myself sometimes by pretending I am someone else. I contour my personality to match the expectations of what others would like me to be – when I care enough to do so.
However, when my energy reserves are low, when my attitude is short, when my stress is high, I stop caring. I don’t know if other people experience the same thing, but it concerns me. I have seen most people I know have a breakdown. They cry or yell or throw things. They release their frustration or stress when they finally break. In contrast, I usually don’t cry when I’m overwhelmed. I shut down my feelings altogether. I pretend like it doesn’t matter, it didn’t happen, and I don’t care. I’m not a therapist, but there are probably bad things that happen when you push down emotions, put up walls, and pretend. When I do find myself crying, it’s over acts of compassion or honor. When I find myself yelling, it’s over disrespect or unfulfilled demands.
It is just a curious thing to me, how people cope and manage emotion, including boredom and disappointment, how they accomplish things, great and small. I’ve always found it interesting that no matter who you are or what you have done in life, it all comes down to a simple word: decisions. Every moment we make a decision. What we think, say, and do are all decisions. And so I ponder why some people are capable of making greater decisions than others, and how I can be great, too. If I am faithful with the small things, even matching socks, then perhaps I will be entrusted with greater things. Greater challenges and new experiences lessens the likelihood of developing boredom, in my opinion. It’s the happiness of pursuit and the joy in the journey in which I find myself most content. Arriving at a destination and reaching a goal in life is bittersweet. For it is at that moment that you are effective and accomplished, but then you must find a new goal and motivation to begin a new journey. That is how I feel anyway, and wonder how the rest of world perceives making a life and making decisions.