Anyway, it's cold. A perfect day to sink into the very legitimate excuse on why I can't get x, y and z done....it's winter! I can't be expected to do all my work. I should just cuddle up with the latest Patricia Cornwell novel and happily cozy up to a good read.....I sure don't want to work!
Recently, a dear friend of mine and I were discussing via e-mail a concept that I am calling "Lazy A$$ Syndrome" or the 'I don't wannas'. You know, when you head off towards a project, partially gung-ho, somewhat determined to get it done, open the door to the closet that needs re-organizing, the drawer that needs cleaned out, or approach the pile of clothes that needs folded and put away and you go, uhnnnn.....I ....don't.....wanna. So, you either spank your inner child and FORCE yourself begrudgingly to do it, or justify why it's ok not to or just shrug, shut the door and move on.
In the grand scheme of things, it probably doesn't matter if we cleaned out the drawer or whatever, but I am beginning to notice the side-effects of 'giving in' and, conversely, the power of 'pushing through'.
We know we get what we focus on and we know that much of what we do are habits that are engrained. So, if we use that knowledge we can see that every time we turn away from a task at hand THAT WE HAD COMMITTED TO OURSELVES TO DO, we reinforce the habit of, oh, what shall we call it, self-non-compliance maybe. So that becomes more of a habit....to turn away, to give in to a non-productive impulse. Now, this is not to say that every moment needs to be productive. I'm realizing the utter joy of NON productiveness, which has taken me over five decades to appreciate---no I'm talking about when you SAID you were going to do it, and then you don't. A decision NOT to do something is not the same thing.
Now, take the same scenario, some god-forsaken task like cleaning out a closet....UGH....and you open the door determined, only to shut it a few seconds later. What did you reinforce???
I've been playing around with this for many weeks now. I'm applying it to my personal fitness program, to working my horses (not always that much fun in Ohio winter), and to cleaning out various closets and piles of accumulated stuff that needs to go. I can report success on all fronts to varying degrees. What's been working for me is to first set an achievable goal. One project is so overwhelming that I just haven't wanted to do anything with it at all. For that one, I told myself, ok, you can spend FIVE minutes working on it. That's all....five minutes. I don't know how many of those five minute periods I've invested into this particular project, but it is well on its way to being completed, and it honestly feels like I've done the whole thing in only five minutes! This is a vast turn around from my usual modus operandi...I tend to be an extremist, so I gotta get the whole thing done or none at all. Usually I get so over-whelmed, I quit several hours into it, exhausted and feeling like I failed. Learning to perform a task in small chunks (and then live with the incompleteness of it mid-process) has been interesting and self-illuminating.
Also interesting is that I now have engrained a bit of discipline in myself by reinforcing the habit to COMMIT to myself. I said I was going to get this done, now just do it. It is getting easier to do this. Funny how that inner child only whines for a second or two before the momentum of the task at hand takes hold. It is the starting of something that is often the most difficult. Most things now that I set out to do, I don't even feel that initial resistance anymore (well, ok, there is one closet that still RULES me :-)....but I'll get you too, my pretty.....five minutes at a time).
I've always said that Mt. Everest could literally be moved one tablespoon at a time---usually as one of my lame philosophical blurbs to inspire someone into action, but now I really know that concept is true. No matter how big the task, eventually, with persistence, the end of it will come.
SAH-WEET! Sweet Potato and Spinach Soup
I ran across this recipe on the blogosphere and even though I was worried about making soup with peanut butter in it (seriously??? p.butter in soup??), I am soooo glad I tried it. It is now one of my absolute favorites. It ain't pretty in the bowl, but let me tell you, it is wonderful. I also think that it would be an awesome soup to have on hand in the freezer in case illness strikes. Please give it a try.
Scroll down on Julieanna and A.J.'s site and the recipe is in the post dated January 4th. The recipe is from the talented Robin Robertson....I have two of her cookbooks, Vegan Planet and 1,000 Vegan Recipes and they are both wonderful books. (While you are there on Julieanna and A.J.'s site, view some of their videos, if you haven't already. These two wonderful women are definitely on the front lines and doing such good work to get the message of healthy eating out. They are personal heroes of mine for sure).
I used a can of tomatoes with chilis in it, so my soup had a bit more bite to it. Normally I don't care for spiciness but for some reason, this combination was really good. I also took raw spanish peanuts and dry roasted them in a fry pan to sprinkle on top of the soup....serious yum. Do try it!
Recipe is here:
Sweet Potato - Spinach Soup-------------------------------------------------------------
Cookbook Giveaway. I am so excited about this. The publishers of Lindsay S. Nixon's new book Everyday Happy Herbivore have graciously made available a copy of Lindsay's book to be given away on my blog. (Shipment can only go to USA or Canada address). My recent interview with Lindsay and a recipe from the book can be reviewed here: http://sunnyhawklane.blogspot.com/2011/12/artificial-abundance-and-interview-with.html That chocolate mug cake would make a great Valentine's Day treat for yourself or your special someone.
To enter to win, leave me a comment. Are you currently eating a plant-based diet? If not, is this a goal you have for yourself? View Lindsay's blog here: http://happyherbivore.com/ We'll run this for a week, so get your comments in by next Saturday (the 18th). Thanks and good luck!
Sue, working---5 mins at a time, in Ohio