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I’m isolating at the moment in preparation for an operation – not life-threatening, but necessary. During the overall period this year of social distancing, I’ve picked up jogging again as a way of keeping physically healthy. But in isolation, this isn’t possible.

Physical activity is something that I appreciate after it’s done. Not before. Not during. I’d much rather spend my day doing anything else at all. So, while in isolation, it’s very easy to rationalize my way out of doing anything inside my enclosed space that feels like exercise.

Except that I know better. I can sense the signs of rationalizing as it overtakes me – the thought that if I just got the next blog written first, or the evening meal started, or the letters to friends I’ve been trying to find a moment for. Then, once that first thing is done, and I’m ready for exercising, I find myself hesitating, checking emails, and beginning to think of another thing I could do before that event.

You could call it procrastination, but for me at least, that misses the point: the point is that my brain takes over so that I don’t have to feel the anxiety that begins to well up. It isn’t even the dreaded exercise. It’s those things I’ve convinced myself I need to do … and my thoughts begin … “floor exercises will take an hour and it’s (by this time) already 2pm … and if I go ahead, that speech I’m practicing won’t get done again”.

The real thing I’m avoiding is the speech prep. That’s what’s making me hesitate and breathe shallowly, created by the war inside me of whether I really need to do that speech or whether this is someone else’s idea of necessity. The fact is, I don’t know what to do! That indecision is painful, so painful that my rationalizing mind takes over and saves the day.

I’m rationalizing on at least 2 levels: the more readily noticeable level of putting off exercise, and the deeper level of indecision. That deeper level is the key. If I can become aware of it and make a clear decision, reducing or even elimination the doubt I feel, the rationalizing disappears.

It’s worth it to root out the deeper reason.

An Exploration of Coming of Age Rituals

Quote of the Week 

“…you’d be amazed at the grand tales the human brain will throw up to make sense of something nonsensical..”

– Dianna Hardy, Cry Of The Wolf


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