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Procrastination was the title of today’s #DailyCalm and it was very apt timing too. Over the last couple of weeks of Easter holiday I have had fun with my children and done minimal amounts of everything else.

I have started my second essay and recoiled in horror from it. I have got an application form for a placement and recoiled in horror from completing the long questions. I have sort of got a placement but I need to check the details and I don’t think it will be enough of its own. I haven’t done enough paying work and I have a list of small jobs that just gets longer as I put it all off. I have mostly binned Pilates and meditation for the fortnight as well, which is self-sabotage as my ability to focus and to be without pain is diminishing every day.

So here I am, Tuesday morning, trying to get back to normal and feeling overwhelmed by the big stuff I need to do, let alone all the minor ones. On top of that it’s my 50th birthday soon and I have done nothing about deciding what to do as it’s too big a decision. Time is ticking and I don’t want to let it slide away. My birthday is also being celebrated with an invitation to my first mammogram. Who knew birthdays could bring such excitement!

Starting back into meditation a topic of procrastination was really pertinent and it made me think, which is always useful. I know that part of the reason I get so anxious about thinking about coursework is that it is part of a future that I am self-determining. Other than the decision to have children this is pretty much the biggest thing that I have decided to do that is not about compromise or complying with others or fitting in, but it’s for me. On top of that it is also a future job and career, income, independence and all sorts that I haven’t really had. It’s a bigger deal than just doing the coursework and getting a placement.

I have been thinking over the last few months about resilience and how I need to build up my ability to not want to shut down in face of outside pressure like this, whether it’s a pressure that I have chosen or not. It suddenly struck me during my meditation that I have spent most of my life enduring and that I need to untangle that from resilience. My default mode when put under pressure, by my father or partners for the most, is to make myself small and quiet, and wait for it all to be over. I endured it. I wasn’t resilient. Now I am trying to be resilient and I am defaulting to passive endurance which does not get essays written.

endurance: the ability to endure an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way.

resilience: the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness


The difference is small but significant. I am not fast at recovering, at bouncing back and I have spent most of a lifetime not giving more of myself than I can afford to lose. I gave way slowly where I had to and dug my heels in elsewhere. This needs to change.