Sometimes my kids don't want to do the things that they need to do.
Shocking, right? I know. I'm the only one with kids like this. They don't want to empty the dishwasher or tidy their toys or work on something challenging.
So out comes the Mom Voice and I tell them, every time: The only way to do it is to do it.
The only way to get that dishwasher emptied so you can go play is to empty it. The only way to get through that task that feels big and difficult and overwhelming is to get started. These are words to carry you through life, kids.
But this isn't really about my kids. Because for every time I remind them that the only way to do it is to do it, I have to remind myself of the same thing about a half dozen times.
The only way to get out of bed in the morning, self, is to get out of bed in the morning. The only way to run is to lace up those shoes and go run. When faced with a new client and five years of overdue taxes and no useful records, the only way to get through it is to do it. I can stare at it and dread it and whine all I like, but it's not going anywhere until I begin.
Goodness knows that as a perfectionist, procrastination is my constant temptation. If I can't do it perfectly right now, then it's best to just not bother at all, right? Put it off until I have the perfect combination of time, silence, skills, desire, space, mental clarity, everything - then, maybe, we'll talk.
Four kids and homeschooling and working from home and housekeeping and caring for my own self too, however, means that things never go well when I try to wait for the stars to perfectly align. I'm learning to be more creative with my time. I'm finding the things that work best for me: the preparations that make the biggest difference, the small pockets of time that can either be wasted or used, the disciplines and habits that bring a sense of peace and confidence and usefulness to our daily rhythms.
All those things help, yes - but ultimately, always, the only way to do it is to do it. So I sit down to my work and hear those words in my head and I begin. I put on a load of laundry. I take out the sewing machine. Turn on the oven. Pick up the broom. the book. the pen.
The only way to do it is to do it.