Tap tap tap

March 25th, 2010 | Tags:

That’s laziness, rapping at the windowpane. “Let me in,” he says, his voice muffled by the glass between the outside and the living room, and then by the distance between the window and my dining room table where I sit and write.  I almost let him in just now, thinking to get up and look for inspiration en route back to my chair.  But I know better–once I let laziness back in for the evening, he’d want to stay and chat.  And it would be pleasant, for he is an amiable fellow with lots of interesting things to say.  But in the end, he’d want to talk and talk, and I wouldn’t actually get to converse; I would perforce sit and listen, and then my eyes would hang heavy with sleep, who he’d unlocked the door for while he was charming me with his filibuster.

No, I no longer surrender so easily.  I’ll let him in soon enough, for today was another twelve-hour period spent doing nothing interesting, and I can’t physically accomplish everything that I want to do before bedtime.  But I am beginning to establish limits.  Writing comes before retiring to the bedroom, for example.  I have a netbook–indeed, it is what I’m writing on–but crawling into bed removes my body from the position of attention.  Supporting the netbook requires twisting, so it becomes a distraction to the writing.  There’s a comfy Sidhe beside me, adding further distraction.  And we still have the final episode of LOST’s Season Five to watch.  (I’m trying to catch up before the end of Season Six.) So in the dining room I stay, even though I have forgotten most of the fun things that I might have wanted to write about.  Because the habit of writing is more important to me than the specific output right now.

I can change my habits.  To do so is difficult, true.  Especially when you’re ADD and your todo list is longer than the days remaining to you.  But my first example is my fingernails.  I first discovered that I stopped biting my nails during periods of intense focus, such as Playa Del Fuego weekends, where I would join with scores of fellow bohemians and put on a crazy thing that took all our hands on deck.  But then I’d get back to the real world and bam, just like that, gnaw gnaw gnaw.  I don’t even remember when I started to bite them.  But the delicious pain that was generated by the tearing, the ripping of quick and cuticle served as a potent reason to keep it up.  I made more conscious effort later in college, but my nails ended up being too long and broke, throwing me right back on the bus.  It wasn’t until I went on amphetamines that I started to see measurable gains, but even so, my first long period off them (no insurance and no studies to keep me medicated) triggered the worst relapse yet.

I have finally conquered them, however, through the combination of medication and a proactive approach to habit-replacement.  I learned to use nail clippers responsibly.  The first few weeks were hardest; I wanted to keep putting my fingers in my mouth, and I kept telling myself to get them out.  Jamming hands in pockets helped.  Carrying nail clippers helped, too.  I learned to cut them nice and short, but not so short I reveal the quick.  Just enough that there is nothing to bite, really.  My cuticles still crack, and I’ll probably always have that problem, but I think I’ve actually kicked the nail-biting.

So I will probably kick the not-writing habit, too.  Stay out, laziness.  You’re not welcome here anymore.

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