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"A day without engagement might turn into a week, then a month, then a season, and finally a year or two or three. Who would I become then?"

Some Mornings, not even deeply ingrained habit can move me off the starting line. Most days, I'm up and running without a first thought inhibiting me, but those Some Mornings resist my lead. I would much rather veg out binge-watching a police procedural, lose my soul to an audio book, so just flip through the news, not an ounce of ambition egging me forward. I almost never completely submit to these slothful enticements, though. Rather than slip under that self-negating spell, I enter into a very specialized form of negotiation, NoGoNegation. My goal seems to be the most primitive form of mastery, the motive energy to move off a single stuck dime. I need not talk myself into any but SmallThings, since even imagining accomplishing any GreatThings seems to only further demotivate me then. One tiny excuse, one modest objective and the inertia of stuckness quite literally slips into its kinetic counterpart.

I'd think that after decades of practice and consequent experience, I would have become something of an expert in this field of NoGoNegation, but I seem to start as a novice every time.
I'm learning that if I can just coax my toe into the repulsive morning, my afternoon almost always turns brighter. If it's my morning to ride the damned exercise bike and I miss that small appointment with my destiny, the rest of my day will struggle to find footing. My imagination goes wild in opposition, though, suddenly sensing that my knee's a little achy and that maybe that bike ride might completely disable it. I could justify anything but getting down to business at first. I start not as an experienced NoGoNegator, but as my own more than worthy opponent. My faith in my self takes it in the shorts.

Whys never persuade me to do anything. Positive excuses seem powerless against negative ones, and the whole universe of excuses, both positive and negative, seem simply weak. I don't think of myself as particularly disciplined, though I fashion my life around a few patterns which I think of as essentially unbreakable chains. The threat of breaking one of these chains fills me with shame, which further undermines my positioning as a potentially successful NoGoNegator. I sense that I might not be able to live with myself should I go with an insistent No. I can turn up the audio book volume and put my conscience to sleep for a while—a short while—but a wash of shame seems to increase in volume as the day wears on. I think this NoGo feeling must be a form of illness, demanding respite, but its recommended cure feels more like a curse. A day without engagement might turn into a week, then a month, then a season, and finally a year or two or three. Who would I become then?

I might struggle into the middle of the afternoon before reaching a tentative agreement and start moving forward, idle hours finally smothering my lame excuses. By then, regular order has already been undermined and I find myself catching up to myself as the sun sinks rather than as the sun rises. I juggle because I've compressed possibility into a closet-sized space and where everything needs to be engaged in at once if the world is to be set back into its proper place. I clumsily carry my procrastination into my engagement, hoping to regain a promise of salvation by the end of an overlong day. I narrowly sidestepped damning myself that day and I pray for better tomorrow. It's not every morning, after all, just Some Mornings when I need to negotiate myself into accepting the day. It will lay there in front of me, waiting to be taken, a rare and regular gift I need only accept, yet catch myself petulantly rejecting the blessing. Angels and demons wrestle and my angels usually win. It's rarely an easy struggle, though, and I remain grateful that only Some Mornings ever allow this tussle into my life.

©2020 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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