Wednesday, September 09, 2009

A Case of Idoanwanna

For some reason (I seem to begin a disproportionate number of blog with these words), I have been battling a severe case of "Idoanwanna" over the past several days. I sit down to write a blog and find Idoanwanna. I know I must work on my present book-in-progress, but Idoanwanna. So I waste my time playing endless games of solitaire. I have now played 1,270 games of "Scorpion" and won 40. Why do I waste my time so? Every second I spend playing solitaire takes one second away from doing something more constructive, one less brick in the fortress I am trying to build against being forgotten after I'm no longer here. (You will notice my refusal to use the word "dead.")

I currently have no fewer than 12 begun-but-never-finished blogs in my blog file. I'll come up with an idea, get two or three sentences (or paragraphs) into it and run out of ideas and just walk away, intending to finish it "later." The nice thing about "later" is that it can be put off indefinitely, which is the way things are turning out.

Idoanwanna is the path of least resistance.

I suspect my current bout of Idoanwanna stems from an uncharacteristic sense of malaise, of being aware of how much there is to do that I should be doing, and how little I am actually accomplishing. This is probably compounded by my pondering a move from my present apartment to another building a mile or so away, primarily to escape the sound of elevated trains less than 500 feet from--albeit six stories below--my window every three minutes, 24 hours a day. While I've grown so used to the noise, as I long ago did with the chiming of my grandfather clock, that I am usually not conscious of it, I know I have to be aware of it on a subconscious level, and it can't help but negatively affect my sleep. Yet, moving is a major hassle, so I have to try to keep Idoanwanna at bay. Not easy.

Another factor in this current case is the contemplation of possibly getting rid of my car. Since I live in Chicago and can easily get anywhere in the city (thanks to the aforementioned el, for one), I actually drive it only about once a month, and then it is a conscious effort to do so. I know if I were to give up my car I could easily rent one when I needed one, and that I'd be saving a great deal of money on insurance and maintenance. But it is far more complex an emotional issue than might first appear. In American society, cars are equated with independence, and to give up that independence is too often (rightly or wrongly) seen as a concession to age, which is already depriving me of far too many things that have always been an integral part of my life. I will NOT go gentle into that good night. Too many things are being taken from me without my consent, and I will not willingly give up those fewer and fewer things over which I have some control. However irrationally, I see the giving up of my car as having one more thing taken away from me, even though the decision would be voluntary. It is truly traumatic to contemplate. Ergo another conflict with Idoanwanna.

The Idoanwanna syndrome is of course not exclusive to me. We all suffer from it to one degree or another, and as indicated above, it is the primary factor in procrastination for those who have the luxury of indulging it. For those who don't, Idoanwanna is too often the equivalent of a bug meeting a windshield at 60 mph.

In my case, I have a number of very effective tools in enabling my Idoanwannas. The "Oh, look over there!" ploy is a very good one, and I use it a lot, and to good effect. There's nothing like a good distraction to avoid doing what should be done. As a matter of fact, this entire blog has been an example of avoiding a blog subject of any substance whatever.

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