Procrastination keeps me from beginning, perfection keeps me from knowing when to say “enough”. When I began Flylady, after fifteen minutes I ignored the timer buzzer because I’d say, “just a little more” and the job can be “perfect”. I could keep at the job for hours. I’d ignore thirst, hunger, the phone ringing – driven by the idea of the finish line of “perfect”. But when I finished the job “to my perfection”, any accomplishment I felt was quickly eclipsed by exhaustion – I was left with little energy for much else.
I finally learned that I had to apply the same principle to “stopping” as I did to “starting”. This really hit home for me when I watched the Olympics. The athletes train consistently, but they aren’t instructed to injure themselves or hate their sport by practicing to exhaustion. They certainly are not encouraged to abandon nutrition and rest. They don’t stay on the balance beam for eight hours straight without eating, telling themselves they will backflip until it’s “perfect”.
There is a pace to training for the Olympics, there is a pace to Flylady, and it correlates to having a “pace” in my life. Realizing I had no “pace” in the way I did housework, I had to also admit I don’t have a “pace” anywhere in my life. I tend to “marathon” to “perfect” and then procrastinate because I know “perfect” is a finish line that constantly moves forward. For me, stopping is as important as starting. Maybe more important.
Knowing I can trust myself to “stop” has actually made it easier for me to start. The timer has become my coach; it tells me stop. Right now, Stop. Eat. Rest. Find my balance. I can win, when I keep a loving pace.