I already struggled with focus and decisiveness. I have lots of ideas, but not the best follow through. I tend to flourish in a reactive role, putting out "fires," supporting a friend in a crisis, executing an unexpected out of state move. But saying I am a motivated, self-starter would be false. Certainly, I have lied during several interviews over the years.
But on occasion, I put blinders on and move with the force of horses to accomplish a task. I don't mind hard work. I come, as my mom puts it, from peasant stock. We rip up old t-shirts for rags and get on our hands and knees and wash wood floors. I just have trouble harnessing this Murphy's Oil Soap scented lightning, so to speak.
A few evenings ago, in the midst of my mind juggling mom stuff and wife stuff and house stuff with a side of moving aftershock, I decided on a task. I decided it was the perfect time to rip up all the dandelions in the garden. I had tried waging war on their roots the first few weeks of spring, but soon learned that trying to stay on top of digging them all up was impossible. I despise lawn chemicals, but I'm the new neighbor. With a shitload of dandelions. Some people get really edgy about dandelions. I'm out to make friends, not enemies.
Whether this was my reason or not, I dove right off the front porch into our expansive perennial beds with bare feet and abandon. I was on a mission. A mission, I realized shortly into my quest, was probably a ridiculous one. While, yes, I was keeping the yellow dandelions from going to seed and the existing seeds from spreading, I was essentially dead-heading the dandelions. A process I gladly due to petunias, for example. So that they can expend their energy on MAKING MORE FLOWERS!
Regardless, I forged on, digging my toes into the wet mulch to reach every last one of those buggers. When my back began to ache, I considered surrendering, but it simply felt too good to be doing it. To be doing something I decided to do. That didn't need to be done. As, obviously, the purpose was unclear.
So I took it in. The sound the hollow stems make when you pop off their tops. The opportunity to sense nature in a new way. The ability to have some head space and think. And what hit me was this: I don't just decide to do something enough. I waiver and wobble and weigh when really, in most circumstances, I should just move. Pick a direction and move. Do something, anything and take it from there.
Like with the dandelions. I just got the urge to pick them all and so I did it. I didn't over think it. Everything does not require over-freaking-analyzing. Just move. And it was while I was moving that I realized the benefits. They were not the ones I imagined they would be when I set out, but they were there. I would guess most of us don't just up and move enough. We are a tentative lot. I wonder what we miss.
Do you ever resist starting a task or a project because you don't want the pressure of finishing it? I do. And that's dumb. It's completely OK to change direction after we get going and not end on a grand note every time. Plus, we can lean on family and friends and (I believe) the Spirit to help us make sense of what we are doing and support us and guide us.
Now, I don't mean to say that the Holy Spirit led me to pick the dandelions that day, but I do believe She was with me. Despite the probable futility, that moment was one of light and lucidity. The type that can only come from love. And trust. When we just have faith in ourselves and our situation and move.