When I was a kid, I hated Math. (I still do, unless it’s counting money, which needs to happen more…). I went to a private Catholic elementary school, but luckily didn’t actually have a nun as my teacher for Math class.
On one occasion for homework, I turned in my textbook to the pages where I was to find my math problems - but I encountered another sort of problem. The pages were missing.
We had old textbooks, and this was long before any real computer use for educational purposes. So I returned to school the next day, misfit textbook in hand. What happened next surprised me, and then corrupted me. My teacher basically blamed the old text books, and I got a free pass from something I really didn’t want to do. (Calculate those odds!)
Here comes the corruption. My 5th grade mind wondered if more of my pages were “missing” - would I get the same fortuitous results? Maybe I was justifying it as an “experiment”. So I did what any 5th grade boy trying to avoid homework would do- I ripped out more pages. And knowing I needed to get rid of the evidence so it would never be found (My dad was a NYC detective),so I…. flushed the pages down the toilet (Thank God for great plumbing).
This worked a few more times, until I received a new textbook. The jig was up.
More than the Math, what I really learned in that class was how to avoid what I didn’t want to do. And before you get all judgey, we all have those areas in life we avoid. What they are and how we avoid them just looks different.
Last week, I was feeling kind of off. And I wasn’t really sure what was causing it. The more I probed though, the more I realized that I was avoiding some do list items. Because I didn’t feel like addressing them. (and couldn’t flush them this time).
Maybe it was part fear, part boredom, part anxiety - but I managed to keep busy doing things, just not the things I was supposed to be doing.
However, I decided to face it head on. I opened a new Google document, and began to list all the stuff i could think of that I was avoiding. Certain emails, small projects, making a dentist appointment, and somethings I had been avoiding for months. Others were fresh do list items sequestered recently.
So I had this list. It was getting pretty long. Like really long. I tried to just feel good about the fact that I listed this stuff, even adding things I had recently accomplished so I could feel good about checking something off, but the list was haunting me. So like any good Ghostbuster, I finally decided to strap on my proton pack and get to bustin’. And you know what? Bustin’ made me feel good. (sorry, I just had to)
The more I’ve crossed off, the more I keep adding. But it’s adding up to help me accomplish things. Important things. That’s the kind of Math i’m ok with.
I’m still a work in progress with this stuff, but at least I decided to take action. Action that doesn’t involve plumbing.