Friday, April 22, 2011

Wanted: Prime Mover

Thought you’d get to read a weekly post?  From me?  I suppose what I’m learning from this experiment is that self-discipline is a shadow in my past.  I used to have oodles of it.  I also used to smoke cigarettes, drink too much Kalua, date guys I didn’t like, and worse.  But I had enough self-discipline to get through a BS degree in chemical engineering.  And a master’s in secondary education.  
Huh.  I’ll bet this has something to do with motivation.  Back then I was motivated by two things:  the excitement and anticipation of an unknown future, and a strong desire to get off my parent’s dole.  Now that I’m living that future, my motivators have shifted.  Or have they simply evaporated?  I’ll bet there are some interesting famous quotes about the deadly consequences of being satisfied.  Maybe it’s the same as when average people win the lottery and their lives go to hell in a hand basket.  Or what happens in communist countries when competition is eliminated and everyone is (in theory) treated the same.  Or what happens when you put a digital device in a young person’s hands and they lose touch with the real world.  Remember the phrase “opiate of the masses”?  It seems to apply to so many things these days.
Do I have new motivators?  I don’t want to die.  I hate migraines.  These things motivate me to drive safely and mind my health.  What about relationships?  Happily married, so the passion train is now the comfy couch.  My children are still adolescent,  so there’s little motivation to associate with them beyond what they will allow (don't get all judgie...spend some time with teenage girls, then come talk to me).  And I’ve never been driven to make friends just to avoid being alone.  Hell, this blog has ZERO followers, and I'm not doing much about that. 

Wait.  Does getting feedback promote more blogging?  Wonder if I'll ever find out.
As a teen I kept (then much later burned) a diary.  I wrote it long hand using a fountain pen filled with food coloring.  I loved the act of writing.  Still do. In recent years I’ve had several letters to the editor published on various caffeine-induced political rants.  So why can’t I pump out a few paragraphs once per week?  And why can’t I make myself take vitamins when I need them?  Why do I procrastinate doing things that would improve my life?  Is it human nature to be lazy?  Or is it just me?
I don’t like this rabbit hole.