Just Shut Up


I’m writing this in bed at 4.15 on Friday afternoon. I was supposed to be writing my assignment for most of the day. Things are not going to plan.

I got up early, quickly started working, took regular breaks, and made progress – I was half way through the word count. But it was barely lunchtime when exhaustion hit.

For all my obsessive organisation and ‘motivational talk’, I have huge issues with working. I used to struggle to get anything done at all, partly because of health problems and low stamina, but mainly because of laziness and fear of failure!

As much as I have learnt to focus on the positive ways forward, it’s times like these when I find myself remembering those negative traits. I start to fight them head on which, in my experience, only gives them a stronger hold. And yet I’ve fallen head first into doing just that.

‘I don’t want to be lazy and I don’t want to be afraid,’ I mentally scream. When things aren’t going to plan I immediately wonder if that’s what’s happening. Am I not trying hard enough? Am I putting it off because I’m scared? Perhaps it’s okay to ask yourself those questions…

Actually, today it’s not okay. It’s not the time to let memories of my A-Level experiences ruin my mental state, or a time to shout at myself, or a time to analyse my motivation (or lack of it), or a time to consider why I’m working (or not working) on this maddening assignment. It’s just a time to shut up.

It doesn’t matter how many hours there are left in the day; I’m done. I spent the whole of last evening conducting, I didn’t sleep well, I’m teaching later and playing in band, and, if I wasn’t such a focused pain-in-the-backside, I would realise that I have achieved plenty with the little energy I had this morning.

The simple truth is that I’m tired, and I can’t do any more of it today. My body and mind are telling me the same thing, so I should listen for a change: just shut up and rest.


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