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Thursday, November 14, 2002

Getting started is the hard part. I make all kinds of excuses not to get started, and if I work it right I never do. Get started. One day eases into the next, and the filing I was talking about last spring still hasn't even begun to get started. I'm still sneezing, because nobody has dusted. The reason nobody has dusted is that there isn't anybody but me to do it, and I haven't started.

If you don't start you can't finish, but if you don't start you can do something else. I didn't reconcile the company's bank statement today. It would have been quick and easy, if I'd been able to get started. But I didn't. Instead I watched a sad movie and cried for Vanessa Redgrave. In her own way, I'm sure she appreciated it. Or would have appreciated it, if she hadn't died. In the movie.

If I could write a to-do list, I'd have a better idea of what needs to be done. It's easier to get started on a task if I know that as soon as it's finished I can cross it off the list. Arranging things in an order of priority would be one way to do it, but I'd be more likely to put the items I could get through fastest at the top of the list. That way I could cross off more things more quickly. But first I'd have to write the list, and I just can't get started.

For the past three or four weekends, I've wanted to do some job costing spreadsheets. I like doing them, and I especially like getting them done before the Boss has to ask for them. They're easy, once I get started— but you know the rest. By neglecting them this long they've grown into such a major project that I don't even want to think about what's involved. It starts with getting started, and I don't want to think about that, either.

Once again the holidays are looming ahead, and once again it's already too late to get an early start on my shopping. I like to buy things for the people in my life, and this time of year is almost the only time I can do it without guilt (on my part or theirs). Every December 26 I swear that next year I'm going to get it all done by the end of November, so I can enjoy December.

In the past I've made elaborate grids of what I want to do and for whom. That would be a good thing to have done in, say, September. Starting now, if I ever do get started, probably means frustrating times late next month, trying to do two months' shopping in a week or so. It'll be easy, once I get started. But I haven't yet. Got started.


The wisteria shows its fall colors.

I write at least two different kinds of journal entries. Sometimes a little thing will happen during the day that will trigger a few random thoughts. If I'm lucky I'm near the computer and I can just start writing. On other days, though, I have nothing in particular to say. Eventually, because I'm committed to updating every single day, I have to sit down and get started, whether I have a coherent thought or not. Once I get started, the words often flow freely. And oddly enough, this process (or lack thereof) produces some of my best entries. Not always, but sometimes.

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One year ago: After All That Time
"Dark day, bright sunset, darker night, just that quickly, in time-lapse mode."

Two years ago: Running On Half a Tank
"I used to be so good at my job, but right now I would hire myself."

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I needed someone to understand my ups and downs,
And there you were.