My life since graduate school: I am a child in a candy store, the one who is told she cannot eat anything until she’s finished her chores.
But it is safe to say, that for the most part, I do what I want when I want.
Which means there is a candy store of experiences waiting for me to just try them. What’s the candy? Sometimes, it’s a wonderful television program. Sometimes, it’s a fascinating place to visit. Sometimes, it’s feathering this little nest I’ve built for myself. Sometimes, an interesting friend. Sometimes, it’s literally a piece of candy.
But I’m not allowed these things until my chores are finished. So of course, I sneak off and I eat the candy, and then berate myself. No candy until your chores are done.
And what are my chores?
Writing. That’s my chores. “The great American novel.” That should be one of the pieces of candy, the most delicious, enticing candy in the store. Instead, it’s the thing that the mom-voice in my head is telling me to finish before I can taste one little delicious piece of life.
So of course I’m always rebelling by watching TV, working on some personal project, or eating. And then berating myself, bitterly. In an endless cycle.
Self-beratement doesn’t work. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. All it does is turn the best thing in my life into a cudgel I use to bludgeon myself with.