I can be a strange grown up sometimes.
There are some duties that I can carry out on a consistent basis, and with little complaint. I’ll gallivant around, adulting like a fricken champion, with “You’re Gonna Make it After All” playing triumphantly in my head.
And then, I’ll hit a wall. Suddenly, the simplest of tasks will seem like a huge mountain to climb. A burden to shoulder. An obstacle to cross. An – never mind, you get it.
An indefinite number of weeks ago, a light bulb in one of my living room lamps went out. No problemo. I always keep “extras” of certain items around, and I quickly replaced it. Since this was the last of my extra light bulbs, I put the item on my grocery list, figuring I could pick some up the next time I went to the store.
And this, my friends, is where things got weird.
I’ve gone to the store numerous times since running out of bulbs, and each time, I leave without them. I see the word on my grocery list – and then disregard it with a hint of apathy.
“Eh, the lightbulbs are all the way on the other side of the store, and I just…I don’t know. I don’t want to.”
Then, I stare wistfully at the other side of the store, as though I really WISH I could get to the bulbs, if only they weren’t so far away. If only there weren’t so many obstacles in between us. I picture this journey to The Other Side as something akin to Oregon Trail – complete with oxen to yoke and rivers to ford.
I’d be desperate, tired, and hungry. I’d probably catch cholera.
It’s now been weeks, no, months, since I used that last bulb, and I still haven’t bought new ones.
What is this? Is this just simple laziness? If so, then why can I run 53 errands, unload the dishwasher, clean the bathroom, and still have energy left over to bake a cake, but getting light bulbs is just slightly beyond my abilities?
Each time I stand in the store and make the decision to forgo the bulbs yet again, I get a mischievous thrill. Like a high schooler plotting to skip class. Or, like an adult who can refuse to do simple tasks, because there are no other adults around to punish me.
Screw the patriarchy! They can’t tell me when to buy light bulbs!
But when I leave the store empty-light-bulb-handed, I feel a bit guilty and weirded out by myself. Unfortunately, the guilt’s not enough to change my mind the next time around.
I’ve come to terms with the idea that there will eventually be a consequence for my behavior. At some point, another bulb will go out in my apartment, and I’ll be plunged into an inconvenient darkness until I can get new ones.
Who knows how long this’ll go on – maybe I’ll never get new ones! Maybe my light bulb laziness will go on for years until I have no lights in my apartment and people refuse to visit me because I’ve become a stubborn, darkness-dwelling, fang-less vampire.
That’s right, I’ve now reached the point where I would rather just accept my future punishment for not doing the thing that I need to do, rather than just DOING the thing that I need to do.
NOTE: I originally wrote the above post FOUR freaking months ago, but ultimately decided not to post it. Why did I publish it today? You guessed it. The first lightbulb has gone out.
And so it begins.
Has anyone else found themselves completely unmotivated to do a simple task? What chore challenged you? Did you eventually give in and do it, or did you endure some type of consequence?