AS SOON AS

I’ll go to lunch as soon as I finish this spreadsheet.

I’ll start going to yoga regularly as soon as I have more free time.

We’ll have friends over as soon as the apartment is completely finished.

I’ll take a vacation as soon as work dies down.

I’ll stop putzing around on Facebook as soon as it hits the top of the hour.

I’ll do dishes as soon as I get home from rehearsal.

I’ll go to the doctor/dentist as soon as I feel any pain.

I’ll start eating healthier as soon as I finish the cartons of ice cream in the freezer.

I’ll go to the pool with friends as soon as my acne clears up.

I’ll write that book as soon as I feel more inspired.

I’ll start saving up as soon as I pay off my car and credit card.

I’ll go to sleep as soon as I watch one more episode.

I’ll stop hitting snooze on my alarm as soon as I’m fully caught up on sleep.

I’ll figure out what I want to be when I grow up as soon as this next show closes.

I’ll start living my best life as soon as I have my shit together.

The problem with as soon as is that the second I say “I’ll do x as soon as y,” I’m giving myself permission to continue bad habits; bad habits in thought, action, or inaction.  It’s a procrastination technique deployed to trick myself into thinking that the self-imposed delay is justified.  And when I notice I’m habitually procrastinating, it’s either because I find the task at hand unpleasant – like doing dishes – OR because I am scared of undertaking the task itself – like figuring out what I am actually doing with my life.

With as soon as, essentially I’m saying:  I’ll start living my best life as soon as I have my shit together…but my shit isn’t together right now so it’s OK to keep putting off doing the dishes. And there will always be a reason to delay anything – so I skip lunch, clutter piles up in the apartment, friendships become neglected, creativity and skills go unused, fitness declines, and days of unfocused living speed by.

I’ve noticed an uptick in as soon as this summer, so I am challenging myself to woman up and dig into the reasoning behind the as soon as when those three words pop into my brainspace.

If it’s because I find a necessary task unpleasant – then don’t I want the task to be completed sooner rather than later and be done with it?

If it’s because I’m scared – GOOD!  Shaking things up is scary. The risk of failure is scary. But what is scarier is the idea that days of unfocused living are given the space to create years of a life lacking intention – the thought of coasting by and letting life happen vs. *making* life happen.

So I’ll start living my best life as soon as I have my shit together…but my shit will never be 100% together, so I may as well start living my best life now.

If you need me tonight, I’ll be doing laundry and dishes as soon as my partner and I enjoy a healthy, home-cooked dinner … or maybe this evening we’ll do some dishes first!

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