Daughter and I were having a discussion over Christmas break. It all pertained to her less-than-stellar showing for her first semester and my 'No Excuses' commitment for 2012. She asked me "When does something stop being a reason and start being an excuse?"
Basically, where do you draw the line?
Yesterday I took the Kid back to school. We left at 7am and I got home around 3pm. Three hours up, three hours back with lunch in between. (And some hefting of her things from the parking lot to her dorm room on the 7th floor - thank goodness for elevators.) As I've bitched about before, the whole trip wipes me out. I felt pretty good at 1pm, driving down the road listening to various better radio stations the city offers. By 2:30, I was feeling like dog doo. About ten minutes out of town, my leg started cramping. So yeah, once I got inside the house, I became one with the couch.
My back hurt. My legs hurt. Even my stomach hurt from being in one position for most of three hours. I didn't even eat dinner - I was so dragged out.
And as I lay there, watching whatever crap was on the toob*, I went back to that discussion with the kid. Cripped up on the couch? Is that a reason to not write or was that an excuse? Where was the line?
This morning the whole thing is still on my mind. Could I have written last night? Hell, I sat here for at least a half hour answering emails and checking blogs. And therein lies the answer to that particular instance. If I felt good enough to be at the computer doing other things, then I sure as hell felt good enough to sit here and write. Sure, it might not have been more than a few hundred words, but it would've been better than the zero I put on paper yesterday.
I think the line has to be evaluated on a case by case basis (which was basically the answer I gave Kidlet). The hard part is making yourself do the evaluation and then acting on the result you come up with. I knew last night that I could've been writing. I chose not to and I used my own body as an excuse instead of just saying 'It's been a long day and I choose not to write', I told myself 'I hurt, so I can't write today.'
Choosing not to write is one thing and it can be totally acceptable. Making up excuses is a whole nother thing and I'm not going to tolerate it. If I let myself get away with it today, it'll just lead to other excuses and other excuses, until I'm right back where I was when I started.
I never said this whole 'No Excuse' thing was going to be easy. It takes work not to tell myself I have reasons for my laziness instead of just accepting that I was being lazy. And now today? I have work to do. And I choose not to make excuses if that work doesn't get done.
*toob = my new word for the TV. Basically a smushing together of boob tube.