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What Do You Do When You Don’t Want To? You Just Do!

Posted by on May 17, 2012

All of us fall into a malaise here and there. Sometimes it’s called depression. The general feeling is that you don’t want to do anything, nothing at all. And yet, nothing at all is sometimes something as well; it can get confusing.

You folks who read this blog and maybe some of my other blogs see how much I write. Sometimes I think that I might just up and stop writing altogether, one because I may not be in the mood, two because I sometimes wonder if it makes a difference, and three because I wonder if I write for me or for others and can’t really answer the question.

Do you know what I do when I don’t want to do? I just do, plain and simple. By the way, that’s not grammatically correct on purpose, in case someone wants to bring up my post from two days ago. It is a type of speech I’m used to, and thus I decided to use the phrase.

Getting back to the post, as I said, I just do. When I question my writing I just write more. I change topics and write on it. It’s lucky to have 5 blogs, and it’s lucky to write some blogs for other people. It’s lucky that I’ve started the second edit of what I hope will be my next book. It’s lucky that I have a detective story that I can work on here and there. It’s lucky that I have other writing projects that I’ve started that, when I really need something else I can work on.

Something else about writing is that, when I’m in the mood when I don’t want to, I can take a break, read, walk, or just lay down and do nothing for some time and think or rest. When I do any of these other things, it gives me time to think, time to explore, and inevitably I come up with more to write about.

Of course I don’t only write for a living, and yet I find that the same processes work when I’m doing pretty much any other project. The things I mentioned that I do are, in essence, their own way of doing something. Even on those days when I feel like I’m having trouble focusing, which does happen, I can find a way to “do”. I might grab the smartphone and work the crossword puzzle if I need to stimulate my mind. I might read the comics and laugh at that. I might check on my chess moves on one of the two chess sites I’m a member of. I might go through email. I might leave the house, go to the gym, a restaurant, the lake…

But I “do”. I know that everything I do might eventually become an inspiration for something to write about. I know that I must “do” because if I don’t, there’s no reason to stick around and live. I know that I must “do” because one never knows what’s coming later in the day, or the next day, or the next week or year.

As I acknowledge the 15th year that I’ve been married today, I recognize that it might not last the day, it might not last the week, it might not last the year, it might not last years. So I have to “do” today, “do” now, because now is where I am; now is where you are.

So if you’re thinking about doing nothing, if you’re depressed and not feeling the urge to do anything, just “do”, and “do” with a purpose, even if it’s just to sit down and cry. By having a purpose, “do” always inspires.
 

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32 Comments »

Amy:

First, congratulations on the 15 years! I hope you enjoy 50 more years of health and happiness together!
What do I do when I don’t want to do anything at all, well same as you I just do it! My husband usually guilts me into it (thank goodness for husbands) but usually I just have to do it because no one else will. =)
Amy recently posted…Who Needs The Gym When You Have Your Home?My Profile

May 17th, 2012 | 5:25 PM

Thanks Amy, and you’re right, sometimes you just have to do something because no one else will. And sometimes doing it makes you feel better in some fashion.

May 17th, 2012 | 9:52 PM

I’ve been seeing a bit of this malaise going around the blogs, including me. Like you I just keep on writing. Maybe not up to par, but it’s something.
Happy Anniversary! Come December it will be my wife’s and my 15th anniversary as well.

Lee
Arlee Bird recently posted…The Singer Man: A Storytelling ComparisonMy Profile

May 17th, 2012 | 7:36 PM

Thanks Arlee. You know, I’m at the point where, when I do need to shut down for awhile, I’ve stopped beating myself up for it. Instead, I just try to do whatever I can during those times when I am fully alert already.

May 17th, 2012 | 9:53 PM

Mitch,

I have been down depression lane a time or two or three or four 🙂 I’ve come to the conclusion that you just do YOU because in the end you are only responsible for YOU.
Beverly Mahone recently posted…Your Voice Makes a World of Difference in BusinessMy Profile

May 17th, 2012 | 8:52 PM

Thanks for your input Beverly, and you make a great point. It only impacts you; no one else really cares; well, they might care somewhat. 🙂

May 17th, 2012 | 9:55 PM

Happy anniversary, Mitch! I rarely can’t afford not to do anything and when I feel a way that I don’t want to do anything, I develop new project and this boost my power again. Depression is something very dangerous and when it stays for more than few days it can cause serious damage, not only to business but to general health conditions.

May 17th, 2012 | 11:39 PM

True Carl, long term depression can crush the spirit, but sometimes we all need a bit of “shut down” time to recharge.

May 18th, 2012 | 2:45 PM

You are definitely right, Mitch. I think many people meet many problems to restart the system after taking a brake. I guess everybody actually.
Carl recently posted…Who is the IICRC and why should I use an IICRC accredited business to clean my carpets, area rugs, and upholstered furniture?My Profile

May 19th, 2012 | 6:39 AM

Congratulations on your 15 years! 🙂 I’d just like to share that If I don’t feel like doing anything, I usually do some art work such as drawing. At first I scribble anything that comes into my mind until later on, I realize I’m actually forming something and I get instantly inspired.
Sara recently posted…The Representative Plants of the Tuscan Style GardensMy Profile

May 18th, 2012 | 5:11 AM

Thanks Sara. That’s a good idea. What I used to do years ago was grab a piece of paper and start a circle, and continue doing the circle to see if I could keep it as neat as possible. Of course what happens is eventually your hand wavers, then you try to get back into the tight area and you just can’t keep it there. Strange distraction but it would change your mindset for a little while.

May 18th, 2012 | 2:48 PM
Neil Butterfield:

Mitch, congrats on the 15 years:-)I like this post. I must admit that when I am in a state of malaise, it is a little difficult to get doing. I use this time to chill and recharge.
Neil Butterfield recently posted…Being Bananas About PotassiumMy Profile

May 18th, 2012 | 8:51 AM

Thanks Neil. That’s what I feel we’re supposed to do most of the time, at least now I feel that way. In the past I’d want to beat myself up for inactivity but now I just go with it until I’m ready again.

May 18th, 2012 | 2:50 PM
Richard:

Mitch: your post reminds me somewhat of Winston Churchill, who, during World War 2, would end each phone call with the acronym KBO. I certainly agree that “to do” is better than to endlessly mull over things. To carry on with the Winston Churchill analogy, I believe he would paint/lay bricks, anything to keep the “black dog” of depression at bay.

ps. congrats on the 15 years

May 18th, 2012 | 9:01 AM

Richard, I had to go look that up and even after seeing the words, being American, I still don’t know what it means. lol Well, I kind of get it, and he’s saying pretty much the same thing I did which was to keep pushing forward, keep trying, don’t give up. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with mulling things over but don’t do it forever.

May 18th, 2012 | 2:53 PM
Edward:

I agree with you. By the act of doing, we give ourselves a purpose, a goal. This will go a long way in dealing with whatever ails us.
Edward recently posted…guitar learning softwareMy Profile

May 18th, 2012 | 9:40 AM

Good stuff Edward, and it’s absolutely correct.

May 18th, 2012 | 2:53 PM

Hi, Mitch. It was good to meet you at the Driven workshop today and Happy Anniversary! I’m not sure if I can explain what this post has opened up in my mind, but I want to try. All I’ve ever heard when I haven’t felt like I wanted to do something (which I realize we don’t always have a choice about) was, “just do it.” When I ask how others manage to get things done, they say they, “just do it.” Well, that’s just depressing for someone who is struggling to “do!” What you seem to be saying though is so much broader. You’re not saying to just do IT, but to just do SOMETHING… ANYTHING! Don’t sit around moping about the thing you don’t feel like doing, but stay active in some way that will help fuel inspiration, motivation, or whatever it might take to get you on track with the thing you haven’t been able to do. I guess I’ve never connected doing other things with getting done the one thing I didn’t want to do. And I have no idea if that makes sense (outside of my own head) or not, but that’s what clicked in my brain after reading this. Thank you for “doing” it. 😉
Tracy recently posted…Run Your Race To WinMy Profile

May 19th, 2012 | 5:44 PM

Hi Tracy; first, it was great meeting you this morning.

You hit the thing on the head. I know lots of people who retreat into depression and just lay in bed for days, or sit around crying, even doing destructive things such as drinking, drugs, etc. Outside of the destructive things, taking a little time for oneself isn’t so bad. But then you have to do something, anything, because even if it’s just for distraction it gets your mind going and helps you to heal. I truly believe that, and I’ve been in the other place so I know. 🙂

May 19th, 2012 | 6:07 PM

Hey Mitch, congratulations on your 15th wedding anniversary mate and may you guys have many more to come.

I hear what you’re saying and sometimes it seem too just too hard to do any particular thing but truth be told once you actually do what you have to do you will often find that it wasn’t all that hard at all.

As to who you write for Mitch, it’s for all the readers out there, me included, who have come to rely on you for interesting and enlightening topics.
Sire recently posted…The List Is All About YOUR MoneyMy Profile

May 19th, 2012 | 9:22 PM

Thanks Sire; I appreciate that. As to the other, sometimes people don’t even know what they want to do, and that’s when I say just do something, anything, because eventually you will be ready to push forward.

May 19th, 2012 | 9:41 PM

I agree, its best to just grit your teeth and push ahead and once you do that you’ll find it wasn’t that bad after all.
Sire recently posted…Ten Ways People Can Lose Their Winning Lottery TicketMy Profile

May 19th, 2012 | 10:10 PM

‘Just do’ is the only way (at least, for me). Plenty of times I don’t want to do something, whether it’s writing, painting, or making my kids breakfast, lol.

Can’t wait for inspiration, Inspiration comes from action, usually. Courage comes from action as well.. so I’ve learned.

and congrats on 15 yrs! 😀
Denise recently posted…Are You a Waste of Talent?My Profile

May 20th, 2012 | 10:44 AM

Thanks Denise. We’re on the same page, action usually leads to something, many times something positive. Even if the only positive thing is that it gets your mind back to where you need it.

May 21st, 2012 | 7:59 PM

Happy 15th Anniversary Mitch! Here’s to hoping you’ll have many, many more.

Wonderful topic. You’re saying something here that needs to be shoved into the light: malaise and depression.

I’m glad Tracy pushed through and got her thoughts out — making the broader connections with “just do it.” That’s healing for a lot of folk!

Some of my “do it” things: tinker with something technical, tackle a problem (big or little) that I’ve been putting off until I “felt like it.” Those are great because if you don’t feel like doing “anything,” what difference does it make if *this* is what gets done now? LOL

I keep some crayons nearby, so I might draw a picture (or some circles, triangles, squares). Or I might hop over to Creative Copywriting and pen a short story. And I don’t mind taking a nap. Whatever it takes to keep it moving along.
Vernessa Taylor recently posted…Get Around Those Grammar GoofsMy Profile

May 23rd, 2012 | 5:06 AM

You know Vernessa, sometimes all it takes is a nap or doing some kind of action. Working from home, sometimes it’s taking a quick shower, starting a load of laundry, or even deciding to just open all the doors and windows and let some “outside” come in. Whatever it takes.

May 23rd, 2012 | 12:08 PM
Neil Butterfield:

@ Mitch, KBO= keep buggering on. In other words move forwards no matter what the situation is.
Neil Butterfield recently posted…Meal Replacement Factors: What to look for in a complete formulaMy Profile

May 25th, 2012 | 9:26 AM

I’m for that Neil, even if I decide not to use the terminology. lol

May 25th, 2012 | 10:19 AM
Wade Balsdon:

Congrats Mitch! I often suffer from malaise, I use that time to go for a walk and gather my thoughts. I also read blogs to gain some inspiration for when I am able to resume writing.

June 14th, 2012 | 10:00 AM

Thanks Wade. I’m really looking for more to do when I get the blahs, but at least I have naps to look forward to. 🙂

June 14th, 2012 | 2:50 PM
Saru:

“Do nothing” is so easy to take and so warm and if you do nothing there is no thing to go wrong. So you may rest and stay away of the problems.

“Do” is cruel. It’s the ego killer. Why on earth I may be forced to do something which my ego do not want?

Overtaking your ego is the biggest challenge while living on this Earth. Eventually “Just do it” would be the winning move.

August 16th, 2012 | 5:40 PM

I can’t disagree with you here Saru. “Do” really is scary, but it’s necessary to progress, no matter what it is. Sometimes it’s necessary just to keep the status quo as well.

August 17th, 2012 | 8:52 AM