Buffering and why you do it
As I write this, today is the first day of school. For BOTH of my kids.
The house is quiet. I am alone.
I have zero immediate childcare related tasks that have to happen.
I have my coaching work prepped and ready to go. I sit down at my desk. I start to feel the familiar feeling.
Maybe you know it.
The feeling of an itchy sweater. Of spontaneous hunger. Of restless legs. Of butterflies in your stomach.
The feeling of knowing that you have to get down to work. And you're going to have to use your brain. And it's going to be hard. And it's going to be uncomfortable.
So instead, you do everything you can think of to not do the thing. To get away from it. It's called buffering.
Here is a short list of how I buffer:
I make myself a snack
I check my email / instagram / facebook
I do a load of laundry
I clean up the toy room that will be demolished in a few hours again anyway
I try to bleach out the stain on the counter that's been there for months
I reorganize my closet
I research ways to be efficient with my time (hahaha I wish I were kidding)
I am very good at buffering.
The things that you do to buffer can feel necessary. They can feel essential and like they must be done before you sit down to DO THE ACTUAL THING YOU SHOULD BE DOING.
That's because there is so much comfort in doing things that are familiar.
Just as there is so much comfort In living our lives the same ways we've always lived them.
In going to the same jobs we've gone to for years, even if we hate them.
In speaking to our kids the same way we do every day, even if it makes us feel bad.
In dreaming about the things we want to do differently, but not actually taking action.
We are good at convincing ourselves that the buffering is necessary and a pre-requisite to the work.
You just have to be willing to feel the discomfort. And then do the thing.
It won't kill you.
How are you buffering? What are you pushing away that you really, actually, truly, want?
So go. Take a breath. And then do.