A big wad of fear

I've found myself stuck on a lot of my writing and programming projects. For weeks (months?) I've been putting off working on them for one reason or other. Today I feel I stumbled on what might be causing it.

Whenever I work on a project I have a tendency to get sucked into it to where time disappears and I don't want to stop. That's great if you have large blocks of time, but not great if you are working on said projects and neglect the other projects in your life. It's also not great if you know that you'll want to give this thing a lot of energy and realize that you don't have much energy to give it. For a while now I've felt impacted and unable to work on any of these projects. This has lead to some real interesting emotional spirals where I've been less-than-kind with my past self for not setting up a more interesting life for me to lead. Regret is a hell of a drug and I've tried quitting it many times.

So it's this fear of being consumed by these projects that has lead me to not work on them (along with being too tired to even contemplate the kinds of exhaustion that comes with being consumed by projects). Couple that with the regret cycle and it's led me to not work on any of these things. I don't even want to look at my next actions lists because everything is just sitting there silently judging me. (OK, it's not the next actions that are doing the judging, but you get the point).

I was going to write about a grand challenge for next week where I would enlist the internet to help get me back on track, but I think that's not what I need right now. What I need is to work through this fear of being consumed by these projects and realize that I don't have to be in control at all times. I mean, it's obvious that we're not in control most times, but sometimes we need a gentle wake-up throttling to remind us.

It also helps to give ourselves one thing to focus on. I've become judicious with my use of my someday/maybe list for parking things that don't need my attention right now (usually something that I'm not planning on getting to within a week to a month). Sadly I've been less than judicious about reviewing this list to pull things back in or delete them altogether, but at least they're captured. Maybe that's an area that I can focus on this weekend.

Will report my progress as the experiments continue.