That thing about bodies in motion vs bodies at rest (or is it vice versa) is never truer than when you’re in the middle of a big push while the days are their shortest and darkest.
Let me put this another way: if I had my druthers, I’d never leave the house. Possibly my bed, if the wifi was just a little more powerful.
Lately though, I’ve had compelling reasons to leave the house. Most of them have to do with promises of one kind or another, and what makes them compelling is either fear of humiliation (in the case of having sworn out loud to pursue a goal, like the first Virgo project) or fear of destroying the last, tattered remnants of what used to be a pretty good name. What can I say? You move to Los Angeles, they hand you your Flake Card along with your driver’s license and a big bag of medicinal marijuana. (Kidding, kidding. It’s a SMALL bag.)
Even these, sometimes, are not enough. So I’ve been playing with various things to motivate my ass out the door.
Tonight, for example, I had committed to attending a reading series put on at a Hollywood club by a friend of a friend, a reading series I would very much like to be asked to participate in one of these months. It’s Sunday, the day I least like to go out on of all days (with the possible exception of Monday through Thursday. And I have to leave my house not to go see The BF, not to go snuggle with Arno J., but to drive to Hollywood, where it’s so persistently grubby that, even cleaned up and dotted with expensive eateries and hipster clothes stores, there’s a stretch of every street that looks like Rape & Murder Central. And that’s not even getting into its reputation as one of the most hateful parts of town to park in.
So what I did was tell myself every five feet that I didn’t have to go. That I could just turn around and go home if. If traffic was too bad. If I decided I was too tired. If I couldn’t find a place to park on a piece of street that didn’t look like Rape & Murder Central.
It was amazing what that wee bit of freedom did for my outlook. Knowing I could bail at any time, I kept deciding to push forward, because after all, this wasn’t so bad. It wasn’t so late. The traffic wasn’t that hideous. The line wasn’t that long.
And so on, until I found myself at the Hotel CafÃ©, wine in one hand, club soda in the other, watching one of the funniest, most compelling storytellers it’s been my pleasure to see in, well, hell, probably since the last time I saw my friend, John Fleck, do a set. This fellow won the Moth Grand Slam with the story he told, and I can see why. (There’s an MP3 of the Slam in NYC here; it features both Josh Cereghino and Jim O’Grady, the contestant he was up against in the finals, with Josh’s story in the second half.) I was having a grand time. (And truthfully, by the time I found the killer parking spot, pull-in, on a stretch of the Strip so lit up, you could perform surgery, I was already in a decent mood. Hearing Josh’s story was just inspirational icing on the motivational cake of me getting my lazy ass out of the house successfully.)
Who knows if it’ll work for you? I’m half-crazy, on my mother’s and father’s side, and have a fierce aversion to feeling fenced in. I’m also ridiculously loyal, ask anyone who’s been able to string me along, but man, I need to know that door is wide open and available for me to walk through at all times.
Maybe it’s options for you, too. Maybe it’s jellybeans. Maybe it’s just bragging rights. But if you hate hate hate doing certain things that are good for you to do, it might behoove you to spend a little quality time considering enticements.
Just enough to get you going…