I find excuses everywhere I can. There is meaningful work to do, but the kitchen sink is full of excuses why not to get started. So is the stack of unread mail piling up on the desk. I have lists full of excuses, overgrown with mundane tasks that "need" to be done. Other people are wonderful excuses. They provide a target other than myself for my frustration over inaction. If only my partner would do more around the house. If only my employer would change this or that way of doing things. If only everyone around me would be what I wish myself to be, a person living each moment with passion and focus. It is so much easier to be critical of someone else's behavior instead of dealing with my own.
I have to take responsibility for my excuses. I create them and I nurture them. But I can also make them disappear. The dishes can wait, most of the mail chucked away, and those "to do" lists pruned to the absolute essentials. Instead of wasting time wishing they would behave as I want them to, I can let others live their life as they see fit. When necessary, I can ask for help to complete the responsibilities we share in common.
Life is short and we are only guaranteed this present moment. There are things we can do that will nourish us and the lives of others. These are usually the difficult tasks, the ones that need our full focus and commitment. They are the things most worthy of our limited time and attention. If you are not doing them, ask yourself:
What is my excuse today?
Based on a journal entry from 12.11.14