Saturday, 18 August 2012

The Problem of Inspiration

by Jemima Carter

The start of the summer holidays this year, as always, heralded the making of an array of various resolutions; among them were all the regulars: exercise more, tidy my room, eat better, complete all of my work within the first week or so, as well as a couple of odder ones like learning the guitar and/or Spanish. Hmm. Needless to say, a few weeks down the line none of the above has got even close to being achieved. But why? I can’t exactly blame beautiful weather; in true British fashion, aside from a day or two when the temperature crept above 20°C, leaving everyone in a state of shock (and, more worryingly, undress on the streets), wind-swept days at the beach and soggy barbecues have triumphed over the hoped-for Caribbean conditions that never quite seem to make it to this end of the Gulf Stream.

Even worse, that most efficient of time-wasters, the Internet, has been less that functional for most of the time. Apparently, sunny Lavant is not the place to go for signal, be it of the Internet, mobile, or television variety, for the sporadic nature of all three is infuriating enough to drive someone seeking to occupy their hours right round the bend.  The lack of any decent time-wasting activities has led me to wondering what on earth I’ve been doing since July. I certainly haven’t achieved anything; the piles of work seem to have actually grown since the start of the holidays and the guitar lies dusty in a corner of my room, which incidentally has still not been tidied and vaguely resembles some sort of nuclear warzone. In short, no matter how long eight weeks is, I seem to be unable to get anything done in such a great length of time.

However, a few days ago, it hit me: if it’s not time that I’m lacking, then it must be something else.
After wasting yet more time pondering the nature of this elusive element hindering my progress, I realized that mine was a problem of inspiration. I lack both the inclination and motivation to get started on anything and one look at the monstrous length of my to do list in the morning is enough to send me crawling back under the covers for another few hours. Any excuse I can grasp at to keep me away from that desk is welcomed with both hands, be it doing housework, becoming suddenly engrossed in Olympic ping-pong or taking the dog for extensive walks in the rain. 

After some consideration and conferral with friends, I have decided that not only am I not alone in my problem, but nearly everyone I know is similarly suffering. Therefore, to all out there who are victims of an acute lack of inspiration: the only cure seems to be getting on with whatever it is you’re putting off, but five more minutes of relaxation first isn’t going to hurt anyone, is it?

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