Discover more from Done by Leo
The Little Things
They don't always count
There are two types of responses one can give to a fly buzzing around one’s face: 1) wave the fly away as many times as needed and carry on with life 2) burn down the entire world just to make sure that one fly doesn’t exist anymore to disturb your peace. Aggressive, I know, and my usual response to conditions not being “right”—the reason why I’m constantly working on improving my ability to see past the little things that bother me whenever I want to get something done.
Like a few days ago when, my wife, and I drove to a beautiful park close to where we live for a creative date. We found a movie-perfect spot next to the river, on top of a small hill with a soft, cool breeze, and the sound of rustling leaves that gave us shade from the high noon sun; perfect for any creative—Jen loved it. Yet, it wasn’t quite “right” for me. Regardless of the beautiful day, the amazing view, and the wonderful company of nature and the woman I love, there was one little thing that kept taking me away from it all. Some small amount of dried out goose feces, located just a few feet away from our movie-perfect spot, left by what I’m sure was a vicious bird defecating all over the best spots in the park. Like the eagle I wish I was to find this bird, my eyes locked onto the tiny piece of shit and, with the help of my overly RE-active imagination, it grew BIGGER and MEANER. Let me be clear here: the poop only took about .0001% from my total field of view. In my head, though, that little shit took a solid 97% of my thoughts at that moment and the foreseeable future. I mean, here’s a paragraph dedicated to it. You know what I’m saying?
Here’s a picture of my view from that day. Can you spot the poop?
Don’t see it? How about now?!
After seeing that picture you probably understand my pain and feel for my struggle; I truly appreciate your sympathy.
Perhaps there’s a deeply rooted fear of shit happening in my subconscious, a fear that transforms into aggression when faced with, well, feces. Growing up in Peru during the 90’s, I was told to avoid shit because of cholera—sound advice for any situation, in my opinion. Or perhaps I focus on minuscule distractions and turn them into problems to keep myself from getting whatever I actually want or need to be doing…done. After all, it is way easier to complain about conditions not being right than it is to face any challenge straight on and be done with it.
I’ve been using this excuse for a very long time, my go-to procrastination tactic really, and I’ve noticed lately just how far I’d go to turn anything into an issue because conditions are just not right. It doesn’t take much, either. It can be goose shit, rain, a mosquito bite, music being too loud, music being too soft, walking the dog, not having the right color pen, living…you get the point.
Don’t get me wrong, there are ways in which procrastination can become useful. Like when I decide to clean my entire house instead of writing a piece for Substack, or when I decided to write this piece for Substack about procrastination instead of editing a video reel to get new clients. It becomes really entertaining the more you think about, since one task is not easier than the other. It turns into waiting game where YOU wait for YOU to believe that YOU are ready, which in my case usually is the moment the idea first comes into my head. But then fear of failure kicks in and the cycles of self-doubt and excuses that turn into aggression begin again.
Come to think of it, I must really not want to edit a video reel since I’m finishing this piece after all. The conditions for its completion aren’t perfect for my unrealistic standards, but they are what they are at this moment and in any form they might take in any following moments. And so I keep on writing.
Am I becoming aware that I no longer want to make videos my bread and butter???
If it hasn’t hit you by now, the goose shit, real as it may be, is more like a metaphor for the reality that keeps people like me from enjoying amazing things that make our hearts smile before a familiar dread takes over. Expectations—the little bastards who whisper, “This shouldn’t be this way” and “I thought it would feel differently” directly into our souls. Expectations aim to remove one of the funner parts of life away from us: uncertainty. Without uncertainty we might as well not get out of bed since our thoughts after opening our eyes would be certain to become real, and I don’t know about you but I do not want the first thoughts that come out of my head in the morning to become a reality.
So, how do we let go of the fear of uncertainty that’s camouflaged by excuses and anger, which in itself camouflages the sadness felt for believing that our efforts will never be enough? ACCEPTANCE is the way to salvation, my friend! Now, this is no walk in the park, since it takes looking at a truck-load of goose shit and being ok with it after it hits the fan. I have to say that taking in one piece of shit at a time and accepting it for what it is makes a world of a difference on how we experience our movie-like existence.
It can be difficult at the beginning. Every part of me fought against accepting the simplicity of just being ok with the way things are, and to not overdo it with my responses. Who else is to blame after accepting something like that? You know what else I accept? That It takes practice and disciple to be present, especially when habitual reactions want to take over. Every ounce of effort counts after all.
I have no real step-by-step secret that I can share with you to make acceptance any easier. Some days I can see expectations for what they really are, wishful thinking, and other days I might just be stuck to my plans believing that all the work I’ve done should make the universe bend to my will. And that’s alright. I can’t control what any gifted moment brings, but what I can do is give a more mindful response to the situation. Goose shit or not.
Here’s a little video I put together from the creative date with. Thank you for always being down for self-exploration, Jen!
With all that said, I’m DONE being bothered by the little things and DONE letting expectations take the joy out of the new moments that come every day.
So here we are, a written piece about goose poop—DONE.
And you’re done, thanks for reading!