Starting is the hard part


A blog. A diet. An exercise program.

Learning a new language, or a new instrument, or a new behavior.

For some among us, getting out of bed.

Inertia is a bitch, and before the start of anything, there you are, soaking in it.

Right now, I'm letting inertia win the battle to get back on the SCD, to meditate, to exercise. On the other hand, I'm kicking that bitch's ass when it comes to blogging, networking and taking my morning constitutional. (I get some help on that last one. You try saying no to this face.)

She thought she had me with cold calling and guitar playing; one week off of each stretched into two, three and four. There were a multitude of reasons to let her take the wheel, of course. Taxes. A huge conference. Great project possibilities that came out of the huge conference.

Your guitar, it's not even strung! she whispered. And you don't know how to do it; you'll probably screw it up! Besides, you look so tired, Colleen. Let me drive. You close your eyes and rest. Just rest.

Starting is the hard part, but the thing that finally struck me over the weekend is that you're always starting, even when you're keeping something going. Yes, the time between starting gets shorter and shorter the more you stick with something, and that makes things feel easier. (It's not the getting better at something that makes it feel easier, you know, because when you get better, the hurdles just get higher.) But it's still starting. Every single day, you're starting your next level of exercise, or your next day of a diet regimen, or your next song/post/call/whatever.

With this logic tentatively in place, I asked inertia to step aside on Saturday. Politely. Just let me string the guitar. I know I'm slow. Just let me...I know I'm bad at it. Just...

And maybe one song. I'm not really practicing; I'm just fooling around. I'm just testing out the new strings.

Oh, look, I played around for 10 minutes.

I guess I started again.

And the next day? I'll start again. Or maybe inertia will.

Every day, each of us gets a chance. Even-steven. Could go either way.

The bitch, Inertia, kissing cousin to the Resistor, makes it feel like the odds are in her favor because she holds up an eternity of starts. Every day, you'll have to start this. Every single, hard, long, aching awful, unknown day.

But that's bullshit, I know now. I only have to start today. I'm not even going to fight that bitch anymore. I'm just going to try stepping around her.

To fool around a bit. Just this once, today.

Ready? Let's start...


Image by Jon Marshall via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.