This coming Sunday, #2 Son will play his clarinet at church. His friend, Hobbit Boy (so named for his thick, curly, unruly hair and propensity for going barefoot), will be playing the bass. The music is an arrangement of Duke Ellington’s Come Sunday; they’ve been rehearsing for a few weeks with my musician accompanying them on the piano.
I’ve known Hobbit Boy since before he was born. His mother and I met in a women’s study group in the fall of 1987, and I am very fond of her.
What this means is that Fond Friend and members of her family, as well as quite possibly The Father of My Children, will be in church this week. And that makes me exceedingly anxious. I can’t seem to get my act together on the sermon, and I know it’s partly because I’ve had a busy week (4.5 hours spent on Church and Ministry business yesterday, for instance), and the texts themselves don’t help (all about how rotten religious leaders can be, a great start to the Stewardship season!!), but mostly it’s that I so want to do well in front of these people who’ve know me a long time that I can hardly stand to write a word for fear of being imperfect.
Aha! you say. The Perfectionist Trap! Better to run away and do nothing, or do something slapdash so that you can look back and say, “Well, yeah. That sucked. But I didn’t really try, so it doesn’t count.”
I think the same principle can be applied to my apparent inability to write a Statement on Ministry for my Ministerial Profile. I have some ideas, but…have I written anything?
What’s the solution to this kind of self-defeating behavior?
Not a double mocha. I tried that yesterday and was jangling all the way to bedtime and beyond.
Not waiting for a phone call from my beloved, to discover if he is actually going off to North Muck later today. I’m not sure getting the call will help either, but the waiting just reinforces the uneasiness.
Not making a list of people I really ought to visit. Although much like this delaying, once I go I always feel good about it, relaxed and sort of clean, as if I just got out of the shower.
The only way through this is, well, through it. Start writing. Be prepared to throw out the stuff that’s no good. Write more than is needed. Start now.
Deep breath. Go.