It’s winter––well sort of. I’m in North Carolina which means spring and winter weather often occupy the same week. But I digress.
I hate being cold. In the winter, I am cold pretty much all of the time. This is mostly due to my disability and poor circulation and the overall constraint and inaccessibility of warm clothing. And when I’m cold, I lose sensation in my extremities, moving gets harder, and I am in an overall foul mood. It sucks.
Hey, want to go out to eat? Does the restaurant have an actual fireplace or deliver complimentary heated blankets with your meal? No? Hard pass.
Hey, want to go out and enjoy nature? I love nature! It is basically my church. But can I feel my feet, my fingers, or my toes? Not so much so no.
Gloves, 50 scarves, an arctic jacket? Great, now I can’t drive my chair or really see where I am going. And guess what, I’m still cold.
That’s not possible, you have all these layers on. Thanks for pointing that out but I’M STILL COLD!
Being cold, for me, often goes hand in hand with being unmotivated. And being unmotivated is like rolling out the red carpet and popping the champagne for depression. So it’s winter––I’m cold, accomplishing nothing with my life, and here comes depression. Anxiety – Can I join in? Sure! It ain’t really a party until the nausea sets in.
And in comes the frog––the plump, slimy, non-appetizing frog. All I have to do to start feeling better is to eat that frog. But in order to do that, I have to, well, eat the frog. See my predicament? Being grumpy in a corner covered in blankets surrounded by my space heater sounds much more appealing.
I know what you are thinking––Delphine, why the hell are you talking about eating frogs? And how in the hell would this make you feel better? Oh, and where does Baby Yoda come into this?
Well, it is a metaphor, my friends. (And why do I need a reason to mention Baby Yoda? It’s Baby Yoda. Enough said. You’re welcome.) Imagine the frog is a task you don’t want to do (and since in winter, all tasks involving more than starring at the TV or sleeping become a frog).
So when my whole day is full of plump, lazy frogs hopping around, the best thing I can do for my mood and overall wellbeing is pick one of those suckers up and slurp it down Baby Yoda style. If I’m successful… What did you do today? I just ate a frog! Bring it! Sprinkle a little salt, add some yum yum sauce and those little stinkers become downright tasty (ok they are never really tasty but I feel accomplished and… wait for it… motivated! I can’t do what? Bitch, I just ate a frog. I can do anything!)
Honestly, this is good advice to follow on any given day. When I am feeling motivated but still have a lot of things on my plate, I look for the biggest most-dreaded frog/task and down that one first. Everything after is smooth sailing.
“…you cannot eat every tadpole and frog in the pond, but you can eat the biggest and ugliest one, and that will be enough, at least for the time being.”
― Brian Tracy, Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time
When things are sunshiney sparkly rainbows, I do exactly that. I sometimes even turn it into a mantra. You got this, Delphine. Just eat the frog. Eat it, Weird Al Yankovich style.
But in the cold, dark, lonely, never-ending winter, I sometimes have to change the mantra. Just take a little nibble. There is a small, insignificant tadpole. You won’t even taste it. Somedays, it works. I was able to clean a corner of my desk or wash my face. Other days, I am not so successful, do nothing, give in to my despair and self-pity, and try again the next time.
Want to know a secret? I have been searching for the motivation to write this post about motivation for months. When I started, it was November. Hello end of January – are we motivated yet?
But guess what? I finally did it. Consider this frog eaten. Baby Yoda would be so proud.