Sunday, October 18, 2009

Honor the urge!

Inertia is a bitch.

"Newton's First Law of Motion states that a body at rest will remain at rest unless an outside force acts on it, and a body in motion at a constant velocity will remain in motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an outside force."

Too often, I'm a body at rest. Oh, I may get up in the morning and be consistently active. I work for a living. I do stuff. But in certain areas, I find myself halted, stopped, without momentum.

But then... sometimes... I get a slight urge.

I have learned to honor that urge. That urge is the "outside force" that can change inertia into momentum.

I'm an expert of sorts in the area of bowel movements. Yes, you heard me. During my first wife's bout with cancer, I researched many health topics including recovering the health of your colon. I learned that a rule of thumb regarding bowel movements is "One meal in: one meal out." Most Americans are at least slightly constipated. One contributor? We often suppress the urge instead of honoring the urge. As a result, bowel movements can slow down and almost stop.

"But Don, I had no idea that's the urge your were talking about!"

"I wasn't, but they are all connected! I was talking about urges... little internal prompts that move us from inactive to active, from inertia to momentum. It may be physical, but it's also emotional... and motivational."

On Friday I was ready to leave school soon after three when the bell rang... but I got an urge. I honored the urge and began to clean up my desk. Piles began to disappear, and before I knew it... it was 5:15. I was late for dinner.

So I called home, discussed the situation with my wife, and stayed at work another two hours. I got a tremendous amount of work done. I was on a roll for four hours. It was sweet.

On Saturday, the urge continued. In addition to helping with some laundry, I vacuumed the living room and hall... but then... I had an urge... to spot clean the carpet! I got a pan of water, some rug cleaner, and a scrub brush. 45 minutes later, I was a sweaty mess, and the entire living room and hall had been hand scrubbed.

Woo-hoo! (That little urge generated some momentum.)

It's been a warm weekend: low 90's so I retreated to my air conditioned computer room after my rug-cleaning workout.

My desk was a mess (of sorts). A one inch pile of assorted paperwork crusted my desktop: a testament to week or so of evening inertia. But with the cool of the AC came an urge to stay in that room and get something done.

I started with my file cabinet which is tucked into a corer of my closet. I thinned two drawers of files creating two small loads of trash. I created new files. I viewed history I'd forgotten.

Now I was on a roll... I cleaned out my desk drawer: the land of paid bills. The hidden stack was now under attack. Like an archaeologist on a dig, I brushed away the debris of paid bills no longer needed. The three inch stack was cut in half.

Finally, I attacked the top of the desk. It was a breeze. Momentum was on my side. Music filled the room as it had for the two or three hours of during this AC-aided endeavor. I was happy.


Because I've learned to honor the urge!


  1. Congrats! You got a lot accomplished. It does feel good to go with that urge to get things done. Your first line for this post will stick with me as one of the most memorable post openings ever :)

  2. It is a good antidote to a great evil: the evil of finding good reasons to not do a good thing. It is amazing how easy this is to do, and it happens all the time. People find reasons for not doing things. The world would be a much better place if they didn't do this.

  3. @September: Thanks. It felt good to get somethings accomplished, especially in areas where I had lacked momentum. (It all carried over through the weekend too. Woo-hoo!)

    @Dennis: "A word spoken in quiet to the wise is better than shouting at fools." "...a still small voice..." God speaks softly... often as a gentle prompt or urge... and I agree... too often ignored.

  4. O_o

    Once, in New York, I only had the option of a Port-a-Potty for almost three days. I couldn't poop. It took days to begin to poop properly after that.

    Other than that, I always honor the urge!

  5. @Saphron: Sometimes, your body just knows when not to go. ;-)