Sunday, February 27, 2011

overcoming play-doh fears

I spend my Sunday evenings leading a small group of two-year-olds at church, my Puggles. I spend those two hours a week playing, finger-painting, singing, dancing, and giggling with toddlers. It is my absolute mental break from the rest of my week. While playing with play-doh this evening, one little girl suddenly stopped playing with her glob of purple play-doh and fearfully exclaimed it was a turtle.

"Do you think your play-doh is a turtle?" I asked.

"It is a turtle and turtles are scary," she replied with wide eyes. She refused to continue to play with the play-doh and nothing I could say would convince her that the purple glob would, indeed, not eat her. Not until I squished up the mass so it resembled nothing like a turtle would she touch her play-doh again. We continued playing when again she let out a fearful gasp that the turtle was back. This continued several times until we decided the imaginary turtles contained within play-doh would best be left in the yellow tubs.

I feel maybe I do this to myself, too. No, I don't see turtles in my play-doh, but I do create my own monsters when looking at overwhelming tasks (specifically: my thesis). I re-read my professors' comments on my first chapter and they weren't as bad as I had originally thought. I created my own scary turtle, a mental block of a imaginary creation that was all my own doing. In fact, no turtles existed in the comments and edits of my paper.

I am happy to report that I completed several more pages of my second chapter this afternoon. I may even go ahead and notify my professors that I will send in my second chapter by next weekend (they both requested a week's worth of a head's up in order to plan reviewing my writing in their own schedules). But maybe not. I am not sure if I really want to operate under my own self-made duress this week. Maybe I will just write and see where this goes.

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