In high school physics, I vaguely remember learning about the law of inertia, which as my un-scientific mind recalls goes something along the lines of: the property of continuing whatever state of motion or non-motion is already in place. Generally, I take the stance that if I learned it in high school, it probably doesn’t apply to real life, but in this one case I have to disagree. Recently, I have been reflecting on the inertia of decisions. It seems like every good decision I make eases me into the next one and every bad decision I make lines me right up for another bad decision.
It’s like this: when I wake up early and do something productive and opt for the grape nuts over Lucky Charms in the morning, I am more likely to start that paper due next week in the afternoon and eat a salad instead of a pizza and maybe do a few situps while thinking about going to the gym (keyword: ”thinking”–let’s not get carried away here). But when I roll out of bed without a shower and put on wrinkled clothes picked up off the floor and drink a liter of coffee with a bite of leftover cake sitting on my bedside stand, my decisions for the rest of the day tend to be less…ideal.
This is because (according to Dr. Zoë of The Psychiatric School of My Personal Opinion) when we feel good, we want to continue to feel and do good, and we actually have the energy to dedicate to working toward it. But when we feel like a pile of…not good (as we tend to when making decisions that aren’t the best), then we can’t help but make those same decisions, using quick fixes like eating and sleeping and procrastinating to make ourselves feel better.
I want life to be easy. But it’s not. I want to be euphoric at every turn and only feel the good, and only do the good. But I don’t. This momentum and inertia of life is hard to overcome, and if I wait for the motivation to work hard and make the smart decisions for myself to arrive, I’ll never get there. I have finally realized it’s going to take some swimming upstream to get to the point where it gets easier. Now I’m not saying that I will ever be the kind of girl who will go to bed at 10 and wake up at 6am and eat only vegetables and fruits and have my papers done a week before they’re due. I’m not asking for a miracle. I am just going to try to not let that 3am pizza and last minute cram session derail my good efforts. I’m going to work (and probably hate it) until the good decisions come a little easier.