Idling in Inertia

July 2, 2010 at 6:47 am 10 comments

I’ve been thinking about inertia way too much recently, letting several days go by where I have done precious little with my Plan B as I watch the time trickle away from my current job.  Not that I haven’t done anything, but it all feels like avoidance.  Nothing like cleaning the office refrigerator and microwave to get me back to my desk and paperwork!   So while the former is helpful and gave me the mental break and impetus to go back to a more tedious task, it seems to be a too common pattern in my life.

With inertia, we stay the same until a force propels us another way.   Whether it’s in a job, a relationship, or our health, it’s easier to stay the course than act.   And what force then moves us?  A job ending, a heart attack, a major loss…wouldn’t it be so much better to have that Plan B, or to change or stop what we can.  There are so many things we can’t control, that it’s important to deal with the things we can. 

One good thing, and I am all for rewarding baby steps, is that I’m noticing this inertia sooner than I used to.  The brain chatter picks up, saying, Look out, look out, rut ahead.  You should, you should.   It’s mostly negative chatter and while I know it’s not good, I am getting to where I can reframe it into something positive.  Yes, I should do something different, take some kind of step towards my new future, but instead of mulling that over and over, I will act.  I will create a force to get moving.  Even something as little as putting a goal on a list.  At least it is there to check off. 

We all need motivators, no matter how small or idiosyncratic.  For me right now, flabby arms and my blog stats are my biggest motivators.  Yes, of course, there’s also  the branching out into a new career, but I want to be doing that with tight arms and an active, popular blog.  I know that these seemingly minor things will make a difference – as I do anything positive, that movement will continue and I will do something in another part of my life that needs a little shove.   There is no judgement in inertia, it is what it is, so when we humans take on its significance in our lives, one of the directions feels better than the other.  For me right now, the body staying at rest is a rut and the body in motion is my future, and I just hope that I can keep that inertia, and my Plan B, rolling.


Entry filed under: Life, Personal, The Reluctant Success. Tags: , , , , .

Bobble-Heading Through Life mondaytuesday

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Liz Johns  |  July 2, 2010 at 7:19 am

    You’re right. Don’t knock the little things. They all add up to the big stuff eventually. Good luck with pushing that inertia. (I get stuck in that myself as well.)

    And thanks for posting on my blog too.

    • 2. ericahostetler  |  July 2, 2010 at 8:58 am

      Thanks for your comment – I enjoyed nosing around in your blog too. I like the business saying of If you want something done, ask a busy person. They’re already moving and will keep going, whereas the one sitting will need a lot more motivating to get started. I see that in one of my younger co-workers, and use that example to keep me going!

  • 3. Lucia Sciore  |  July 2, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Most of the time, I find going into a new space both scary and thrilling….sort of like a car crash…you don’t want to look, but cannot help but be interested.

    So, wash that coffee pot and do that paperwork and rubber-neck into the late summer…..Looch

  • 4. Steve `Grumpy" Collins  |  July 5, 2010 at 1:11 am

    I quite like inertia, it give you time to pause before rushing into life.

    • 5. ericahostetler  |  July 5, 2010 at 3:11 pm

      Inertia is a wonderful thing, one of the more useful scientific laws, I think.

  • 6. blackwatertown  |  July 5, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    Re your comment on To blog or not to blog.
    Consider yourself noticed.

  • 7. lifeintheboomerlane  |  July 11, 2010 at 7:56 am

    This post gives a lot to think about. I attended a workshop years ago where we talked about “leaping into the gap,” that space between our comfort range and our vision. It’s really powerful. The world opens up when we leave our comfort range.

    • 8. ericahostetler  |  July 12, 2010 at 12:34 pm

      Oh – I really like “leaping the gap.” I believe that’s called growth! My reading led me to an article about the fine line between staying just outside your comfort zone where you have to stretch and grow, but avoiding the panicked stall when you’re strayed into a zone beyond that growth area to being overwhelmed.
      Thank you very much for your comment.

  • 9. Shui Kay  |  April 21, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Hi I came to this blog post through googling “humans have too much inertia” (I’m working through a rut in my life right now). Although it’s great to have a Plan B, I found out that concentrating too much on a future state of mind or desire can make you have tunnel vision and not appreciate how much we already have.

    • 10. ericahostetler  |  April 28, 2011 at 7:58 pm

      You’re quite right – we must pause to reflect and refresh. I don’t see that as inertia, but a separate place that isn’t about being in a rut or wildly moving ahead. It’s just where we need to be to figure out what to do next. I take lots of little gratitude breaks. Thanks for stopping by and reading. I appreciate your comment.


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