Sunday, November 16, 2008

Procrastinators's dream...

"Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task."
- William James

One of the things that keeps me from blogging as regularly as I would like to is that I procrastinate! Yes, it is true... I stall at getting started. And why after 58 years should this come as revelation? It is not revelation at all... I am the one who came within 3 credit hours of earning a degree in 1972 and then did not complete it for 33 years! But then I finished my master's degree in just under two years, so go figure! I am the one who purchased 50 yards of quilted material about 35 years ago to make place mats for everyone I knew and then made one set; gave out IOU's for the rest and proceeded to carry that 50 yards of material around the country with me for the next 30 years or so until I gave up and gave the whole shootin' match to someone else to finish. I am the one who learned to "hook" rugs from a kit, and after making one 12x12 square thought that I would hook rugs for the world and so purchased little rug kits for many, many people ... and well you get the picture. I purchased and gave "empty" scrap books to my children several Christmases ago with the promise of putting the pictures of their lives onto the pages and so far I have moved the scrapbooks (still empty) to two different states. I mean, I am the parent who has a barely - started baby book for child number 1, an empty book for child number 2, and no book at all for children 3,4, and 5 (although I think I did have calendars with stickers to show when they took their first steps etc.) . I buy cards for sick friends and fret over what to write so I can say the perfect thing and then do not send it until it is too late and they have already passed away! (This has really happened.. and just to show my friend Anne that I was thinking of her mother, I finally sent the cards.. years after her mother's death!)

Now in fairness to me there have been some mitigating circumstances... 5 children... total paralysis...(not the mental kind either) ... many moves...multiple jobs... oh and did I mention 5 children? But in reality procrastination seems to have come in my gene pool with a side order of perfectionism. There they are - the destructive fraternal twins... procrastination ism and perfectionism. Why even start something if it is not going to be perfect? I started this blog with the very notion that it indeed did not need to be perfect and then all it took was one off-handed quasi-critical comment about my bad spelling and grammar and since then fear has kept me from sitting down and blogging very often. Now the truth is that I know that my brain runs much faster than my fingers and so in my haste to spill the words onto the page, I often make mistakes. I tend to write like I speak-- in bits and pieces. But another part of my brain says... If you aren't going to make it perfect then don't even try! There has always been a war within me about things like this.

When getting ready to go on a trip I will procrastinate until about 9pm on the night before and then start cleaning like a woman possessed. I usually begin in the bathroom with the grout.. because, you see, if I die while on vacation and someone has to come into my house -- heaven forbid they should find dirty grout around the tub... next is the oven... then the mattress pads and clean sheets. I try to wash, dry and fold every piece of fabric in the house. I empty the trash and wash the trash can out. I vacuum and dust. Run the dishwasher, clean out the refrigerator and somewhere around 3 in the morning I decide to pack! My poor husband learned long ago that if he is going to get any sleep at all (he wisely goes to bed at 9:00pm) then he needs to make sure I take all luggage and clothing out of our room and into the living room where I can go through my OCD pre-travel ritual. All so that in the event of my demise... people might find my house "perfect"? Am I nuts? These would be the same people who already know that I am far from perfect! Now my husband will awake in the morning (@4:30 like always) refreshed from a good night of sleep, he will shower and pack his gym bag with about three days worth of clothes, turn off his computer and he is ready to go! (This took him about an hour-including his shower,coffee and breakfast). While I am still running around on about 2 hours of sleep, unplugging EVERYTHING, plugging in light timers, in an ridiculous attempt to make the house look occupied even though the WHOLE neighborhood knows we will be gone. This is why I don't travel very much.
I could write for days about how I procrastinate grading papers and writing lesson plans, but we can save this for another day.

So what on earth am I trying to say here? I don't think I will ever get over the procrastination/perfectionism dilemma. This blog will never be perfect.. it will still be sporadic because I of course still want it to be perfect and so will not write down half of what I would like to. Does any of this make sense to you? I have run spell check about four times so far. So do I publish this or not? Should I take a chance and run the risk of public criticism? You decide.... oh yea.. I will have to publish for this to happen.... hmmmmm I will re-read this a few times and think about it and then decide.

"Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task."
- William James

1 comment:

Blessings, Carole said...

Once again you make me smile! You didn't even mention our looking at pix for the last year book, putting them in order, categorizing etc even after you were no longer employed by the school where you WERE Year Book Teacher! I finally had to put a stop to that but I am SURE you completed that on your own. Wouldn't want the new teacher to think you were a slacker.

I love you dear friend, even with your idiocyncasies. How's that!

PS yes I know it's spelled wrong, but I like it that way.