Sunday, June 2, 2013

Am I Done Yet?

I could say that I am sometimes late on my Sunday morning posts because my Saturdays are full of excitement and late night revelries. I could say that I just got so tired, what with my MS and all, that I went to bed at 6pm and slept in until noon!  Ah….that second one actually sounds like something I would enjoy more. I think I’m getting old.
The truth is that often (though not always) I just procrastinate. That sounds so simple. But procrastination is anything but simple.  If you are not a fellow procrastinator you may as well stop reading this post now.  You will just be saying, “It is not that complicated. Just STOP procrastinating.”  You may be thinking that we procrastinators are a lazy, unreliable, easily distracted lot. I’m not going to try to convince you.  Go away now!  Stop reading- there is a monster at the end of this post!
I just want to talk to my procrastinating friends, because I want their thoughts…

Much procrastination in the world of the well-intentioned is caused by perfectionism.  We might consider those that do NOT procrastinate as those that are too easily satisfied, too quick to call it ‘good enough’. I have spent many years, a few decades even, well aware of my procrastination and the negative effect it had on my life and those around me.  How could I not- those non-procrastinators are relentless in letting us know just how irritating our habit is. (Are you guys still here? Don’t get defensive, I told you to stop reading if you are not a procrastinator!)
I have been this way since a very young age. There are stories of me tearing up my scribbled artwork, certain it was not good enough.  Trying to take back a gift I gave my mother for her birthday because it was not good enough. She liked my sister’s butterfly glass paperweight much better than my lame flowered hot-plate. I was 5. I can picture both items vividly today. School assignments found themselves 80% complete and never turned in. Writing assignments were torture. Remember that we did not have computers. We wrote by hand. It was much, much harder to go back and edit and make changes. Of those assignments that did get turned in, there were very few that I was truly proud of.
As I moved from school to the world of work, I found that I often got things in just under the wire, right before the deadline, and with a feeling that they could be better if I just had a bit more time. Children’s birthday parties, family celebrations, times that are supposed to full of fun and merriment…oh how the procrastinating perfectionist can make these a wretched experience.  Just a few more decorations, another game, one more dessert, a bit more cleaning….NOT GOOD ENOUGH…as I would race around in a bug-eyed sweat, while my family tried to hide from me.  I have been up at 2am removing a toilet seat so as to clean it better. I have been up at 2am rolling homemade orange candies in coconut.
I have been up at 2am finishing a blog post. But only once. Because the beauty of the blog, as I have learned to relax around it, is that it’s never done!  I get to write again next week, and the next week. And the week after that.  And I can go back and edit some of my pieces months later. Ah…this one of the few times I have embraced technology with such enthusiasm!  With that in mind, I need to go help my son with a bit of English and I need to finish cleaning my oven with the vinegar/baking soda concoction that has been brewing in it all day. Have I said all that I want to say on the subject of procrastination and perfectionism? Lord no! I’ve barely scratched the imperfect surface. But I have said enough for now. 
Next week maybe I will write about how my P2 power punch works as a way to divert emotions. In the meantime maybe some of my fellow procrastinators or perfectionists can share your thoughts? Do you see it as a gift? A hindrance? Have you found ways to use it to your advantage?  You can add a comment below this post. I would love to hear from you. But I will also understand if you don’t comment until December. It’s all good….enough!

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