The “P” Word

It’s like a Band-Aid- the slower you are about removing it, the more it hurts.

No, not the one that is five letters long, ends in “s,” and is Boopie’s latest obsession.  Get your mind out of the gutter!  Just kidding- my mind’s there a lot.  I don’t blame you for going there, either.  But I’m actually talking about the word that has been a companion of mine since somewhere back in middle, if not elementary, school: PROCRASTINATION.  Ahh, my friend, who whispers in my ear of all the cool things I’d rather be doing than my latest assignment or dreaded task (like making phone calls).  When I think of this word, I hear songs- “Pro-pro-pro-crastination” (“Punctuation” from The Electric Company) or “Procrastination” (a la “Anticipation”- “Procrastination, procrastin-ay-ay-tion, is making me late…”).  These songs in my head only further my avoidance of whatever it is I don’t want to do.  Sneaky!

Anyhow, I tell you this because procrastination is behind the absence of my very new blog.  After my first two posts, I froze.  I had ideas, but didn’t want to write, and time slipped by.  Then I went on vacation (to “The Happiest Place on Earth”- more on that in another post), and as anyone who’s ever been on vacation knows, it can be quite difficult to return to one’s normal routine.  I’d spent nearly a week at a resort where all I had to do was wake up, get ready, and go- jump on a bus with my family and head off to explore.  No cooking, no (ahem) cleaning, no grocery shopping… no Facebook, no blog posts… only a world carefully designed for fun and magical memories.  That’s a world that’s hard to leave, I tell you.  If it weren’t for the fact that Bigfoot couldn’t come with us and was therefore waiting at home, I would’ve jumped at any chance to extend my stay in this fantasy land.  (Am I infringing on any copyrights here?!).  So home I came, a bit sad, and grateful for Bigfoot’s staying home the following day as Boopie and I adjusted to being home.  I think he adjusted a lot better, since he had his Kindle.  I had a decent therapy session the day after that, and left feeling better, until the next day.  After dropping Boopie off at school and having my breakfast, I went back into bed, feeling exhausted and wanting a nap.  I set my alarm, but when it went off, all I wanted to do was stay in bed, so I hit snooze.  Next time, I reset my alarm.  Each time I awoke, I felt more anxious, knowing I had things to do but wanting to stay in the safety and comfort of my bed.  Eventually, I had to get up so I could pick Boopie up.  This happened the following day, and I worried that I was headed back to the land of benzos.  Thankfully, the slide down the slippery slope of anxiety didn’t happen, but I made sure to hang out with friends to get myself out of my own head.  The anxiety passed, but procrastination remained.

It’s been almost a month now since I’ve been on Facebook, and almost two months (yikes!) since my last blog post.  And why?  Procrastination.  It’s something that, once it sets in, gets harder and harder to get out of, because my mind will do anything else to keep me from whatever it is that’s hanging over me.  It’s like a Band-Aid- the slower you are about removing it, the more it hurts.  I’ve realized over and over again in my life that I have to just rip it off, just get it done. But I rarely do. Often, my desire for perfection is the mastermind behind my procrastination, wanting to get everything right before actually doing a task or a project.  In college, I loved to sit for hours in the library, doing research, organizing my notes by topic, etc. – I would even do that early in the game.  But the actual writing of any essay or paper?  I’d wait until the last minute- many times, the night before something was due.  I’d tell myself I wanted to find more info, or that I had everything organized mentally and all I needed to do was follow my outline and write, but I’d avoid the writing.  This was in the days before auto-save, so when my computer crashed, I was screwed, since it was usually within hours of having to turn in my paper.  Not fun.  As an adult, I don’t have to write papers anymore, but I have other responsibilities that I want to get just right.  Like parenting.  Yeah, I know that’s not humanly possible, but I’m the one who wants to read all the books before I decide how to handle an issue.  Of course, issues don’t wait, so often I’m pulling off that Band-Aid and diving in with the words “fuck it,” knowing I’ve taken too long and just have to go with my instincts (which I need to trust more).

One other thing about procrastination and perfection- the combination tends to result, for me, in too much information gathered, too many words written.  As it is with this post.  It’s overdue, and I realize it’s long, but I want to get it out there and make sure I’ve said all I wanted to, so I haven’t cut it down.  I understand if you’ve skimmed it, or read only a few paragraphs.  Then again, maybe you’re procrastinating yourself, and this blog has been a diversion from whatever you don’t want to do.  In that case, I’m glad to be of service!