Reader, I am an introverted homebody. I am fed by long stretches of silence between conversations, and by the peaceful environment of my home (never mind that this is exactly contrary to the requirements of parenting — that’s another post). I shy away from listening to voicemails. I hate picking up the phone to call people I don’t really know (pizza delivery, doctor’s offices, etc.). The thought of running errands can trigger my fight or flight response. Well, perhaps I exaggerate a bit. But not much. My point is that being an introverted homebody is the perfect recipe for, you guessed it, procrastination.
Procrastination is an interesting word, don’t you think? It’s really long — it almost procrastinates itself. It’s Latinate — so it makes us want to hide anyway (to wit, what sounds more manageable to you: “school’s cancelled because of a blizzard” or “the educational institutions are not operating due to inclement atmospheric conditions”?). It literally means to put things off until tomorrow: pro meaning forward; crastinus meaning belonging to tomorrow.
A little healthy procrastination is one thing, but too much and you can find you’ve suddenly crossed over into the country of Self-sabotage. Reader, my passport is stamped. I’m there.
The good news is that I haven’t been procrastinating in my writing life. Reading, writing, drafting poems — I’ve been doing this all along. Submitting and revising are another story — but just yesterday I did send some poems out into the world.
On the homefront, however, I am shame-faced. There are things I’ve been putting off since July: transferring medical records, making dentist appointments, updating our wills. There are also things I’ve been putting off, not since July, but as long as possible: prescription refills, a trip to the post office (to send out, amongst other things, The Handout), getting groceries. It’s to the point now where the procrastinated things have taken on a life of their own. They seem bigger than they should. They have me in their grip.
This is where it’s good to have friends. Just last night, I had a note from a friend who had also been procrastinating. But she finally pushed through her list and was feeling great. Whatever you’ve been putting off, she said, Just do it! You’ll feel so good after!
So, on this thankful Thursday, I’m grateful for friends, and for little nudges from the Universe that say, Now.
This morning I took a deep breath and called the pharmacy to request refills. Next on the list: the dentist appointments, then letters requesting transfer of medical records. I feel better already, just getting the ball rolling. I shall procrastinate no longer! I may even get groceries tomorrow –. Well, maybe Saturday.