Long-time readers of this her blog (or people who know me in real life, or both) know that procrastination is a big, big theme in my life. It is big enough that it’s got its own category even (on the blog, I’m not yet categorizing my real life).
Yesterday evening I had planned to watch an episode of ‘Sherlock’ while knitting on a sock, and drinking a beer. I had really looked forward to it all day. But then I spent the whole evening way beyond a sensible bedtime playing games on my iPad, as you do, avoiding to glance at the huge pile of dirty dishes in the sink. Now my usual way of dealing with this would have been to move to the bedroom with my laptop, and deal with the dishes some time today but this morning was one of the few when my husband has to get up early, and he – sensibly – abhors to have to make breakfast in midst all these disgusting dishes and pots from the day before, and I had said I would do them after dinner (which I obviously hadn’t) and there I was. Playing games, not really enjoying myself just because I couldn’t face a 30 minute chore.
Now if it weren’t for my husband I probably would have ignored those dishes for hours, maybe even days. I once shared a house with a couple of other people, and we only started doing the dishes when there was not a clean plate or fork left in the house. You can imagine how our kitchen looked. And then doing the dishes was a task so huge that it was comparable to a thorough spring cleaning.
Some of you now might think that my husband is just too uptight, and that a few dirty dishes never hurt anyone.
This morning I got up (after only five hours of sleep because I had avoided the doing of the dishes so successfully that I only started after midnight, ahem), and walked into the kitchen to make breakfast. And there it was: kitchen counters totally serene, spotless, empty, and beautiful. A calmness came over me, and making breakfast was almost fun. And I thought to myself, “Self, please remember a) how you feel when you get up and the kitchen is tidy and clean, and b) how you felt last night when you were doing the dishes in the middle of the night, and how you felt when you realized that it was way too late to watch a DVD now.
So this morning I did the dishes right after breakfast. Great, eh? I seem to have learned a lesson, and become a better person.
Only, as I’m typing this I’m freezing. See, this morning I wanted (among other things) to write a bit on my novel, and to do yoga. What I did instead, of course, was surf the internet. Only I hadn’t planned for it, and so I had removed my socks to do a load of laundry, then I wanted to do yoga (without socks), then take a shower, dress, and write.
So at this point I have been sitting in front of this computer for more than a hour. Without socks. In Germany in winter. I think I might be getting a sore throat.
I know a lot of people who think that procrastination is not a problem at all but for me it might well be the root of all evil. there are a lot of things in my life that I have to do, or that I want to do, that don’t feel good when I do them. Or that don’t feel good before I’m doing them. But (and if I had listened to my mother, and grandmother, and every single adult person in my life ever) I always feel good after I’ve done them. Every. Single. Time.
If I don’t do them I feel miserable all the time, not only when doing my chores. Because while I’m doing the other fun thing that I’m doing to avoid the thing I should be doing (like writing a blog post when really I should be doing yoga) I feel that other thing weighing on me the whole time. Which means I can’t enjoy what I’m doing now because there’s this other thing that I said I’d do. Or that will come and bite me from behind because I didn’t deal with it in time.
So now I’ll get off the computer, and do my yoga.
What about you? Procrastinating much? Do you enjoy it?