Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Hereditiy is Hell

10:30 am

I've just got off the phone from a long chat with the YD, she lolling about in bed and me wrapped in my new Valentine red velour robe, unwashed, household tasks not even started. Tsk. What a pair of slackers. I ended the conversation by apologizing to my daughter for the procrastination genes she has clearly inherited from me. Funny thing, inherited character traits. Her sister and father are two of the most organized people you would ever not want to meet, should you be an ordinary, get it done sometime, kind of person. They have task lists that they actually read, schedules they meet, places they put things on a regular basis -- they draw lines through the things on the lists that they have finished. What a concept!

I am very good at getting a single task accomplished in limited time. If visitors are expected, I can clean the house with the speed of greased lightning. If you need something written at the last minute, I'm your go to person. That's the upside of being what I think of as an 'adrenaline junkie'. Pull an all nighter? No problem. Get it done way in advance? Not me. I can find any number of non essential things to do that will fill in the time until emergency mode is needed. And boy, do I resent being told that time is ticking on and I had better get to it. I still clearly remember being furious as a teenager when my mother would mention some job or homework assignment I had not started. I would have to choke down rage, knowing even then that it was an inappropriate emotion. And I have never grown up enough to stop feeling that way. Even when the miserable sod telling me this is myself.

I've read all the advice. Pored over the self help books. Given myself so many lectures that I've stopped listening to myself. You know the expression about the road to hell being paved with good intentions? I can look back up the road and see very fine paving indeed. But here I sit, writing a post that is the very opposite of essential when I have a full day alone to accomplish something useful. To get some exercise. To get the muddle cleaned out of my bathroom cupboard. To get my volunteer job papers sorted and into their binders. To get the laundry done.

(It'll be lunch time soon; I won't get anything much done between now and then and so I think I'll just enjoy blogging until then and start after lunch.)

Okay, now I'm just staring at the computer screen, thinking about nothing much. And not coming up with a way to put a punch into the ending of this post. Maybe if I wait long enough, a bolt of lightning will strike me and I will turn into a different person altogether and leap up and start sorting laundry. No? You're sure? Backbone transplants not available? How very sad for me.

Besides, it's very cold outside. Blowy and snowy and not a good day for exercise on the ice patch that Sunday's thaw made out of our laneway and roads. Does anyone care about the bathroom cupboard but me? No, indeed. Is there any underwear left in the drawer? Yep, several days' worth. Can I wing the meeting without organizing the paperwork? Of course! Plenty of time to see what the blogging world is up to today.

And I'm sure I will come up with some equally compelling rationalization after lunch.

(If you're reading this, YD, at least you're out of bed and downstairs at the computer. Love, Mom.)


  1. Not only downstairs, but packed and on my way back to the city of ivory towers. Except that I am reading the post ... and then checking out others ... and then thinking that maybe I should have lunch before I go ... (at least I come by it honestly) ;-)

  2. Oy Mary OUCH...this is what my life has become...

    I, however, do have compelling need-to-do things that I am resisting and avoiding, largely out of self-pity I think.

    I do get runs on things, like cluster motivation and then cluster slacking.

    I used to be so motivated, a little as I go...

  3. hmmmm... perhaps I'm related to you, too. ;)

  4. Um, I think I'm related to you too.....

    I only work in panic mode.

  5. Let's not forget the role that February is playing here. Late winter plus procrastination spells trouble.

    BTW, I always manage things better when I do wing it.