Posted in inspiration

Procrastination 101

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.  The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, then starting on the first one.” ~ Mark Twain

And, this is the issue of the day. Have you ever had time in your life? I mean time that wasn’t committed to someone or something else? And, a lot of it? I’m there, now. I’m not working and am not committed to anything. Hence, all my time is “free.” Which isn’t quite the truth, if you live in this chaotic world. I mean there’s banking, and laundry, and groceries, and cleaning, and taking the cat to the vet, and seeing the doctor, and ………..

Still, with no real organization to my life, I just can’t seem to get anything started, in any direction. When I was employed (full time, plus) I used to yearn for time like this. The old “if only…” train of thought. And, here I am, with loads of time and I can’t seemed to get a thing done.

I firmly believe that the busier you are, the busier you can be, as in……….get up, shower, throw in a load of laundry, start the dishwasher and head to work. Then, use your lunch hour to grocery shop, change the laundry to the dryer, and make appointments for the car to go in for service and the kid to see the dentist. All this while cramming down a piece of fruit you call lunch, updating your Facebook page, and answering emails.

The availability of unscheduled time is a dream but the dream goes flat as soon as it becomes reality, at least for me. (Oh, ye of little motivation.) And, that’s where I am now. I get up (whenever I feel like it), have coffee, read the paper, play with the cats, maybe make the bed, have breakfast, read a book, check in to  Facebook, read my emails and damn! It’s noon. The day is gone!

I’ve gotten very good at racing around the house late in the afternoon, making the bed, giving the bathroom a quick once-over, doing dishes (or loading the dishwasher), fluffing the pillows on the couch, and picking up whatever seems out of place. I can also squeeze in trips to the pharmacy, the grocery store and the gas station…..and all this before my husband gets home.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure I’m fooling my husband and I know I’m not fooling myself. I have a huge list of things that I need to get done but I just don’t.

I’ve always been a procrastinator. A good student, I’d leave all studying and paper-writing until the night before it was due. I read five books (minimum) a week in those days, for school, and most of those were read in a 48-hour period called the weekend or the night before a test. It gave me a really false sense of my ability to skate through life.

I seem to be paying for that now. I know that when my life becomes full again, I’ll be chastising myself for all I could have done in this time and didn’t, and I’ll be back to playing the “if only I had more time…” game. *sigh*

I like Mark Twain’s quote, and although it’s not the first time I’ve heard the sentiment, heaven knows, it’s true.

So, in an effort to break those “complex overwhelming tasks” into “small manageable tasks” so I can start with the first one, I offer up a condensed list of issues to address:

Health concerns, Italian citizenship, downsizing and unloading all the years of accumulated crap, stacks of things to list on ebay or Craig’s List (a result an initial downsizing effort), looking into finishing my degree, setting up a will and advanced health care directive, learning to swim, re-learning how to skate, submitting some writing somewhere, preparing for a move to Italy, and, of course, resolving the political mess in the United States!

Seriously, this is just what I can think of offhand. It’s enough to make me want to put on my sweats and go back to bed with a good book and some chocolate chip cookies.

I think I was born to procrastinate. Can you make a living doing that?



I'm a writer making my way through life and offering observations as I go. Old enough to know better but that doesn't stop me.

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