Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow

I have a problem with procrastination. Since forever, I guess, but definitely since I was in high school. Probably my reluctance to clean up my room as a kid was a symptom of the same thing.

Anyway, I have a whole slew of rationales for my behaviour, and a whack of techniques to try to overcome it. I’ve tried as many antiprocrastination schemes as a cream puff adict has diets.

They all work, if you do them.

If you don’t, you live in a state of anxiety that affects not only your work life, but your ability to deal calmly and effectively with your family. It leads to overeating, over-caffeinating, losing sleep (and thus shortened attention spans), general malaise and low self-image. In short, it saps the joy from the everyday. It sounds a lot like depression, and can in fact spiral into full-blown depression, with the inability to think straight, reach out, or make decisions. 

I generally can’t make myself do the things that are necessary to deal with procrastination head on. I am embarassed every time to discover I am this weak. I have moved beyond guilt to real shame that I live like this so much of the time, despite being old enough to know better.

There’s good days with bad weeks, good weeks with bad days, but there are rarely any periods untouched by some aspect of me mishandling my time. While not being productive, I’m wondering about the meaning of my procrastination, what I am trying to saboutage, what I’m afraid of, what it means for my life choices. Is there work I could be attempting where I wouldn’t be constantly stringing myself up like this? Is it all a symptom of my poor planning that I fell into this career, and not one where I would have better flourished?

But then I realize it is as much a part of my home life as my work, it is a part of my learning style and my essential self. It’s not avoidable, despite my best intentions. My reoccurring thoughts of  “if only I had …” (fill in career path – studied nursing, stayed home with the kids, become a postie) don’t help. I’m not stupidly pursuing a career that is an anathema to my basic work style. I am simply working within my own flawed paradigm.

Scarily, the stakes are getting higher: I have children to care for, a mortgage to pay.  However, at times, I am strangely optimistic. I think, or at least I hope, I am seeing a gradual trend towards pulling back soon enough that I don’t completely crash and burn. I don’t accomplish things the way I want yet (flashbacks to every report card I ever brought home: Moosilaneous would excel if she would just apply herself) but I pray I’ll manage.

Now back to work!

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5 responses to “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow

  1. Is everything okay? You’ve not been around for a while….

  2. I need to work on this myself. I have to remember that I need to live my life now, as it is, instead of living in a future that may or may not be reality.

  3. Some might call it prayer, some might call it connecting to the universe, some might call it love. Whatever you want to call it, I’m sending it to you.

  4. Procrastination is such an interesting phenomena I have explored and know first hand. For me have found it is linked to odd bouts of perfectionism, the school days of trying to handwrite the perfect page. I’ve tried to identify the underlying/hidden motivations but not with success. Like how you call it an aspect of a flawed piece of one’s paradigm rather than a globally debilitating label. Thanks for post.

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