Recently, I was at a FedEx place because I had to fax a document (I know! Can you believe it? Who still faxes?) So, I was doing some minor grumbling and eye rolling awaiting receipt of my (complimentary!) fax confirmation, when I spotted a book: The Art of Procrastination, A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging and Postponing. The word ‘effective’ drew me in. I’ve always recognized the tendency to delay in myself and have pretty much accepted it, but I’m still ashamed enough of it to blame it on a quest for perfection, because it sounds so much better – almost noble. Whatever. Though I repeatedly start with the best of intentions, I generally require that surge of adrenaline that a deadline gives me to Just. Get. It. Done.
But look at this; now maybe my procrastination could be effective, according to a fancy Stanford guy! So I produced $12.95 in addition to the $7 for my fax transmittal (I know! Can you believe? It was just a couple of pages!) and took the book home to read, you know, later.
If you recognize the trait toward procrastination in yourself, I will now save you $12.95: The Emeritus Professor of Philosophy teaches us to put stuff you have to do on a list with stuff you want to do even less than that stuff. You will then do the stuff you have to do to avoid doing the stuff you want to do even less. Eureka.
Probably everyone has at least something they will do when they get “around to it”. For a while there, a smart manufacturer was even releasing a popular gift item:
So anyway, this year, back in April, I had a birthday - a big one - the very first anniversary of my 49th. My wonderful friends threw me a rooftop party in Uptown Dallas with all of my favorite things, including 80’s music, candles everywhere, birthday cake, vats of wine, and gifts. I shamelessly love presents. Love them! Even as I opened each treasure, I pictured the beautiful, verbose, emotive missives (I was intoxicated) that I would include in a deluxe bedazzled Papyrus-with-the-gold-seal card to each one. Sigh.
Flash forward to August. Still not written. Not one. Every time I would begin, something else would come up, I would get busy, work was so hectic, maybe there was a small emergency or maybe I just saw something shiny…at any rate, they were not done.
Now this same group of girls goes on an annual ‘Ladies’ Trip’ where we do not always act like ladies. It is fabulous. The trip is coming up fast. We’re going to Cape Cod this year to spend 24 hours a day together for five days. Think of everything we will talk about! Think of all the great stories! Perhaps we will reminisce about all the fun had at the party! Or perhaps they will think what an asshole I am for not even bothering to write a freaking thank you note in 4 months.
With no time to spare (to say the least) the notes are done. They are not perfect, but they’re pretty and were a pleasure to write. Why did I wait so long? Why? Something to reflect on. But not now – I need to wrap it up – this blog was due yesterday.