Monday, May 21, 2007


When Brooke was two or so, she was sitting in the middle of the floor staring into space. I asked her what she was doing and she responded, "I am procrastinating." It was hilarious at the time because she did indeed know what the word meant. I am not sure what she was avoiding in her moment of procrastination, but I have no doubt that if she said she was procrastinating, that is exactly what she was doing.

Fifteen years later, she still procrastinates, the only difference is that she is not as willing to admit to it now. I ask myself if her fondness for procrastination is a product of nature or nurture. Is there an "I'll do it later" gene? Or, is it my fault. Did I raise her to be this way? I have to step back and consider for myself how much I procrastinate.

I am not a procrastinator when it comes to big projects. I will not let something that is so big pull me under at the end. I usually have a plan and most often, I stick to it. It is in trivial little things that I find myself saying that I will do it tomorrow. Just like the little things that compounded yesterday to make for a poor day, so can all the little things that we put off compound and make us feel overwhelmed. Most of the tasks that I put off can be accomplished in only a few minutes. Here is a list of my favorite things to do later.
  • change a light bulb
  • renew subscriptions
  • change the cat box
  • put the laundry away after it is folded
  • water the houseplants
  • sweep the kitchen
  • put the toilet paper actually on the roller
  • shelve books in the "right" place
  • throw away dated magazines and catalogs
  • make my bed
  • wash the "reds" load

I have no explanation as to why I just don't do these things when they first cross my mind. I am not sure what I am waiting for. It sure as heck isn't for someone else around here to do it for me! Even though I make the choice not to do something, I am perturbed the next day when it still is not done. The obvious solution here is as Nike says, "Just do it!"

So, as I begin the real summer break, I am going to make an attempt at breaking my habit of procrastinating when it comes to the small things. They say that it takes 28 days to form a new habit. Let's see if that is true. As a start, I accomplished almost every item on the above list today;however, there are still more bulbs to be changed and laundry to be put away.

As for Brooke, she has not picked up her Honor Society stole for graduation, which is Friday, or talked to the people in charge about what her role in the commencement exercises is. The big stuff waits. And she does not sweat the small stuff. It may be years before she even notices that the light bulb is burned out and years before she replaces it. I do believe their is an "I'll do it later" gene. I refuse to believe that this is all nurture.

I'll let you know how this all works out . . .later.