Dishes and math. Yes, these are the two things I would gladly excommunicate from my life.
For someone who loves cleaning, the endless task of dishes was, and forever shall remain, an endless pain in the ass.
I know you can sympathize.
You scan the crusty plates and silverware in a loathing manner, sizing them up yet internally pleading: “Why, why are you back in my life again, you uninvited stinkers?”
You give yourself a pep talk, pumping yourself up for the mundane. You finally do the dirty and a little while later – Damn! There’s another foul-scented bastard vying for your attention.
I’ve never been a fan of that vindictive subject where a solitary answer – and one answer only – is the right one. If you get super close or even if you make the common mistake, inviting a sense of camaraderie for your bruised psyche, you’re still WRONG.
But, math is useful.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ve heard that one before!
I’m kidding. I know it serves a purpose with its haughty digits and conceited logic. I just always preferred words to numbers. They’re so much lovelier.
My dad always used to say two infuriating things to me about procrastination.
1) “With all that energy you used up, you could’ve done it already.”
Let’s just say I had a flair for the dramatic when I was younger. I was a good kid, but I raised hell when I didn’t get my way. And, if you think a little girl bawling and rolling around on the floor in agony works on a single dad…you’re sadly mistaken.
The damn sham didn’t work.
So, then I came back with the classic argument: “But, I don’t wanna.”
And, that brings us to…
2) “Come on, it builds character.”
After saying this, my dad went about his usual business. Then I would scribble math problems so ferociously on that lined notebook paper, I would break the pencil. I would make a bunch of racket in the kitchen, sighing with gusto, but cringing when I almost broke a dish.
Eventually, the temper tantrum would subside. The task was completed, and all the turmoil was quickly forgotten, like a mediocre joke.
When we’re young, we are told to do things. But as we grow up, we’re pretty much on our own. Sure at work there are managers, superiors, and big shots waltzing the ever-seductive deadline dance.
Yet, there is one time when we govern ourselves…our free time.
We have full reign over this precious time. And, what do we do?
We smother it with other obligations while our dreams stew quietly on the back burner. Swift and graceful, time passes us by and we realize all the things we wanted to do haven’t been done at all.
Dad isn’t keeping me in check with his catchy reprimands. At home, the boss isn’t tapping her feisty heel with her manicured hands on her hips.
Procrastination…she’s a sneaky bitch!
I have heard something consistently over the years, and I suppose it is a compliment. “I don’t know how you do it all.”
My big, dark secret is that I don’t ever feel like I’m doing enough. But, the things I manage to squeeze into the day-to-day grind are the result of passion and determination. I guess Dad and his relentless words of wisdom got in a little.
As most of you know I have a full-time day job, I’m working on my Yoga teaching certification, I do this blog thing, and I write books. Oh yeah, I’m blissfully married too. No rugrats though, just a couple of incorrigible felines.
It would be so much simpler for me to give up my dreams, to tuck my aspirations of writing and teaching for a living far, far away.
It’s not that easy for me to sit down at my computer on week nights and weekends to accomplish my writing goals. It’s not math homework, and it sure as hell ain’t dishes, but I could be doing a lot of other things.
I could spend more time with my loving family, watch bad television for the hell of it, sleep a little more, and lose myself in all the books I want.
Maybe even try that foreign concept…relaxing.
Yep, I could just walk away. But, I wouldn’t be building any character, now would I?
So, how do we deal with that clever minx called procrastination?
We have to reason with a thing called time. We are privileged to be here, to live a life surrounded by possibilities.
We have the power to do anything we want. Anything.
Dad was right.
The energy we’re expelling on the wishing can be channeled into the doing.
In other words stop farting around, get your butt in gear, and go do something awesome.