Self-discipline and whimsy

I doubt I’ve ever been accused of procrastinating. It’s not that I don’t. I simply tend to build procrastination into my project’s schedule, so I still usually finish on time.

This might sound ideal to you die-hard Johnny-come-last-minutes. How many times you’ve promised yourself, I’m going to do better. I’ll turn in the next paper early and relax; I’ll spend my tax refund in March; I’ll avoid anxious prayers riding fumes to the gas station.

Ah, but promptness as I know it isn’t all flower arranging with Adrian Monk. There’s plenty of madness in my methods. I avoid putting things off, because to imagine losing control speeds my heart rate, starts my hands trembling, brings back that aggravating eye-twitch.

Just last Monday, someone asked me to fix and deliver a meal to a family one week earlier than I’d promised, leaving me only three days to plan. Three days. And I had regular life in the meantime. Right away I called a friend, who helped me stop hyperventilating by offering to do the salad.

The day of the meal delivery went pretty well. I still had to spend my two hours writing (even though I don’t have a current deadline), then vacuum the house, work on the food and go to the chiropractor. I missed cleaning the sink and dusting my room, but, hey, I can flex in a crisis.

Point is, someone like me needs people who take life in more carefree episodes. On occasion I’ve organized important papers a friend somehow left strewn across her carpet. I’ve kept white-knuckled silence while another friend drove us somewhere, not overly minding details like stop signs.

Folks less deadline-oriented than myself have, in turn, dragged me from library stacks and into fresh spring air before finals. They offered spur-of-the-moment movie dates and ocean getaways. Their kids let mine see homes where spontaneity happened.

I guess I see balance here somewhere. You, whimsical, blithe spirit who tends to procrastinate, can breathe new life into that somewhat stiff friend who may help you find your lost keys. Both of you may stretch, a little, and learn from each other.

Until the next time quick meals and taxes are due.

Comments

Cherie said…
A delight to read!! Good stuff, Deanna.
Deanna said…
Thanks, Cherie. Now I'm off to check your blog.