When is later? And why do I want to do everything then?
I am such a procrastinator. I even procrastinate my procrastinating. Why would I do something now when I could just do it later? I had no problem staying up until the wee hours of the morning in high school and college to finish a paper; I think the looming deadline actually fueled my creativity. Same with cleaning, I get more done around the house in the 30 minutes before my husband gets home (not because he demands a clean home, but because it blesses him) then I may have done all day. It might be something about deadlines, I guess I find pushing the limit thrilling in some way and I like to live on the edge.
But what about those things that don’t have deadlines? That’s a big problem for me. There is no deadline for many projects around the house and I’ll get to them… later. An example of one is a few months ago we were given a small fireproof safe for important papers etc, something we had wanted for a while. Do you think I’ve actually got around to sorting my massive pile of “important papers” yet? You’d think I could at least throw the birth certificates in there! But there is always something that takes a higher priority in my to-do list and unless the house catches fire (I will be so bummed if that happens before I get around to it), that can hang out at the bottom for a while.
Even worse than things around the house are things with my husband or children. “Mom can we ____?” Sure, let’s do it… later. I’ve been reflecting on what I actually mean when I say that, 1) I actually mean later, such as sprinklers in the afternoon not in the morning, 2) I can’t do it now/I’m in the middle of something that I view more important, or 3) I’m hoping they’ll forget about it so I say later instead of saying no. Number 3 is the kind of procrastinating I’m ashamed of, I don’t like putting my children off. I know that sometimes they have terrible timing for asking things and they need to learn that better, such as asking in the middle of cooking dinner or showering, but other times it’s just me.
I feel like I have a never-ending to-do list in my head and things are constantly shuffling priority. Things like feeding my family at the top, household chores in the middle, crying kid always moves to the very top and so on. Everything else can wait until… later. Sometimes things get shuffled due to a busy day, a cranky/sick kid or sometimes it is tiredness/ laziness on my part. This is something I am really trying to work on. I’ve tried various different weekly schedules or lists to make sure everything gets done. Lists and schedules help me get things like chores done but sometimes that keeps me too task orientated and less relational.
I’m going to have a lot of things to do when that mythical time “later” finally catches up to me, but for now I am trying to be better about saying yes to people. I’m trying to be more present for my family and friends by letting that never-ending to-do list wait until later because it’s never-ending and will always be there. But things like my adorable 3 year old little girl that just cuddled up next to me won’t, I guess that’s my cue to wrap this up, it appears I have some very important, priority #1 snuggling to do.
Author: Cassia Hobbs