I am a chronic sufferer of procrastination. No, that’s not right. That makes me sound like a victim. I am a chronic procrastinator. But I’m sneaky about it. Instead of rooting into a couch cushion trying to use cable television to drown out the call of various things needing my attention, I instead manage to make myself look very busy at the computer.
Oh, I know what you’re thinking: Big whoop, lady. Who hasn’t logged on to the Internet under the pretense of checking their email only to come up for air hours later with nothing to show for it except for a handful of useless oddball news tidbits and videos of baby ducks and puppies being best friends? (Whew! Long sentence!)
Well, I do that too. But I’m not talking about the Internet. I’m talking about butt-waggling. Yep. That’s how I waste most of my time…butt-waggling.
What is butt-waggling, you ask? Simple. You know how foot races depicted in cartoons show characters toeing the line, rear ends in the air waggling in anticipation? Well, that’s me. Only I’m journaling. I have this sick, addictive need to journal before I sit down to do my work. It’s actually one of my most favorite things to do. I like to plan out the month, the week, the day. I like to work out ideas, poke around my five-year plan, figure out new goals.
So I’m forever toeing the line, checking my position, butt raised high in anticipation. But instead of eying the distant finish line on the horizon, I’m looking down, checking the line drawn in the dust. Are my hands in the right position? Are my shoes tied tightly enough? And I’m obsessive compulsive. I check these things over and over again.
I’m also planning. Once I get started, I’m going to wave to the crowd at that first turn, or I’m going to kick it into fourth gear when I reach that first set of bleachers. I’m so damn busy planning what I’m going to do that by the time I’m ready to race, the sun has gone down and the fans have returned home.
As you can imagine, my perpetual butt-wagging has done nothing to advance me forward in my goals unless I get to include in my daily word count hundreds of pages of journaling, planning, and daydreaming. (There’s nothing wrong with daydreaming as an activity; however, there is a time and place for such things, and neither of them should be during work time, I’m finding.)
This is a condition I have wrangled with on and off for quite some time now. Recently, things have gotten worse. There are stories to be written, revised, workshopped, sent off! There are a thousand house chores calling my attention! There’s another work project looming black on the horizon!
In response, I have written and journaled and daydreamed and even schemed on how to accomplish these things. But now I’ve reached the end. There’s nothing more to figure out. There’s nothing left for me to do except take action.
And that’s when the Awful Truth makes itself known: THINGS HAVE GROUND TO A HALT DUE TO MY EMPHATIC AND STUBBORN-HEADED REFUSAL TO GET OFF MY ASS.
Anyway, now that there’s no denying it, I have decided to take serious and unprecedented action. I’m quitting cold turkey. (Not forever, mind you. Just a few days. Just until I get caught up. Besides, I can quit anytime I want.)
But by confessing, I have decided to hereby reveal my habit and its true nature; self-indulgent and completely recreational. It’s to be considered from here on out as a decadent treat to be earned, like frozen Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I get to partake just as soon as I get my day’s work done.
In that spirit, off I go. I’ve made some headway today — the first sign of progress in days — and I want to keep up the momentum.
P.S. I also managed to get a blog post done…<g>