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Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Curse of a Diehard Procrastinator

I got a phone call the other day.

“Where have you been?” asks my good friend Gail of ‘My Repurposed Life’.

“Huh, been?   Nowhere”, says I, guiltily thinking about my lack of blogging lately.

After we hung up I got to thinking.  I HAVE sort of disappeared from blogland, haven’t I? 

Really I’m just trying to hold it all together and get ready for the rapidly approaching holiday.

I want to enjoy it this time.

Really.

And why would I say that? 

I mean, everyone enjoys the holidays, don’t they?

I say this because I’ve had way too many Christmas eve’s spent out shopping at the very last minute for stocking stuffers and treats, frantically grabbing something, anything, (even a roll of toilet paper will suffice at this point), to stuff into those stockings as the last call is announced over the PA system to “please bring your purchases to the check out as the store is now closed and will reopen on the 26th, have a safe and Happy Holiday”. 

And there have been more times than I want to think about that my tree decorations are being tossed on the tree Christmas Eve, just before settling in for a long night of wrapping presents, only to finish at the crack of dawn right around the time I was supposed to be waking up.

Oh, and let’s not forget how grumpy I can get for lack of sleep.  Or the Christmas I fell asleep DURING a conversation with my Mother-in -law and Sister-in-law. 

At my house. 

Talk about being a party killer…..

Or how difficult it is to get anywhere on time, because before I can leave the house I have to wrap the presents that need to go with us.

Yep, the curse of being a die hard procrastinator really becomes a problem during the holidays.

I come by it honestly, this trait.  My mom has never been one to plan ahead either.   For that matter, of my 5 sisters, I would say 3 of them rival me in that department.  Our family parties always start at least an hour later than the stated time, mostly because we are all stopping at the store on the way over.

It’s tradition in our family for the hostess to have a designated room for last minute gift wrapping.  Whoever hosts a family get together like a birthday party must supply multiple pairs of scissors, tape, sometimes even the wrapping paper.  The comic section of the Sunday paper will do in a pinch.

We usually pick up more than one card when we stop on the way, just in case someone else needs it.

And they always do.

All my life I thought this was normal.

Doesn’t everyone put the last piece of tape on a gift seconds before it’s time to open it? 

No?

Apparently I’ve been misguided all these years.  Ever since discovering blogland I’ve been shocked and amazed that people actually plan ahead for the Christmas holidays.  From as early as November there have been blog posts of gifts to make, wreaths to decorate, even Christmas trees put up and decorated before Thanksgiving Day. 

Silly people, I think to myself.  Don’t they know it’s too early to even think of the holidays?

Then comes December 1st, and Christmas decor is the theme of every blog and linky party I visit.

“Really?”  It seems way too soon.

I then happily go about my everyday business, with my procrastinators’ blinders securely in place. 

Confident that time is on my side.

Foolishly confident.

I actually got the tree out and started setting it up on the 10th feeling very smug  because I was so so far ahead of schedule.  It sat for days unadorned.  Plenty of time for that.002-5

Oh, the hand-made gifts I had planned to make for everyone!  I’ve gotten a million ideas from my fellow bloggers, and intend to make use of a bunch of them this Christmas.

Then it’s the 18th, and I suddenly realize that this is the last Saturday before Christmas, the very last weekend to get this stuff done. 

Oh boy, why didn’t I take some vacation time this week?  Silly me, I plan to work my normal schedule right through Christmas eve.  I don’t want to burn my vacation time up.

So I pull all the decorations out, and vow to have the house decorated and gifts made by the end of the day Saturday. 

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Come Sunday morning, there’re still boxes of decorations in the middle of the room waiting to be either used or put away.  I still think I will use them all at that point.

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But I’ve given up on the idea of making gifts.

Because this is the day my shopping must be finished.

6 days left until Christmas, and I’m not even close to being done with my shopping.

I have my list in hand and off I go.  By this time it’s late afternoon.

I’m home by 10, feeling much better.  Then I realize I forgot a few things.  So Monday after work I stop at the mall to get them.  10 pm again.  Past my bedtime.

I still need to start wrapping.

Sleep?  or Wrap?  That’s the big question.

Panic starts to set in. 

Time is playing a joke on me.

It’s speeding up the clock.

The days have started to go by in a blink of an eye.

“Plenty of time left”, whispers the procrastinator in me.

“There’s days and days left before you need to have this done.  And don’t forget, you still have your secret weapon to fall back on.“

Ahh, yesss, the secret weapon  every procrastinator relies on in a pinch.  Also known as the all-nighter.

It’s like gaining a whole extra day.

We learn it early. we procrastinators. 

Got a project due at school?  No problem, I’ve still got all night to finish it.

The hours normal people spend sleeping are bonus hours for us.  Found time, as it were.

There’s a small price to pay afterwards, called exhaustion, but sleep can be caught up on another day.  It’s all about getting it done at the last possible minute.

I use this extra time often, way too often, especially at Christmas.

And now that I’ve reached the ripe age of 50, I’m not so good at recovering from it anymore.

But not this year I simply refuse to fall into that trap.  I stubbornly decide to get my wrapping done now.  I’m not going to wait until Christmas eve this time. 

No way.

So I stay up a little later and wrap, and then the next night I finish the tags and bows.

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Wow, I’m doing good!

It’s only Wednesday and I’m wrapped! 

What a great feeling.  I’ve beat the curse this year.

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So here we are, Thursday morning and the cleaning fairy (aka Jackie, the cleaning lady) will be here soon to magically make my house look good just in time for Christmas. 

And I’m blogging instead of picking up all the wrapping paper and stuff strewn all over the dining room table.

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Procrastinating again.

Because that, my friends, is what I do. ;)

It’s a curse.

Be very thankful you’re not like me! 

Rose

12 comments:

  1. Hello fellow procrastinator! Nice to know I am not alone. You just wrote the story of my life. I have caught up on wrapping which is good, my tree is still naked...not so good. I am off to clean a toilet as I do not have a Jackie. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

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  2. Ah! true-er words have never been spoken about myself!

    I too am a die-hard procrastinator. So much so that it had me in a complete FUNK earlier in the week.

    Nobody wanted touch that post with a comment-- it was sad really. At least your able to laugh at yourself and make it funny...I wanted to cry and sit in the corner sucking my thumb!

    I'm over it now.
    and my tree is up! yay! and there are actually presents wrapped and underneath
    Merry Christmas--

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  3. I'm right with ya! and why am I reading the blogs instead of doing all the things that need to be done right now? I don't know...but they'll get done eventually...probably at the last minute.

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  4. I want to join the club also. Oh, I guess we will organize the club some day because will will procrastinate. My biggest problem is that I married someone who is a WORSE procrastinator.

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  5. Ah Rose, but I am just like you. I did beat the curse this year however I did forgo outdoor lights. I may actually put some around the door tonight though. Merry Christmas!

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  6. But I am. I bought my last present today. It's not wrapped. I haven't baked. You know what I'm doing instead, besides blogging? I'm mod podging some drawers with paper. So I can use the drawers in my cra(p)ft room. Which needs to be organized before company gets here tonight so they can sleep in there.

    Yeah. I don't procrastinate.

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  7. I guess y'all are way ahead of me. I don't even have the tree out of the closet yet. Gosh, there is a whole day before Christmas. Besides that, I can't get to the closet door to get the tree out until I clean the sewing/craft room. Maybe I should be doing that instead of sitting here at the computer. It's just gonna be Grampy and I here for Christmas so maybe he won't notice there's no tree.

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  8. Ohhh, but I am like you! Jamie and I were out tonight picking up some things. I still have a ocuple of more things to pick up tomorrow. :)
    Love your tree and your packages, too cute! I haven't baked the first treat, or loaf of bread. It's going to be a long day tomorrow that starts very early!
    I hope you and your family have a very merry Christmas my friend!
    gail

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  9. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!! We are ALL, ALL, ALL like this. Altho, I think you and your sisters are so darn clever with the wrapping room! YES!!! Clever!

    I'm not done. I'm also not going any where. Everyone is coming here. So I can wrap while they're eating appetizers upstairs!!! bawahahaha!

    Your post made me L.O.L. - hardy like!

    Merry Merry, Happy Happy

    and just think it'll all be over in 3 days!

    xo
    ~Kolein

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  10. Oh my goodness, you are normal! I think the non-procrastnaters use last year's pictures to look like they are ahead of the game. How is it possible to be ready before Christmas? Heck, I barely had the nails in the wall to hang wreaths on when company started arriving. I think we are normal and there is definitely something wrong with the rest of them!

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  11. Hahahaha... great post Rose... the first step is admitting it...lol.

    The tree is stunning and love the gift wrap too.

    I was way ahead of myself this year, but I only did half of what I normally do... so much easier on the nerves... I must say I didn't get stressed at all. I took most of it back down today and that was piece of cake too.

    I hope you had a great time after all of that worrying and work... Merry Christmas my friend and give Mike a big hug for us too...

    Love Deb

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  12. I am also a procrastinator. In fact, I call myself the Queen of Procrastination. Procrastination is a very small island country in the South Pacific where the residents eat chocolate and drink wine while thinking about all of the things they should be doing. It is a glorious place...

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