Rock, paper, scissors…shoot, I’m paper. Always paper. I flatten myself out when I need to be flat. I’m a blank canvas upon which other people write what they need to write. I can be used and tossed aside. I don’t have the sharpness of scissors or the power of a rock. I’m crumpled, torn, tattered.
One day I’ll become something of value – a sheet of music, a piece of poetry. I’ll erase the scribbly mess and have a lasting purpose.
I’m still late mommy. We’re facing down another school year and I’m setting records for tardy pick ups and drop offs. Getting it all together for lacrosse games, play dates, family get-togethers: what’s the flipping secret people?! Either tell it to me straight or stop acting like you have it all together because. it’s. exhausting. To all the scattered and tired moms: I salute you! And for identification purposes, I’ll own late mommy. I struggle yet I persist! But seriously, send me your tips, it’s getting old. There’s got to be a better version of me in here somewhere…
I’m fascinated by how people’s minds work…here’s a glimpse of mine, represented on a whiteboard:
Calendar dates, menus, chores, To Do list, shopping list. If you look closely you’ll see that my cell phone bill is $40 per month so apparently I need to comparison shop that a bit. Don’t forget the TV and screen time patrol which, as a full time Device Detective I use to investigate all manner of Netflix episodes, vlogs, YouTube videos, musical.ly live feeds, twitter hastags, insta posts, e-book selections, Spotify playlists and Amazon purchases. And you will get fined for non-compliance. May the odds be ever in your favor.
Or both? A blogger conundrum. I like you guys but I haven’t decided how many warts to reveal. There’s a line where it becomes TMI. But there’s also the celebration of honesty and authenticity. So to navigate the middle
ground…maybe I’ll just stick to the comical, that perfect balance of real and pretend minus the vulnerability. So without further ado…a guy walks into a bar and says “ouch!” Thank you I’ll be here all week!!
My quest to make sense of myself often leads to dead ends, but not this time – this time I found a real thing that describes me, and it even has an impressive-sounding name: Executive function disorder. Not to make light of it since I’m sure people who have been diagnosed with it wouldn’t appreciate my light-hearted attitude, but you have to admit it sounds cool. Something the CEO of a pharmaceutical company would claim to have right before taking a sabatical in Cancun. Executive function disorder can be linked with ADD but they aren’t one and the same. People with EFD have trouble ordering their tasks and often don’t know how to begin: that’s me. No matter how hard they try, they stumble around when it’s time to start a task: also me. I’m still reading up on how this gets treated (fingers crossed for an easy fix, maybe an EFD cocktail…) Kidding aside, it’s nice to know there are other scatterbrains like me out there, and who knows, maybe they get together regularly in a semi-organized fashion!
I suppose it’s time to come clean and admit that my procrastinating “ability” isn’t really that astounding. It doesn’t enhance my existence. It mostly makes life difficult for the people I care about. When something is so ingrained in your personality, it’s hard to recognize it as a defect. It’s taken a while to get to this point, beyond the “accept me for who I am” mantra. Time to get down to brass tacks, (#mostfavoriteexpression.) I’m ready to cooperate with the universe to get things done – introducing Unprocrastinating method 1.0: Don’t break the chain. You may have heard of it – apparently it’s a motivational technique credited to Jerry Seinfeld, and the beauty is in the simplicity: you decide on a goal, buy a calendar and giant marker, and put an X on the calendar for every day you work on achieving the goal. For example, if I want to motivate myself to clean my house more efficiently, I might put my X on the calendar every time I spend three 20-minute periods on chores every day. I would be *winning*. The only problem: I bought my calendar and giant marker 5 weeks ago and still haven’t so much as removed the shrink-wrap.
Perfectionism? Fear of failure? Laziness? Busyness? Overly optimistic? All bad excuses. Just do it? Doesn’t work. I think I need a personal life coach, (is that a thing?)
I’m not naturally introspective, so the notion that my super power (aka “procrastination”) is linked to depression is a hard pill to swallow. This articleclaims the two are related. Damn. The good news is that this article says both conditions are common and considered *symptoms* of a deeper problem rather than disorders in and of themselves. I suppose that’s not exactly “good” news for me, but if it sheds light on my situation I’m happy to delve deeper. Depression/anxiety/procrastination are all indicators that one’s relational/emotional needs aren’t being met.
“Anxiety and depression are symptoms of psychosocial needs and threats. They should NOT be, first and foremost, considered alien feelings that need to be eliminated or fixed, any more than we would treat pain from a broken arm, coldness and hunger primarily with pills that takes away the feelings, as opposed to fixing the arm, getting warmer or feeding the hungry individual.” – Gregg Henriques, PhD
So if I’m moping around and putting off the ever-present mountain of laundry, apparently it’s time to evaluate my relationships. Am I making the time to hang out with fellow moms? Is there something that needs to be resolved with my significant other or my parents? I try to avoid relationship-think, but if I’m always getting caught in the “poor me” trap then my super power isn’t doing me any good. Time to clean house and put the “relate” into my relationships…I’ll start on that tomorrow.
I’ll admit that, like any superpower, procrastination has its limits. Speeding through a task fueled only by a rush of adrenaline is a skill only a select few should undertake. It’s not for the faint of heart, or for the logical of heart. People like my long -suffering husband, a model of logical thinking. Spock pales in comparison. Yet somehow we’ve survived last-minute packing, late bill fees, and speed-demon clean-ups on Easter morning. Is the idea of getting caught part of the thrill?
There has to be an evolutionary function for procrastination, the opposite but equally effective version of “the early bird gets the worm.” The late bird gets a discounted worm? The late bird gets to sleep in and find an equally tasty worm because the bird works better under pressure? Procrastination is secretly a superpower. My superpower is being able to hide several loads of laundry and sweep up stray crumbs in between doorbell rings. Impressive, right? And I always win the mini van trash relay that happens right before Gramma gets in the front seat. No longer a Last Minute Lucy, from now on I’ll be known as Entropy Girl, Defender of the Disorganized!
Kids say the darndest things…we’ve addressed my punctuality problem but have I mentioned the frequent bouts of absent-mindedness? One episode involved my cute-as-a-button 4-year-old and it also happened to be her very first week of school. Ever. As she waited expectantly for her mommy to arrive at dismissal time I sat at the desk of my part-time job lost in my own universe, unaware that her wide little eyes were scanning the parking lot for mommy to arrive and take her home, away from her toe-tapping teacher and vacant classroom. The instant my phone rang I snapped back to reality. My heart sank when I realized my mistake. I squealed into the parking lot and the moment I reached the front office was the moment I was christened “late mommy!” by my then wild-eyed daughter. Not my finest hour and not forgotten to this day. Silver lining: a kick-ass blog name.