Procrastination Revisited

I’ve learned something since the last time I wrote about procrastination.  What I learned is that procrastination is multi tiered.  My idea of procrastination is that one continually puts off a task in favor of idleness or of busy frustration.  What I’ve found as well is that procrastination can take the form of Herculean effort that fools one into believing that necessary work is getting done.  In reality it’s true that some work is getting done, just not the truly necessary tasks that remains on one side patiently tapping their feet.  It’s even worse if there is no actual deadline.

Of the things that should have been priorities were bookbinding, this newsletter that I’m writing on the actual due-date, and cooking and freezing food for the Columbia Food and Arts festival.  What I’ve been doing instead is tweaking my apartment for beauty (in spite of the fact that someone comes in every day to do that,) talking to the plants and preparing shopping lists, and doing laundry.

So my apartment is beautiful, the stacks of white towels in the bathroom are decorator perfect in their folded precision, and the long shopping list sits ready for my Aide to go to the market to bring me back the stuff.  My plants are happy and robust.

What I’m left with are the more daunting tasks that require skills that are well within my ability; I just don’t use them as often. Laundry, on the other hand, is an activity that gives me great satisfaction and does not demand too many of my intellectual skills. The shopping list is also not really such a huge chore when you get right down to it.  I just make it a big chore. Consider that I have a shopping list book that permits me to look back at other lists to help me to remember the Tabasco Sauce.

I should be fair to myself and acknowledge that there are extenuating circumstances.  What needs to be remembered is that there are often extenuating circumstances that we must over come in order to move
forward.

I’ve gotten myself partly back on track: A. with the completion of this article, and B. with the completion of several volumes of binding.  I continue to wait for the resolution of the extenuating circumstances that will enable me to be 100% complete (if that is ever possible with art, for we are always second guessing ourselves).  In the mean time perhaps I should just get comfortable with the extenuating circumstances.

As published in the June 2014 issue of "St. Peter's Press," the monthly newsletter of St. Peter's Presbyterian Church in Spencertown, New York.