Passing Down the Procrastination Gene
April 28, 2009
I have a confession to make. (Don't judge me before you hear me out!) I am a procrastinator. I know. You are horrified to hear such a thing from me but it is true. If I am anything with you, it is honest. Therefore, I felt it was time to come clean. (I should have told you weeks ago. I realize that.)
It seems I tend to be eternally late with everything. (Christmas cards should go out before the 24th of December?! Really?) In fact, I am terrible with deadlines. (Shhh! Do not tell my editor.) I count on my friends, co-workers and Google Calendar to remind me when I have an upcoming appointment, project or deadline.
It was always a strike against me in school. Yes, I was the student who waited until the last minute to get her work done. Thankfully, I was able to maintain an A average in spite of my irresponsibility. Besides, if I missed a deadline, I was the only one who suffered back then. To be honest, the adrenaline rush of making sure I met the deadline usually resulted in better work and more concentration on the project.
Then, I had children.
Suddenly there are reports to be written, science projects to build and permission slips to sign. There are meetings and conferences to remember. Not to mention the fact the all three children have to be on time to school. Every day!
You would think that by the time my oldest was 15 years old, my bad habits would have been turned around. You would think by now I would have learned a system that will keep me on track, on time and on schedule. That is not exactly what has happened. It seems my habits have in fact worsened over the years. But truly, it isn’t entirely my fault. There was a time when I only had to remember my own information and deadlines. Now I need to remember the information of five people. That is a lot of information to try to keep track of when I wasn’t doing such a great job when it was a solo mission. My brain becomes extremely overloaded. I honestly live in fear that I will forget to wake up one of the kids and take them to school or I will forget to pick one of them up.
Many mornings I have awakened to the choral strains of, "Mooooommmmm! I need my [fill in the blank of item that has to be completed, signed or purchased by the time school starts that morning]! Where is it? I HAVE to have it right now, Mommmmm!"
Of all of the traits I wanted to pass down to my children, this was not one of them. Intelligence? Check. Integrity? Check. Procrastination? Not so much.
When I look at my children and see eyes so similar to my own or when I notice one of them sets their mouth in the same quirky way that I do when they are concentrating -- well, it warms my heart.
When I hear them screeching from down the hall that they have once again procrastinated and are running on adrenaline and a prayer -- it doesn't so much warm my heart as make me shudder. Really, at times like that there is only one thing I can do...
...blame their father.