I never used to procrastinate. Never.

Okay, maybe sometimes. Like during tax season.

photo: John Morgan on flikr

But that was about it.

I used to take pity on the poor schmucks who would put things off. I felt sorry for them. I felt empathy for their plight. It must be hard, I thought, to have something hanging over your head. Like mistletoe.

photo: ishouldbefoldinglaundry on flikr

Actually, having mistletoe over your head isn’t bad at all. Unless you’re standing next to someone you don’t like. Then it’s a problem. A big problem. So that’s what I meant. Procrastination is like having mistletoe hanging over your head when you’re standing next to an Object Of Anti-Affection (OOAA).

Anyway.

Back to procrastination. (One might say that I’m procrastinating on getting to the subject. But I’m not. I’m digressing. There’s a difference. A big difference. I’d tell you about it now, but I don’t have time. I’ll tell you about it later.)

So. Where was I?

Oh yes. Procrastination. Let’s see . . . .

I never used to procrastinate. It wasn’t in me. My bones were not procrastinating bones. My blood was not procrastinating blood.

Not only that, I actually liked doing the things that other people put off.

Things like cleaning the house

photo: Julie G on flikr

and doing the laundry

photo: Horia Varlan on flikr

and taking out the garbage

photo: Natalie Maynor on flikr

and balancing my checkbook.

photo: adotmanda on flikr

Chores such as these gave me a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment of duty. It feels good to have a clean house and a balanced checkbook. What’s not to love about that?

And then. (You knew that was coming, didn’t you? I totally set you up for the “and then,” didn’t I? Plus there’s the title of this post, which implies that there will be some serious procrastination going in this blog. Given the attack of it, and all.)

Where was I? Oh yes. And then. . . .

And then, at age 39, I started writing fiction. The minute I began this new endeavor, everything changed. Suddenly, nothing was as interesting to me as writing. Suddenly, for the first time in my life, I became I a Serious, Hard-Core Procrastinator (SHCP). 

(I’m not sure why I’m suddenly resorting to capitalization and initialisms in this post. I’ll have to think about it. I’ll get back to you on that.)

Gone was the perpetually-clean-and-tidy house. Gone was the always-emptied garbage can. Gone was the perfectly-fluffed-and-folded laundry.

And my checkbook? Before I started writing, I was the type of person who would balance my checkbook regularly. Every month. Once the fiction bug hit, I started “balancing” my accounts once a year, at best.

I give “balancing” the nifty quotes of air because when you only attempt such an act once a year, things aren’t exactly “balanced” when it’s over. At best, there is a crude approximation of balance that’s not really balance at all, but is instead a lumpy chaotic mess pretending to be a smooth sea of stability.

photo: Andy Carter on flikr

I wish I could tell you that this Sudden Attack Of Procrastination (SAOP) came to an end, and that I am no longer plagued by its effects. This, dear reader, is not the case. I am still an SHCP. (Do you remember what this means? If not, please scan back to resuscitate your memory. That’s okay. I’ll wait here.)

The reason for my current SHCP status is no longer the writing. Or, it’s not only the writing. It’s now other things too – like playing music

photo: Will Bakx

and walking in nature

photo: docent-joyce on flikr

and hanging out with my sweetheart

photo: Lisl Christie

and going to the movies.

photo: Joelk75 on flikr

My life seems to be on a trajectory, a trajectory of bliss. Somehow, each and every day, I become more and more inclined to only do those things that bring me joy. And the more this happens, the less inclined I am to do those things that do not animate my heart.

The good news is that my life is now richer and fuller as a result. The bad news is that some of the things I procrastinate about still need to get done.

By me.

The bad news that’s really good news (stick with me here) is that I almost always feel a sense of accomplishment when the things-that-have-to-get-done actually do get done. 

So it’s not like I don’t ultimately enjoy everything I do. It’s just for some of the things, I like to wait to experience the enjoyment.

Maybe that’s the reframe here: some things are just so special, I like to wait as long as possible so I can savor their specialness.

(Did you buy that? If not, wait a bit. It might take a while to really sink in.)

A lot of my other posts have had a moral, a lesson, a tidy answer to the dilemma I was facing. Not this one. I’m an SHCP. That’s the way it is. My procrastination habit seems to be a byproduct of my current life of bliss. And if that’s the case, it’s worth it.

So, for now, I am a blissed-out SHCP.

If anything changes, I’ll let you know.

Really.

I mean, I’m sure I’ll get around to it.

Eventually.

What do you procrastinate about? Tell me now!

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