On Procrastination, Phone Phobia, and Persistence


On Procrastination, Phone Phobia, and Persistence

I am here to tell you that I have the cleanest refrigerator in North Carolina. My cats can attest to the fact that their litter box sparkles. And you may have guessed why. Procrastination – cleaning out the fridge, scrubbing the litter box, delights, compared to tackling what I am putting off.

Oh, yes, I do make lists, pesky tasks, just waiting to be x’ed out. But there they remain. Not too much of an exaggeration that I have spent more time and energy writing and re-writing those same words on my to-do list than it would take just to do them. Every time that I manage to actually complete one of those burdensome obligations, I tell myself – see, just do it. It takes up way more space in your brain to put it off.

And, once again, I admit to myself that these undertakings are not onerous, not in the least. I seem to be able to manage doing those types of duties. I may not enjoy them, but at least I do get them done. No, it is so often those tasks that should be easy, even enjoyable. Like using the phone.

I confess. I have major phone phobia. And it is interesting, and comforting, that, as I have admitted to this, I’ve found a cadre of fellow phone-phobics. We acknowledge to being willing to drive miles, some of us say up to a hundred, to see, rather than call, a friend. A friend, mind you, not someone whose presence, voice or otherwise, would cause consternation and/or dismay. We are phobic about calling our friends. Now we all know this makes no sense. No matter. We remain phobic, grateful for texts, emails, and Facebook Messenger. Anything rather than an actual call to arrange a time to meet – coffee, lunch, dinner, it doesn’t matter.

I have been known to threaten, when I haven’t received a reply to one of my electronic messages “Don’t make me call you.” This is guaranteed to elicit an almost-instant response.

So as I sit here at my desk, with my to-do list, I have highlighted those tasks that I am putting off. Two involve calls to friends. I know I’ll feel better after I do this. I know that.

But I think I’ll try email. Or maybe I’ll call and they won’t pick up so I can leave a voicemail. I can do that. Or maybe I’ll just put this on my list to do tomorrow.


On Procrastination


On Procrastination —

Once again I failed to heed my own advice: “Just sit down and write it. A shitty-first-draft, that’s all you need to knock out. It will take much less time and effort than you are using to put it off.”

I know that. I mean I really know that. But, once again, I stewed, I cleaned the sunporch, even tackled ironing that has sat for so many months that the design of the basket that holds it had become part of the cloth’s design. I’d written in my head, at night before I fell asleep, always promising to get up at 4:50 a.m. the next morning and get to it as soon as the coffee kicks in. What I wrote, in my head, was lyrical. I made it even better, again, in my head, as I sat for my morning meditation. But to actually put words to paper? Not a chance. I obviously hadn’t suffered enough.

Well, this morning, waiting in the doctor’s office, that sweet spot arrived. I pulled out pen, found a few scraps of paper, and wrote away. Now it’s not as good as my midnight musings, it falls far short of my meditational rewrite, but it’s a start.

I feel relieved, happy, brighter. Now if only I can manage to take my own advice the next time. And maybe rent a small space in the doctor’s waiting room….

Another Sunday, http://www.cynthiastrauff.com