Patti Edmon Altered Attic: The Ultimate in Procrastination

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Ultimate in Procrastination

A few years ago I was on the back deck and heard my neighbor's smoke alarm go off; her husband headed in from the back yard, and in his unique, curmudgeonly style, muttered, "Dinner's done." I don't think Jeanette really used the smoke detector for a cooking timer but it cracked me up and I've thought about it numerous times when I've pushed time to the limit, or just past, as is my custom.
Taxes, swaps, just about anything with a deadline triggers that dreaded response, I'll get to it next, next week, and then, it's time and I'm cramming, just like I always did with work projects when I still ran the business and school before that. 
I read a book on the subject once, albeit a week after my friend asked for it back, and it was full of truths. We avoid making a decision fearing it will be the wrong one, we are avoiding the issue or its consequence; seldom are we lazy, just afraid of failure - or success. That made a lot of sense to me at the time. I'm certainly not lazy though I have great difficulty in the discipline department. 
When my son was being evaluated for ADD, the psychologist tested me and actually cracked up when he scored the results. Apparently there was no life guard at the gene pool (credit Dr. Stephen Croley for that wisecrack). So, is that a big secret? Aren't many of us creatives ADD, procrastinators, outside-the-box thinkers? Of course. I think it's fairly common if not normal.
I've gotten better - I no longer pay late fees, don't have utilities cut off or the feds sniffing at the door. But, I have to admit, I've transgressed for the third time in twenty years now, and I'm so mad at myself that I decided a full-blown confession was appropriate. I use the state trooper as a notice to get my car tags renewed. 
Did I know my registration expired? Last May? Yes, of course. Then, when our bookkeeper generously offered to go down to the County Clerk's office for me, I couldn't find the my registration. I think it's with the book on clutter that I borrowed, but that's another story. So, I'd have to go in person, show my ID and get a duplicate, pay the dues and get on with it; except that time went by and I always had a good reason why not today.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving we were returning from my husband's cousin's house an hour's drive south of here. My DH was driving, and as we passed the cop on the side of the road I had a sinking feeling. Yep. He was a very polite young man, nice even, and he gave me - a law-abiding citizen with only one traffic violation in thirty years - plenty of time. My court date, Monday, January 12. At least I had the holidays. 
I went downtown earlier this week and took care of business. You'd think in the electronic age, when we can chat online with friends thousands of miles away, it would be possible to scan the documentation and fax it to a clerk at the courthouse who could check it off and file it away. Nope. So, Monday morning at 9:00 I'll go to the courthouse in Richmond, thirty miles south of here, show them just how ornery I am, and spend three times as long as it took to get the stupid sticker in the first place. The amazing thing? I did the same thing several years ago and, did I mention this is my third time? Let's hope it's charmed, or that, at the very least, I've learned my lesson!

7 comments:

Cassie said...

You are not alone. I admit, I have done the very same thing. I vowed to not to it again. I did it again. Good luck with it!!!

My Vintage Studio said...

Hi Patti.
Your post is a great read for a Friday. I set here reading blogs when I need to do laundry...and a few other things. During the 14 month process of getting tested for everything under the sun...they too tested me of ADD. Hope you have a great and safe weekend. Hugs, Sharon

Karin said...

Oh you make me laugh :D ain't being human an adventure?! YOu are such a good story teller - thanks for sharing your unique you-ness!
xoxo K

Lucy said...

I agree with Karin, you're a wonderful story teller. Love hearing about your life and recognizing a lot of myself in the words that you share :)

Summer Gypsy said...

Hi Patti,
Well, you know that I am the world's greatest procrastinator. As I get older, it gets worse. Good luck with the paperwork!!! I just hate details, don't you???
:)Marilyn

Karen Mireau, Founder of Bio.Graphia said...

I've been wanting to reply to this very timely post, but I'm afraid I've been putting it off. Ha ha. Karen

Tani said...

What Karen M. said... :D

Since you're so good at story-telling, which you really are - I can't want to hear about when the feds were sniffing at the door...
xo

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