I do it, and I do it big. Here's to not forgetting about it.

Posts tagged ‘Procrastination’

The Death of Summer 

Well, summer has once again come to an end. Every June, I have said to myself, “I know what I’m going to do! I am going to work a little each week of summer to ensure that I have the smoothest start of the school year possible.”  

 Yeah. Didn’t happen. 

I’m your classic procrastinator. Most times, I would rather not act simply because I’m fearful that the outcome will not be what I feel it should be. I generally will not act until the fear of the consequences of not acting is greater than my fear of failure. When it comes to the beginning of the school year, I end up scrambling to prepare because I fear being an ineffective teacher more than I fear being an imperfect one. 

I frustrate myself. When am I going to live more like the Christ follower I am? I am living a life of fear until I absolutely must be faithful…or else. It frightens me to think of how many blessings I must miss, especially given that a life of procrastination does not lend itself to real, peaceful rest. There are things you just don’t plan for, like 2 family deaths within 48 hours of each other, one happening the morning you return to work. 

Regarding work – it has to work out, heh. God has been both faithful and gracious and I will do my absolute best to be the music teacher my students deserve and give them a great year. Because this: 

“The LORD is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭103:8‬ ‭NASB‬‬

I’ve squandered more time than I care to think about and received some stark reminders this week that there will come a time when there is no more time. This first world life of mine can be scarily deceptive. Every day is a fight to remember why I must continually submit my will to His. 

It may sound weird, but the two funerals I will attend in as many weeks make that fight easier. Death makes it very difficult to run from reality. I am hugging everyone around me more tightly and was able to take an important step today that I’ve been putting off for much too long. 

My relationships with the spawns of Adonis have been good, but one has made me more nervous than the other. The Big One is more like her father, who won’t tell you he needs things but when you offer, or just show up and do it, you know he needed it. Lil One, mercifully, requires a *tad* less intuition. I reached out to Big today and told her I would see her tomorrow at her godfather’s funeral, and she said something that helped me be brave, and I quote: 

“You’re da best Joan. Thanks for being a great future step-mom.”

If that doesn’t give me hope for a solid relationship with lots of room for growth, I don’t know what will. So I took a leap and told her I loved her and got the I love you return! Mind you, I had made the decision to love her as soon as I knew of her existence, and have liked her since I’ve met her, but I’ve been sitting on it because I didn’t want her to reject me, quite frankly, or see me as trying to replace her mom. I’ve simply deferred to less explicit ways of showing love by checking in with her, hugging, etc. I look forward to being there for Big One and telling her in person! 

The death of a loved one always sucks. You wonder if you told them the right things. Did the right things for them. Death, however, also brings rest for those who no longer must fight. I hope and pray that I continue to die to myself, that I conquer fears more quickly and live the life of faith that will enable me to experiences the Lord’s blessings to the fullest and help others on their journeys to do the same. 

The Future Is Now

This girl has been in panic mode, y’all. Since my recital ended, I have allowed the beginning of the school year and the worst decision I’ve made since St. Anthony’s to suck the joy from my life. As a perfectionist, if I miss any training session for any reason, I tend to let it snowball. “Why bother? I missed one. Might as well miss the next one.” I also am a big time procrastinator…”Lesson plans – they can wait, right?” I think the latter plays into the former, in that I fear falling short so much that I simply choose not to do whatever it is I’m supposed to do. Punk.

As I look in life’s rearview mirror, I see some pretty neat stuff. My first three years in the classroom have flown by. Races keep freaking me out and then boom – there’s a string of finish lines. I look forward and I see

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Oh, dear.

Past success = future pressure. While I’m still young, I’m not quite a novice teacher any longer. It may be my first 70.3 but it feels disingenuous to say I’m new to racing. I should know some things; otherwise, registering for this would be a death wish. Coachie wouldn’t let me do that, right?! If I don’t keep getting better that pretty much makes me a loser.

So I’ve been back at work, pre-planning, freaking the hell out. “OMG these people are just going to keep expecting more. More. MORE!” What if I don’t have any more? Ironically, I’ve been feeling more panicked than I had as a first-year teacher, as I logically reminded myself that it was silly to expect perfection from a beginner. It makes complete sense to demand perfection from a fourth-year teacher, of course. I should know EVERYTHING. I’ve been grumbling, wondering if I should be in education, music – adulthood! You know, all those things in which I’m inadequate.

And then – I got my class rosters. All 48257204740572 of them. #specialistlife

As I started seeing the familiar names, I began to smile. I’m excited to get and give as many hugs as I have rosters. Suddenly, I remembered what I am going to ask them to do. “Try something new. Suck at it. Believe you can get better. Keep going. If you still suck, keep going.” Not because you’ll get in trouble with mom or dad or Ms. Lady J, but because you have no idea of what you’re capable. I want them to see so much success in their rearview mirrors that they forget their missteps. Way better to have missteps than missed opportunities. I will ask them to embrace their present in order to maximize the possibilities for their future. Right. Now.

Welp. Guess I should do the same.

Welp, That’s It. I’m Certifiable.

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I’m thankful that I haven’t reached the level of insanity as the above sentiment has. That doesn’t mean I don’t regularly give it a damn good try.

Something I’ve noticed about myself over many years is that I tend to work best under pressure. Without a well defined goal closely in front of me, I am usually not motivated. I procrastinate like a professional. I’m that person who turned in papers due at 5 PM at 4:59:58. (Don’t want to cut it too close). If you ask me to do something without a deadline or without specified guidelines, it’s probably not getting done.

Meanwhile, I’m coping with this injury and getting back into the shape I know I can be in, and then it occurred to me:

What if I gained 10 pounds on purpose?

I am infinitely more focused than I was a week ago. Now I have something to work toward. Before, my race was a million miles away (it still is, by the way) and I am surrounded by end of the school year festivities. Am I so undisciplined that the idea of responsibly maintaining my weight is not enough to keep me motivated?

Yup.

Also, when I posted on Facebook that I am staging my comeback, I got several likes. Guess who took that to mean her friends think she’s fat. And they let me walk the streets.

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