Why We Should Procrastinate

There are about 15 things I should be doing right now instead of sitting here listening to music and relaxing.  

The problem is, when I start one of them I think…well sure I knocked off this part of my ‘to do’ list but what about all these others?  And it just reminds me that I should have been doing these other things since Ellie went down for her nap (Instead of gorging on watermelon and reading my newest Kindle romance) otherwise how will I ever catch up?  

I should be working on the HOA application for the new fence.  Or weeding the garden.  Or organizing tours of the preschools Ellie may go to next fall.  Or reading my books on how not to procrastinate because they are, after all, due back at the library tomorrow.


I could blame it on the big belly I have to lug around or the fact that my feet are starting to swell by the end of the day but the truth is…I’m kinda lazy.  I don’t see why I should START doing something that will be perfectly happy put off until tomorrow.  Or even better the day after that.  ‘I’ll do it sometime this weekend’ is my favorite lie to myself.

When Bill and I first started dating that was something I really admired about him, his ‘get up and go’.  If something needed to be done he just…did it.  I was stupefied.

I could always find other things I’d rather be doing.  (Cake, ice-cream, a good book.)  Or hot tea and a good book.  Or chips and a B rated horror movie from the 80’s.  Or a good old fashioned nap.  

I would watch him run around all weekend, amazed at his energy and discipline while he knocked off the items on HIS to do list one after the other.  MY to do list?  Well I can always write that out tomorrow.  Or the day after that.  You know, sometime this weekend for sure.

Still, there is something to be said for NOT running around like a total maniac all the time just so you can cross off something on an arbitrary list YOU YOURSELF made.  For instance – Ellie and I came home from grocery shopping and I left the bag on the counter because she had to go potty right away.  

I took her to potty and when she was done she asked me to have a picnic with her in her room.  I thought about the grocery bag full of stuff to put away, and the supper I needed to make, and the dishes I needed to wash and I thought….there is nothing in that grocery bag that will go bad in the next 10 minutes.  So I sat down with her in her room, in a big swath of sunlight pouring through her window, and had a picnic with her.  Toby was there dozing in the sun too.  After a couple of minutes she looked up at me and smiled that beautiful smile and said…”I love you mommy.”

And I thought…to do lists be damned.  THIS is what I would have missed if I had been so attached to ‘getting things done’.  You think you can just pick up a moment with a child ‘when the dishes are done’.  Or ‘after I finish making supper’.  But the truth is you can’t.  Not THAT moment, that ONE moment once it is used can never be retrieved.  It is gone.  

But we live in a practical world do we not?  And bellies need to be fed and backs need to be clothed and life needs to be lived.  I know.

I think if I can remember to stop and slow down and watch for those moments where I can make a real connection with Ellie instead of running around mindlessly doing day to day chores…I will feel like a success as not just a mom but as a human being.  Even if it’s only for a few minutes at a time.

I don’t want to judge my life based on how effective I was, but how connected.  How in tune I was with the hearts that share this space with me.  I don’t have any evidence that this will make me a happier or more peaceful person except that…it does.

And all that was quite a grand and lovely sentiment except…Ellie is sleeping right now.  So.  I guess it’s time to take a look at that To Do List and…ah screw it I’m going to go eat ice cream and finish my book.  

“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done the day after tomorrow as well.”  Mark Twain.

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