Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Oh, to be torn twixt love and duty






ROSEMARY: I guess I'm in a musical mood this week. I was going to call this post "It's procrastination, I know..." (please sing to the tune of "It was fascination, I know...") but this line from a favorite song is even more appropriate.

Sunday I moved containers around the house - should the odd-numbered assortments all have the same color pots or should I mix the terracotta and the stone? Can't tell until you've moved them all, can ya? Yesterday, I spent twenty minutes trying to fish a frog out of my pool because I was convinced he'd die from chlorine poisoning if I didn't. Of course I've been getting up at 5AM to watch the French Open live because it's just not the same thing to watch it on a tape delay.

All this in the same week that I have a pile of work to do.

I've always been a crammer. Tests, papers. I seem to like the heightened energy that comes from the ticking clock ala High Noon. Remember that movie - where Gary Cooper only has an hour to get ready before Frank Miller and his boys come after him? And he should be leaving on his honeymoon with Grace Kelly. Oh, to be torn twixt love and duty.

But I'm always torn twixt love and duty. I want to take a walk with my husband and dog, not really go over my last set of edits - again. like Guido Contini in Nine, I want to be here, but I want to be there.

So I indulge myself and then stay up until the wee hours doing the thing I should have done during working hours like normal people.

JAN: Sure the French Open is the same if you watch it at night. As long as you ignore the news all day, and the little ticker tape thing along the bottom that tells you who has won so far. But back to procrastination (I'm even putting off addressing procrastination, how's that for procrastination?) as a journalist, I was bred on that insane-adrenaline thing you get when trying to make a deadline, so my preferred method of procrastination is to delay the really important stuff and concentrate on the irrelevant details.

And for the record, Ro, I don't think that procrastination on the weekends counts as procrastination. Only WORK WEEK procrastination counts in my rulebook.






HANK: My procrastination is doing little things. Need to close the closet door--but Oh, I'd better put all the short-sleeved tee-shirts hanging in there together. Maybe I should check the white ones to see if they're getting dingy. Weren't there other tee-shirts upstairs? Whoa, I forgot I had those shoes upstairs to take to the shoe guy. So I don't forget, I'll put them by the dining room door . Oh, gosh, the dining room table has all those papers on it I was supposed to file. I'd better do that. Wow, look at these files! They're so out of order. I'd better organize a bit. Awww...look at this card from my grandson Elijah, I haven't talked to him for a while. I'd better go call....

What's your favorite
method of procrastination?

13 comments:

edithmax said...

At the risk of sounding just as ADD-beset as Hank (!), I avoid the work by what I call puttering and then getting more distracted by more puttering. I go out to hang the laundry on the line. Then I pull just a couple of weeds. That one flowerpot is looking dry - it won't take but a minute to water it. And so on.

And this on my one day I devote to writing! Which I do because it makes me happy. It's a puzzle.

Edith

Hallie Ephron said...

I love Jan's "Delay the really important stuff and concentrate on the irrelevant details." YES!

I'd probably have made a terrible journalist. I like to get hard things done really early, then tinker with them endlessly. Impossible deadlines make me freeze up. And I'm useless after 9 PM.

NoraA said...

To be quite honest, I can waste the entire day just sitting at my computer switching back and forth between FB, and Twitter.

In the meantime chores get left undone, TBR for review books pile up, and the house stays unclean. The computer is most definitely EVIL.

Sheila Connolly said...

Let's see--yesterday I had to keep checking on my cats, who were pursuing a mouse. Only I wasn't sure which side I was rooting for. No sign of mouse today--dead or alive.

I'm so glad someone else hangs up t-shirts. I did spend time inventorying my historic t-shirt collection. Egads, that tie-dye one goes back to a flea market in 1992? Nice trip down memory lane.

Deborah Crombie said...

Hank, I was going to say that's not procrastination--that's ADD!

Personally, I have the attention span of a gnat, so I sympathize with that one. AND I procrastinate. Why is it, I ask, that I put off writing, when it's the thing I like best in the world?

A couple of reasons, maybe. One, my brain doesn't really kick into gear until about five in the afternoon, no matter how early I get up. From then, I would write straight through until the wee hours--except I'd starve. In my house, my husband does not the dinner make.

And two, I think there's some resistance to the scariness of writing. I know that once I really get into a book, I'm consumed with it, and it's a bit like being taken over by a many-headed monster. Weird and exhilarating, but unsettling.

At least those are my excuses.

Deborah Crombie said...

And my biggest excuse is that NOTHING IN MY LIFE EVER GOES ACCORDING TO PLAN!

I make a nice to-do list, a la Mary Jane Maffini, then, poof. Today it's major plumbing repairs, picking up meds for the dogs from the vet, etc, etc, etc.

Grrr.

Alafair Burke said...

I also go nuts on FB and Twitter. And I'm finding today that I can't stop obsessing over the Duffer Awards. (Have you voted yet? Today is Most Like to Marry His Ex-wife. Vote at www.alafairburke.com)

Jarvis said...

Enough with procrastination. Yes, you're able to hammer things faster but the quality suffers in the end.

Jungle Red Writers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jan Brogan said...

Hanging up t-shirts?

You know, since cotton wrinkles a lot worse than most other fabrics, it makes some sense.

Better go rearrange my closet, since I've got a deadline to meet.

Roberta Isleib said...

Twitter, yes,a wonderful time-suck. And then reading blogs, and looking for things tweetable:).

And yesterday, because my proposal is due today, I decided I simply could not live with the huge mess of papers that's been collecting in our bedroom. Had to be sorted right then...

And as Hallie knows, I'm certainly no good after 9, more like 6. Deb, I salute your ability to work into the night...

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