“Lacks follow-through.” I’m not sure when or where I first heard this phrase applied to me, but it was likely in an academic context. Possibly in a work review. Whatever the case, I feel like I’ve just pulled the sheet off the biggest, ugliest, skeleton-elephant-in-my-room (forgive the mixed metaphor!) and now it’s sitting there in all its scary awfulness making me quake in my seat.
But ask anyone who knows me well, and they will probably agree with me (even if they do try to soften the blow by throwing out some encouraging positive aspects of my character): while my life is replete with good intentions, I have pretty universally sucked at following through on quite a few of them.
I’m picturing a clever little artistic representation I did of the human brain back in 11th grade, using a silhouette of the head of Calvin of Calvin & Hobbes fame to surround my artwork. I’d learned to draw him pretty well, and thought my teacher would enjoy my injection of humor into a serious assignment–since I did also include all the required elements. Turns out he thought it was great! He scribbled a nice note on my paper (which I’ve kept in a binder somewhere), and I felt my effort had been recognized. My score on that assignment? Zero. He also wrote “too bad it was late!”–a phrase that has haunted me all my life.
I’m also picturing my master’s degree certificate. Funny story. The date on it is 2006. I did actually enroll in the required courses back in 2006. But I didn’t complete those courses until 2012, just weeks before my alma mater (a victim of the failing economy) shut its doors permanently. Had I not finally done the work (thanks largely to my enduring husband’s prodding), I would have no degree, and my transcript from that now-bygone institution would read “No Credit” for the two courses I didn’t quite finish.
With this current project, Mind Organization for Moms, or M.O.M. for short, I’m following roughly the same route. Eager beginnings, followed by distraction after distraction (some completely legitimate and some ridiculously silly), followed by fizzle. However, in mulling over this post–wanting to track the progress I HAVE made–I realized that even if I didn’t do another step of this process, it’s already benefited me hugely. Here’s a quick breakdown of what comes to mind:
- Cleared my email inbox (and my mind!) by honing in on actionable versus non-actionable messages, taking it down from hundreds unread to less than 30 per day (I love Gmail filters)
- Identified the various “inboxes” in my life so that I could move away from losing important information/tasks in the black hole that is my handbag, for instance!
- Created a sweet little workspace in our room that is GOING to be the hub of this upcoming system, complete with a place for everything… just need to move on to getting everything in its place!
Granted, it’s taken me six months just to get THAT far, but as I skimmed through photos from that time period looking for relevant ones to post, I discovered some beautiful images of this life we’ve been living and had to smile wide. Christmas, our second son’s 3rd birthday, travels to visit family, excursions with friends, lots of good food, good fun, and sweet moments. Suddenly I didn’t feel like time had been wasted exactly 🙂 (The photo below was taken about a week after I wrote my last blog post; our second son had gotten up early that morning and went to explore the pantry all by himself! Now we keep it shut with bungee cords…)
So, while I’m tempted to explore the motivations and inner workings of my psyche that propel me through these bouts of almost foolhardy procrastination, to get to the bottom of it once and for all and solve the real issues, I have to acknowledge: that act in itself is a procrastination technique. And I’ve fallen for it (or thrown myself into it) far too many times not to recognize it. Instead, I will simply acknowledge the very real anxiety I’m feeling right now at the thought of tackling M.O.M. Assignment #4: Collecting ALL the “Stuff” (including digital tasks and a “mind sweep”–shivers), and then JUST GET ON WITH IT as my blessed husband would say! So here’s to getting over myself and getting on with it! Will hopefully post another update sooner than later as to how this has gone…