Monday marked the first day of FREEEEEEDOOOOOOOM!!!! the kids going back to school after their week long spring break. It was nice to have everyone home last week, but I must confess that towards the end of the week all that togetherness was starting to harsh my mellow. Me likes my alone time.
Since it’s now officially springtime and whatnot, I decided it was high time to spruce up the front porch. I’ve been wanting to get some rocking chairs to put out there since we moved into this house. And since we’ve lived here for 8 or 9 years, I thought I would find some over the weekend, thereby missing the official 10 year procrastination mark. Besides, I figured I could enjoy my morning coffee out there for the next couple of weeks before temperatures and humidity rise to levels capable of melting my face off.
After two unsuccessful shopping ventures Friday and Saturday, I finally found two black arirondack rockers at Garden Ridge Pottery on Sunday afternoon. If y’all don’t have a Garden Ridge Pottery in your neighborhood, I suppose the best way to describe it would be Hobby Lobby meets Pier One meet Oriental Trading Company. Sort of. They sell furniture, plants, silk flowers, housewares and “miscellaneous”.
Once we got the chairs home, assembled and out on the porch, it became evident that the new addition didn’t really complete the look I was after. The term “putting lipstick on a pig” comes to mind.
The front door needed refinishing, the windows were dirty, the large pot of dirt out there needed filling and the impulse buy of two ferns from the grocery store needed to be hung. An ambitious project, but I was ready, willing and able to accomplish everything I wanted to accomplish on Monday. I went to bed Sunday night with every intention of getting to work on my project bright and early Monday (mid) morning.
That was before I woke up in-explicitly at midnight and couldn’t get back to sleep. I tried reading. That seemed to work until I turned off my book light, set down my kindle and shut my eyes. Wide awake again. I eventually got up and went to the couch, figuring I would fall asleep watching the television. Three and a half hours later, I was exhausted and a little perplexed why Animal Planet would devote a 30 minute time slot to Mike Tyson and his dream of pigeon racing. But I digress…
My point is (and I do have one), what I wanted to do was get the kids off to school and go back to bed. I was tired, grumpy and completely out of sorts. I didn’t feel like going to Walmart, buying hooks, potting soil and something to put in the pot of dirt. I didn’t feel like doing all that stuff I told myself I was going to do. And honestly, my world wasn’t going to come crashing down if I chose to go back to bed and leave all that stuff for another day.
But you know what?
I went to Walmart.
I refinished the door.
I potted a fern in the pot of dirt.
I hung the ferns.
I even dragged the spring wreath out of the garage.
I did all the things I set out to do. And yes, I was even more exhausted when all was said and done. But sometimes you have to suck it up and do the things you set out to do. You keep your promises and follow through with what you said you were going to do. Even if those promises are made to no one else but you.
Now, to get some flowers planted!
Sometimes especially then.
My first new visitor.
This post is part of the One Word at a Time Blog Carnival: Goals, hosted by my friend Peter Pollock. To read more posts on the topic, please visit him at PeterPollock.com
Showered, hair dried, dressed and ready to tackle my long list of errands. My kids are even dressed and ready to accompany me. An unusually productive start to our usual lazy summer days of late.
I ask my son to accompany the dog outside to take care of business before we crate him and head out the door. (Crate the dog, that is. Not my son. Just saying.)
As soon as I hear the back door open, I hear something else—loud booming thunder, followed by the sounds of large raindrops hitting my office window.
The dog will not pee in the rain. Trust me when I tell you, it’s just not going to happen. He’s stubborn like that.
I now have a decision to make.
Do I crate the dog anyway and run errands in the pouring rain, or do I use this inclement weather as an excuse to get nothing done?
A few hours later…
Today, I chose not to give in to a convenient excuse. A little rain didn’t stop me from the tasks I needed to accomplish. A small victory, but a victory none the less. I fought The Resistance.
I have the ability to procrastinate just about anything I don’t want to do, and even some things I do want to do. But putting things off doesn’t make them go away. And more often than not, completing that task I avoid is far less stressful than knowing that it’s been left undone yet another day.
What are you putting off today?
Better yet, what are you going to tackle today instead of giving in to procrastination?
The Kindness Club
Some of you may remember, and may have even participated in, something called The Ten Dollar Challenge. It was the brain child of Billy Coffey. The idea was to share your blessings during the Christmas season in small ways–committing small, random acts of kindness that might impact people in big ways.
I recently found out about something called The Kindness Club hosted by Susie over at New Day New Lesson. Each week, she provides a writing prompt to encourage us to practice acts of kindness all year round and then share our experiences through either writing a post, leaving a comment, and leaving a link back to your blog.
To celebrate the fact that I’m still busy, I thought I would expound upon my post on Tuesday. Because you see, not only were there frigintastic comments about that dumb book “The Giving Tree”, there were also numerous other tangents and rabbit trails within the confines of the comments section. As a matter of fact, that comments section could provide me with blog fodder for the foreseeable future and beyond.
Of course, no one call pull off a tangent with quite the style and grace as my good friend Beth (aka @HerbieGookins). Here’s her comment from my post, The Creative Process: A Step by Step Guide. (Which if you haven’t read yet, you totally should.):
I missed out yesterday…This sign rules in so many ways. If I let other people see my laundry room, I would totally want one.
I have a box of socks. Call me Dr. Seuss. When the box gets full and no one has clean socks anymore, I recruit my kids and call it the sock matching game. So far they haven’t caught on to the fact that they are helping me do a chore.
Incidentally, my mom came up with a great use for lonely socks. She took them to one of her writing classes and made her students make a puppet out of them and write about it. So someone out there has a sock puppet that used to be my dad’s sock. That’s weird. I am nothing like my mother….
Thank you, Beth for that uh….Thank you, Beth!
Now, if you don’t know me very well, you may not know that I will employ just about any creative outlet in order to avoid doing laundry. It is my arch nemesis. Well, actually math is my arch nemesis, but laundry is a close second followed by balancing a checkbook. (Okay, not really – I never balance my checkbook. Who the heck writes checks anymore anyway?) But I digress…
When I read Beth’s comment, my creative/avoidance juices really started flowing. Ladies and Gentlemen, for you viewing pleasure I give you
Socks in the Box:
(And no, I can’t make you one. Like I said – I”M BUSY! Besides, the laundry is really starting to pile up…)
If you’re like me, first let me say, “Sorry. It must suck being you.” Oh, I’m just kidding! I am incredibly and undeservedly blessed in so many ways. What I mean is, I am my own biggest enemy sometimes; especially when it comes to my arch nemesis — time management. I don’t know why I procrastinate so much or why I simply forget things altogether. Some would say that this is a form of passive-aggressiveness. You know, kinda like sarcasm. Eh, what do they know?
If you read the comments section from a couple of days ago, you may have read that I was taking a 6 hour defensive driving course online. The comment was posted on December 23. If I didn’t get the completion certificate to the court “on or before December 25”, there would be a warrant out for my arrest. Since the courthouse is closed on December 25, obviously I was cutting it a bit short. Federal Express must love people like me! The early part of my Christmas Eve was spent: A) pacing back and forth by my front door then, B) racing to the courthouse (30 minutes away) before they closed, according to the lady on the phone “in the next 30 to 45 minutes”. I literally made it there as they were shutting down the office.
I am street legal, but at what cost? I’m not talking about what it cost me to have the driving school fedex the certificate to me “top priority, morning delivery” on Christmas Eve. I’m talking about the cost to my family. I bolted out of bed the morning of the 23rd at 3:30 a.m. realizing I had forgotten all about the ticket. So, I splashed water on my face, brushed my teeth, found the school online, and immediately started the course. My husband had to go into the office, so my poor kids had to put up with a tired, stressed out, mean mom who didn’t have time to spend time with them on Christmas Eve eve. They were excited about Christmas and all I did was yell at them to stop being so loud and complain about how inconsiderate they were being to me. Yeah, right. Whose fault was it that their mom was being a bee-atch? They certainly had nothing to do with it. They just wanted to hang out and have fun.
After finishing the test, I tried to lay down for a few minutes. I was mentally and physically exhausted, but I could not wind down. Then I remembered I had forgotten to get my son a flu shot. Incidentally, if you haven’t had one you might want to consider doing so. My GP said that the strains this year are pretty wicked.
Anyway, my daughter wanted to come with, because she wanted to see her brother get a shot. By the time we had waited in the Redi Clinic at the local grocery store for 30 minutes, got the shot and picked up a couple of things at the store, it was dinner time. There’s a Denny’s across the street that also has a to-go menu. So I dragged my tired, grumpy, fed up self and my kids over there to get something to eat. As kids will do, they acted up when my patience was at an all time low. I snapped at them for things I usually would have ignored.
The manager handed me some menus, offered my kids some balloons, and asked how I was doing. It was fairly obvious that I was not doing too well, but I thought it was very nice for him to ask. We ordered our food and waited. He offered to get us all something to drink. When I told him “No, thank you.” He insisted — his treat. I still refused, but he brought my kids drinks. He shared a story with me about a woman he and his wife saw at the mall last Christmas Eve. About how she was terribly stressed out and ended up falling down, dropping all her packages and hurting herself. He shared with me how he felt bad that he had not helped her. At this point I’m thinking to myself, “Wow. I really need to get some perspective here. It’s 2 days before Christmas and I’m running around acting like the Grinch.” Our food came. He apologized for the wait, even though the food came out promptly. He wished all of us a Merry Christmas. I wished him the same, and I really meant it.
On the drive home, I asked my kids if we could play “the quiet game”. (One of my personal favorites when riding in the car with them.) I thought about what had just happened. About how I claim to live a life abiding in Jesus, and I can’t even minister to my own kids sometimes. That man’s kindness was like a sledgehammer crashing through my armor. It broke me. We got home, I set the food on the kitchen counter and told my family to start without me. I went into my closet, fell to my knees and thanked God for His mercy, asked Him to forgive my selfishness and short temper. I also thanked him for that kind soul who took the time to minister to me when I needed it. At dinner, I apologized to my kids for being such a grouch. I still had a few last minute things to do on Christmas Eve, but I didn’t stress about anything and I just feel grateful for what Christmas is about; not what we sometimes try to make it about.
Tomorrow, I’m going to go to Denny’s. I want to thank that man in person. I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t even catch his name. Isn’t it funny that it takes a random act of kindness by a complete stranger to put me back on the path where I need to go? My God is everything I need and yet sometimes I find myself wandering far away from Him.
I heard this song on TV later that evening. It’s one of my favorites. Hearing this song, on that night was also a gift. (While the images are beautiful, I chose to close my eyes and just listen to the words.) If you’ve had days or weeks or even years where you’ve felt overwhelmed and and under-joyed, I pray that this song will remind you that He is always near. God Bless You and Merry Christmas!
I’ve been taking a self-imposed hiatus from blogging. I didn’t make a conscience decision not to blog. But as the summer started coming to an end, I realized that I needed to spend some time doing several things around the house I have been putting off. Case in point: Two weeks before my kids went back to school, I happened to notice that their backpacks were still hanging on their hooks in the mud room stuffed with the papers they brought home on the last day of school of the PREVIOUS school year.
Clearly I am a bit of a procrastinator when it comes to things I deem unpleasant such as organization and filing of paperwork. Not that I’m opposed to the idea. Quite the opposite. The IDEA of being organized and having a place for everything and everything in its place is incredibly appealing to me. I just have a hard time making the jump from wanting it to doing it.
As tempting as it seems at times, I cannot blame all of my shortcomings on the fact that I have ADD. The whole organization thing is definitely associated with it, but I can’t throw my hands in the air and say “It’s not my fault, I’m ADD!” Well, actually I could, but if I did, my house would be a total pigsty and I would never have anyone over. Plus, I don’t want my kids to think it’s okay not to take care of their things.
So, in the past few weeks, I’ve reorganized my kitchen cabinets and drawers, sorted through and given away all my kids’ clothes that don’t fit anymore, and completely organized my daughter’s belongings. If any of you out there have a 7-10 year old girly girl, who is in to American Girl dolls, Barbies, Bratz, stuffed animals, becoming a future rock star, arts and crafts, jewelry, clothes and all things “fancy”, then perhaps you may relate to what a monumental task it is to organize the totality of their possessions. Let me just say, “Pegboard is NOT just for the garage anymore!” I’ll probably do a write up on my other blog about all the places I have used pegboard in my house. It is awesome. (But, once again, I digress.)
You might be saying, “Why did that take several weeks? That really doesn’t sound like so much to do.” I would agree with that statement if I was a normal person. If you’ve read this blog more than once or twice, you are aware that I am not what you might consider a “normal” person. I have a tendency to get sidetracked by my dreams of the perfect scenario for the given situation. For example: Instead of simply removing the papers from my kids’ backpacks, throwing all but a few away and then rehanging the backpacks on the hooks, I decided to that I needed to make these really cool backpack clipboard hooks that I saw in a magazine. And before I did that, I had to finish painting the faux tile border on the wall that these super cool backpack clipboard hooks would go on. (This particular border has been taped and ready to be painted for approximately 6 months.)
I won’t bore you with ALL the rabbit trails this particular home project took me down, but maybe this gives a clearer picture of the craziness of how my brain works. The best visual description of my thought process came from my friend Jeff (who is a tad ADD himself). Picture each one of your thoughts as random and seemingly unrelated notes jotted down on several haphazardly placed post-it notes. Some stuck on top of one another, others simply losing their stickiness and falling away, completely forgotten. Welcome to my brain.