I’ve just pulled our enormous modular couch out from the wall to see what lurks beneath. It’s not pretty. Three pens, one spoon, several socks and a green mouldy lump of something unidentifiable. The dog ate it before I could look at the thing more closely. I will keep an eye on her to see whether there are any undesired effects, but I suspect it was an old apple core. There is also a liberal coating of dust and a smattering of gecko poo on the floor. It’s enough to want to push the couch back and walk away. However, marking season is upon me and so I have picked up the vacuum, followed by the mop, and set about cleaning up a mess that hadn’t even occurred to me to look at for two months.
I usually believe procrastinating isn’t helpful. There are 90 assessments to mark in the next three weeks. The year has flown and, like a marathon, I can see the finish line up ahead. The mental block is real, and the fatigue has set in. I win the medal regardless. Soon my family and I will be jetting off to the U.S.A for a trip to visit an old friend, with a side visit to Universal Studios and the Grand Canyon along the way. Stay tuned fellow travellers – I plan to regale you with tales across California and Nevada on this very site next month… It will be a wonderful end to 18 months of reigned in spending and copious savings. I want to be excited about it, really I do. I will be, once all the marking and reporting is out of the way.
Which leads me to my question: Is procrastinating really a negative trait, if it leads to accomplishing otherwise neglected chores? I mean, housework usually puts me in a bad mood, as does grocery shopping and ironing. When it comes to November however, dusty windowsills and cluttered surfaces have never looked more enticing. I, like most other teachers I know, put in more hours than paid for, and often gladly, too. I have also spent many evenings working on the blog, short stories and ‘The Manuscript,’ because these bring me joy. Of course, being a parent also means investing untold hours of loving, emotional support – and taxiing. I am tired.
I am driven until my figurative tank runs low. Boy, is it telling me to stop right now! It is hard to override the screaming brain, which demands rest. I will… soon. I’m tired of making hundreds of decisions every single day which is why the mindlessness of cleaning is so appealing at the moment. I've also guiltily watched all six episodes of Netflix drama 'Alias Grace' in the last 24 hours.
The thing I am most looking forward to about the upcoming trip is uninterrupted time, first with my family and then my U.S-based friends. The jobs around the house will temporarily be someone else’s business and my pared back wardrobe will fit inside a suitcase. It will be a life simplified, with little duty other than working out how to get from A to B and choosing what to eat for lunch. The school year will be over and I will feel glad, as I do every December, to have achieved that milestone.
Do you think procrastinating brings unexpected benefits? Or is it something to avoid at all costs?