Sunday, January 09, 2005

I think I need a 12-step program.

Maybe I could accomplish more if I break everything down into 12-step programs. One of the first things I'm going to tackle is the issue of worrying too much. I try to hold onto and focus on the problems of my loved ones as a means of distracting myself from things I can actually fix. It is, in many ways, the same as what I call "constructive procrastination." Constructive procrastination is when you really need to be doing something, but you're putting it off by doing other things you really want and need to get done. For example, you need to get a freelance job started, but you are cleaning out your car instead. You just can't talk yourself out of cleaning your car, because you also need to get that done anyway. However, it's not as important as what you're putting off doing. Constructive procrastination is very dangerous. Worrying, for me, seems very constructive while I'm doing it, so I just can't talk myself out of it. But once I stop, I look back and wonder why I ever thought it was doing any good in the first place.

I stumbled across something that said this more eloquently than I can. It is by someone named Mary Oliver. Thanks, Mary Oliver.

"One day, you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice – though the whole house began to tremble and you felt the old tug at your ankles. 'Mend my life!' each voice cried. But you didn't stop. You knew what you had to do, though the wind pried with its stiff fingers at the very foundations, though their melancholy was terrible. It was already late enough, and a wild night, and the road full of fallen branches and stones. But little by little, as you left their voices behind, the stars began to burn through sheets of clouds, and there was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own, that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world, determined to do the only thing you could do – determined to save the only life you could save."

posted by Jennifer at 1/09/2005 12:14:00 PM

Blogger Jamie said...

I hear you. It's exactly what I do and suffer from. Although, I do a lot of non-constructive procrastination as well. Hey, I'm talented, I can actually do both kinds.

Oh, wait, that's not so good, is it?

1/10/2005 11:14:00 AM  

Blogger Frally said...

I like your blog :)

My DH is a constructive procrastinater. Drives me mental. He gets a lot done without getting anything done. Meanwhile I do my 2 life-or-death chores and spend the rest of the time sitting on my ass being lazy. Laziness rocks.

1/11/2005 03:06:00 AM  

Blogger Jamie said...

Yeah, you're not being helpful here ;). I'm trying so hard to get the important things done and be lazy for the rest of the day, but somehow I end up getting nothing done but busy all the time.
Obviously I'm doing something wrong.

1/11/2005 06:35:00 AM  

Blogger The Kraken said...

What Jennifer does is she'll say she's going to do, say, laundry and then end up doing something else. Well, then my days off roll around and I haven't any clean underwear. Guess who's forced to do laundry to get clean underwear? Yeah, you got it. But thank god she didn't do any laundry, because that bookshelf she organized instead really needed to be cleaned up!

1/11/2005 11:05:00 AM  

Blogger Jennifer said...

12 steps to end constructive procrastination and to create cleaner underwear:

1. Stop the constructive procrastination. (ie: organizing the bookcase)
2. Go into the bedroom.
3. Locate and sort the dirty laundry.
4. Procure quarters for the lanudry machines. (This step might require leaving the premises. If so, remain focused and return home quickly, avoiding any and all distractions.)
5. Lug laundry, quarters, detergent, dryer sheets, and reading material and/or sewing downstairs.
6. Pass the time monitoring the laundry. Do not return to the apartment and start futzing around with something else.
7. Almost there... move the clothes from the washer to the dryer.
8. Unload the clothes from the dryer, folding and placing them in the hampers.
9. Lug the laundry back upstairs.
10. Avoid distractions and put away the clothes as soon as possible.
11. Stop petting the cats and get back to work.
12. Call someone to brag that you did the laundry. Bask in your glory.

1/11/2005 08:44:00 PM  

Blogger Jennifer said...

Please note: I'm not sure what a "lanudry machine" is (see the glaring typo above). I think it's a new-fangled kind of laundry washing device.

I meant to say "laundry." I hate typos.

1/11/2005 08:47:00 PM  

Blogger The Kraken said...

13. Find a dictionary
14. Look up the word "lanudry"
15. Realize that it isn't a word
16. Call Michael at work and ask him how to speak English

1/12/2005 05:13:00 PM  

Blogger Jennifer said...

17. Ignore Michael and go back to petting the kitty cats.

1/12/2005 08:34:00 PM  

Blogger The Kraken said...

Yeah, they're really going to help you out. Their English sucks!

1/12/2005 08:52:00 PM  

Blogger Jamie said...

Leaning back and enjoying what I see here. Now, this is fun.

And now I'm going to procrastinate some more.

1/13/2005 01:03:00 AM  

Blogger Jennifer said...

Ha! Now I'm not only procrastinating by posting on here, but I am also facilitating the procrastination of others.

I feel so powerful. :^)

1/13/2005 08:07:00 AM  

Blogger The Kraken said...

Aw no, I'm not going to let your goons scare me away. Procrastination is bad and your cats are dumb! Your mother was a hampster and your father stank of elderberries!

1/13/2005 12:27:00 PM  

Blogger Jennifer said...

It's going to be THAT kind of party, eh? Fine... I wave my private parts at your aunties, you tiny-brained electric donkey-bottom biter!

1/13/2005 03:20:00 PM  

Blogger The Kraken said...

Whatever, geek.

1/13/2005 03:53:00 PM  

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