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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I'll Get Around To It

Hi Sister I am a terrible procrastinator (actually no, I am a great procrastinator – but it is terrible!), in fact it has taken me weeks to get around to asking you for help! Everyone says just get started, or just set yourself a deadline which is easy for the non-procrastinator to say, but I am out of control! Do you have any suggestions for getting some discipline in my life? Many thanks! Sara 

I haven't been procrastinating in answering. I have had one computer related problem after another. Practically by the hour.  Even the eighth grade boys have been flummoxed.  I actually can't believe I finally am able to post. It seems like a miracle.

It is not a miracle. Miracles are spontaneous and unexplained. I don't know what the explanation is that things are suddenly working when for days they have not been working, but I'm sure there is one (who is probably called "Sister Mary Martha").  And the road back has been anything but spontaneous.

To your question: First off, of course we have a patron saint for procrastinators.  St. Expeditus.  Although, truth be told, poor Expeditus has little to do with procrastination, and his patronage of foot draggers, like St. Luke and his paintings, is giantly dubious.  If it weren't for the Church proclaiming him a saint, I'd go so far as to say his very sainthood is questionable.

It seems some nuns got their hands on a box of bones that they thought said, "St. Expeditus", when in fact the box said something that actually translates more along the lines of  "Priority Mail".  It's as though they got a box that said "Fragile" in a language they didn't understand and thought it said "St. Frageelly."  Nonetheless, St. Expeditus is the patron saint of the time challenged and postal workers.

And of course, Fed-Ex.

I do have suggestions.  Start by asking yourself some questions. Why aren't you doing what you need to do?  Is it tough to face? Even something like paying bills can be tough to face as you watch your hard earned money fly out the door. Jesus said, "Take no purse" on you path to follow Him. So grab a pen and smile.

Or is it just that you would rather watch "Real Housewives of AnyWhere" than do what you're supposed to do? What is it you're supposed to do, anyhow?  Clean the house? Take the dog for his shots? Call your mom?

Or is it that you can't make a choice about what to do next, so you do nothing? Like when you go to one of those restaurants with a six page menu and you can't decide what to have and finally, when the waitress comes, you panic and order a tuna melt and feel bad because it's not at all what you wanted.  This is easy to resolve. Choose.  Just one thing. It opens the door for the rest.  If someone says to you, "Oh, look, they serve breakfast all day" you suddenly realize you can have a blintz! If you decide you want something hot, you can skip the sandwich page!

Here is your conundrum. You need discipline in your life. In order to have discipline in your life you have to have some discipline.


I suggest you make a "to-do" list.  Prioritize it in the order in which it needs to get done. Do as much of it as you can every day, even if it is just one thing, but if you are going slowing and only doing one thing, then you'll have to add to the bottom of the list (or the top) as new tasks arrive.  If it takes you all week to clean the bathroom, the kitchen will need work by then.

Try to keep moving.  If you can get yourself going, you'll soon find you feel so much better about getting things done than you do having watched "Play Date" on the Lifetime Channel that your own sense of accomplishment will motivate you.

But you do need discipline, and only you can muster that.  For that I recommend St. John of God, who could never settle on anything until he literally drove himself crazy. Once he finally made a choice he was a human dynamo.


SAC said...

Dear SMM,

I realized just now that I was yet again restraining an impulse to say "I love you so much! I am always so uplifted by your posts!" and then I realized that maybe this is the sort of impulsive behavior that does not need quite so much restraining.

So: thank you, beloved sister; your posts bring heaven a little closer to me personally.

(Also, I think I need a t-shirt like that for my mother...)

Marion Teague said...

I was just thinking I want that T shirt! Dear SAC - you're not one of my kids are you?

Anonymous said...

To the poster of the 'procrastinating' question: I am similar, and, in part, because I'm quite introverted, and most things that need doing involve contacting people! It can be very scary for and very silly of me! I try to use a reward system. If I make the phone call I need to, I can have some internet time, or watch a show, have a latte, whatever little thing I'm thinking I'd like at that moment. Or I just take a deep breath (say a prayer,too!), tell myself I'm being silly, make the call, and feel sooooo much better for having done so. God bless!

genie said...

As always...food for the soul. My problem is I am OCD about doing somethings, but then I will procrastinate for ages before doing the other which were more important than the ones called OCD. My husband dislikes the lists immensely - he says I am treating like one of my middle schoolers. A REAL list for me is a good thing. genie