Procrastination is my goal today. I know it doesn’t seem like much of a goal, but it is mine today.
For some reason as I have aged, I have become worse and worse about procrastinating things. I used to get things done the minute I saw there was a need. In my early twenties, when I was given something at work, I worked on it until it was finished. I gave it my all. I put in more than 100% dedication. I did things over-the-top, out-of-the-box, more than anyone expected out of me. That was me in my twenties.
In my late twenties, I had my first child. By the time I was thirty, I had my second child. Things started to change. My focus became my family. This is where the procrastination began (there might be a correlation there). I don’t know if it was the combination of a husband and kids. I don’t know if as I got older, I just got more laid back about accomplishing things. My guess is that I was exhausted from no sleep. I was depressed because staying at home was new to me. I felt underutilized, yet overworked. How could that be? I felt underutilized, yet overworked. Do you ever feel this way?
As my kids grew out of diapers and life became even more chaotic (because they started to walk and move all around the house), I realized that it wasn’t so important to finish every task I set my mind to. Just getting up in the morning was an accomplishment. I did feel an outside pressure to prove my worth in the household as well as outside of the household. Soon I realized after driving myself insane trying to be the best mom, the best volunteer and the best at everything that I didn’t need to prove my worth to anyone. What it probably looked like to others was – procrastination. It wasn’t so much procrastination as it was a new view on life. My goal became – getting my kids into the next day safely and without injury (which sometimes proved to be quite a lofty goal). My goal became seeking approval from God, not others.
So when I added the third child in my mid thirties, I think you can imagine that my life became even more chaotic and unorganized. Some moms just thrive at organization and schedules; it seemed that I did not. All of the sudden, I realized that I had become that person who used to drive me crazy. You know the one that puts off everything until the last minute. The one that never follows through when you ask them to do something (unless you remind them 100 times). The one that is a great friend, but when you ask them to do something it is hit or miss if they actually get it done. Now I realize that I am making myself look really bad. I am not all that bad, but if you knew me in my twenties, I am sure you would say, “She sure has changed. Remember when Anne was that go-getter. Remember when she would jump in and take over and tackle any project?”
So when I hit my forties, I realized that my change wasn’t all that bad. Yes, I do procrastinate (or what looks like procrastinate). Yes, I don’t always follow through (but I do when it is important). I like to call myself a task-filterer. I filter out all those tedious tasks that really don’t make a difference (and even if they do make a little difference, it isn’t worth worrying about them). I like to pinpoint the tasks that maybe can be eliminated in life; the ones that are pointless or time consuming or “worry catchers.” Worry catchers are when you spend time worrying about a task (or worrying about procrastinating a task) that really isn’t yours to worry about.
One example of this is Science Fair. The Science Fair is supposed to be fun and exciting for your child, right? How many of us parents perceive the Science Fair that way. Probably not many. I used to dread it. So when my two younger kiddos started their new school and I found out we HAD to do a science fair project, my worry sirens went off. I promised myself that I was not going to make this project the “best” project in the whole world. I was not going to spend all my time with my kids helping them with THEIR science fair project. We picked simple projects that they could enjoy on their own. By simple I mean something that interested them, and that they could do on their own without too much of my help. Guess what? It worked. They like the science fair (and so do I). We don’t have to be the winners. We just have to have fun exploring science. I didn’t let this year’s science fair be my “worry catcher.”
“Worry Catchers” take us away from God and place us face to face with: WORRY. When we procrastinate, we often worry about procrastinating. When this happens, we just add more chaos into an already bad situation. My point is: if you are going to procrastinate, do it with strength. Don’t doubt that you are procrastinating for your own sanity. Don’t doubt that you must procrastinate this task because it is something you may not be able to do right at that moment. Don’t doubt that God is behind your procrastination. That sounds funny, but it is true. Sometimes when I put something off, just for a few days, I find that God had a plan in it all. He needed me to procrastinate so that His Will could be done. It has happened to me before. It might drive the “check listers” crazy when you procrastinate, but as long as you have prayed for God to guide you, it doesn’t matter. Doing things just to check them off a list or to accomplish a task is not the way God wants us to live our life. We need to being doing things because it is according to His Will. I guarantee you that His Will involves procrastinating (or taking your time to do things in God’s time, not yours).
So why did this topic come to mind today. I guess because I am procrastinating packing my house up. Megan is home sick today and I am thinking we might just shove everything to the side and snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie. I could be doing a million other things (packing, cleaning, grocery shopping, packing some more), but why do that when I can procrastinate it to another day? Procrastination isn’t all that bad, and because I found through each decade of my life, God led me to understand that mastering and accomplishing tasks and goals aren’t always the best idea. Sure they are good things, but when I allowed them to become “worry catchers” they took away my peace in life.
Today I am going to enjoy that peace that God gives me with my daughter.
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”