Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Procrastinators may not be the best pet owners

While it is true that pets can provide an endless source of procrastination, they are not always the best choice for procrastinators. Pets need to be cared for, and sometimes, well, we may put that off. The results are sometimes tragic.

Last week, my cat met its untimely death. Its death was not technically my fault. It got hit by a car. I was not driving the car. But after we adopted them several years ago (it had a brother - that one just disappeared) and they started ripping up all our furniture and sweaters, etc., we planned on getting them de-clawed. But that never happened. Instead, we sort of encouraged them to go outside. The rest is history.

I don't really like cats. In fact, for a split second, when I saw the cat laying on the road before work, I thought perhaps I could get away with pretending I didn't see it. But I forced myself to walk down and confirm that it was in fact dead. My daughter is a bit of a drama queen, so I didn't really want to have to deal with the crying and carrying on first thing in the morning, especially since she really cared very little for the animal while it was alive. So I scooped it up, placed it a box, snuck around back, left it on the porch, and left a note for my husband to please "deal with it".

That was on Thursday. On Sunday, my husband remembered that he never did "deal with it". It had rained quite a bit since the hit, so the box was now soggy, and body was now a bit decomposed. We tried to dig a respectable grave, but we live in a land of rocks, and it was pouring out, so we just couldn't manage to dig it big enough to fit the entire box in. Instead we got it in as far as we could, stacked rocks on top of the box, and then covered it with leaves and branches. Hopefully it will settle before Spring.

I'm definitely thinking twice before the next one....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Keep Your Studies Off My Self

Let's face it, I'm fort-five at the apex, facing downhill, and it ain't all pretty. But according the recent Stevenson and Wolfers study my failure to achieve bliss is due to, The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness. The study authors claim that in the 1970s men reported to be generally less happy then women, but now the reverse is true. But I don't buy it. First of all, happiness does not lend itself to narration, for either gender, so the question is hard to answer honestly if the questionee is not happy at that particular time. This is particularly true for men. Women often reflect and ask themselves if they are happy. But you ask that question to men, and you are going to get a different answer depending on whether their most recent needs have been met or not, and we're talking here, basically, whether they've been fed, laid, or their digestion system is operating properly. For women, there's a few more factors, and the range of factors have most definitely changed since the 1970s.

So I would argue, that generally people are less happy. Perhaps that's because we've traded quality time for crap. But whatever the reason, the state of the world, or the degree of equality for women, is not responsible for my personal satisfaction. I know what I want to make me happy, but I also know that you can't always get what you want, and therefore must learn to be happy in spite of it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Procrastination Pay Offs

"Do you know anything about child psychology?" asked an anxious, young mom outside ballet class. She seemed confused when I started laughing hysterically; I could see she was desperate so I quickly replied "I only have one and she was an accident", freeing her up to seek advise elsewhere. But the stress melted off her face and she started laughing too. I suppose the realization that for some, parenting was not only not scrutinized, it wasn't even planned, was somewhat liberating, and set aside whatever issue she was fretting over (what it was, by the way, I did not bother to ask).

Accidents are modi operandi for procrastinators. My accidents certainly have caused me a lot of angst as well as cost me a lot of cash. However, some of the best things in my life have also been the result of accidents, including my greatest mistake, motherhood. Sometimes procrastination pays off.

"Accident is the name of the greatest of all inventors."
- Mark Twain

Thursday, October 8, 2009

It Ain't Easy Being Proud

I could easily attribute the paucity of posts I’ve made since I started this blog to procrastination. But I must admit that I’ve been having a hard time being proud. Yesterday, for example, I ran out of gas, this time on a major highway, with children in the car. Luckily, this time it was at the top of hill, going down, as opposed to last month, when I was in the middle of a steep hill, going up.

The number of bad situations I’ve been in as a result of my procrastinations and the list of what I didn’t do this summer is mind-boggling, so I’m ashamed to say, that I may have fallen off the proud procrastination wagon, hard. The self-flogging spiraled out of control on the first day of school as I watched my daughter get on the bus in ripped up jeans and chlorine-damaged hair that hadn’t been cut since last winter; I just thought to myself what a loser I am because I can’t manage to get my daughter’s haircut or keep up my garden or clean out my basement or garage or closet or paint my deck. I try to justify these failures (I shouldn’t paint the deck until we get a French drain installed, and I can’t do that until I clean out my basement and have a yard sale so I can pay for it, but I can’t clean out my basement, until I clean out my closet because I can’t find any of my clothes that I fit in but if could just lose 15 pounds instead I could wear storage and dump my whole closet…..etc.)

But this morning, after I finally made it down to the river for a short run, I first started to lament at how lame this exercise attempt was; only 25 minutes before I had to get back and wake up sleeping beauty. But then the sun came up and I screamed at myself to stop it – I’m out jogging as the sun is coming up – so I’ll run 2 miles instead of 3 – I’m here and I’m proud of it. And I started thinking about the real reason why I didn’t do anything I intended this summer; my job has been kicking my butt. It’s not my fault, it’s not my fault, it’s not my fault (since Robin Williams isn’t around to cure me, I’m doing it myself). I'm keeping my head up (and carrying a gas can in my car).