...because we all have our motley moments!

Sunday, March 15, 2009


It's always the same place. I'm sitting at a desk, looking around the room, trying to find a familiar face, but no one seems to know me. Realization hits--I'm in a classroom. It feels like a college classroom. Usually there is a periodic table on the wall or maybe a graph on the chalkboard. Gradually the details return to me. This is a class. A class that I am taking. Why don't I know anyone? Because I haven't been coming to class. I check my calendar. I've waited too long to withdraw without this going on my transcript. I don't even recognize the professor. Maybe I could talk to him...take the final and still pass the class...he could withdraw me himself...why did it have to be Chemistry again? How am I ever going to learn a semester's worth of material in time to pass the final that he's saying is tomorrow?

I'm worried about my transcript. How will it look to have this horrible grade sitting there? Will I get fired from teaching if I fail this class? What about my degree? Wait a second, my degree. That's right. I did get my degree. They wouldn't let me teach if I didn't have one. Wait a minute, I don't teach anymore. What's going on here?

Abruptly I wake myself from this nightmare and gasp with relief. Indeed, I did graduate from college. Years ago. I have had my career, and I'm staying at home now with our little boy. So, why did I have this dream? Why have I been having this dream at least once a week since I finished school?

This little scene has been popping into my subconscious rather frequently lately, and I decided to do some introspective psychoanalysis. I think that perhaps my mind is reminding me of something that I have known for years but have chosen to do little about: I am a procrastinator.

My procrastination hit it's peak during my college years when I realized that, indeed, if one consumes enough coffee one can function for a continuous 24 hour period. Therefore, why should anyone prepare in advance when a project can easily be done within hours of its due date? This actually worked for me, believe it or not, in my language and literature classes. I did very well although I was a bit tired most of the time. Science and math were not too forgiving, however, and I do believe that is why my dream always centers around those classrooms.

Why on earth am I talking about this on Motley Moms? Well, this dream continues to rear it's ugly head now because I'M STILL PROCRASTINATING. I still have unfinished projects that I'm putting off until later. I prepare for my toddler Sunday School class the night before. I run to the store late at night to get things I need for the next day even though I have had ample time to do it earlier in the week. I'm even typing this blog a lot later than I should be.

And I'm a mom whose son watches every move that I make.

If I'm not careful, those late night trips to a 24-hour Wal-mart for trash bags and diapers are going to become group project poster board expeditions. The word "now" won't mean anything to him if it doesn't mean anything to Mommy.

How do I break a bad habit that has taken me a lifetime to perfect? And how do I teach my son to use his time more wisely? Do you have any words of wisdom?

Have a blessed Sunday, and sweet dreams!


Donna said...

Just reading that makes me break out in a cold sweat! I, too, am quite the procrastinator. It did not help that this tendency was reinforced and even rewarded with A+ papers and projects all the way through school.
But whatever you're doing, you must be doing it right for you because it seems to work for you. French class is always terrific!

I think if we want to save our children from the stress of last-minute everything, we're going to have to break these bad habits and start planning ahead and getting things done in advance of their deadlines. I know. Sounds weird to me, too. But apparently lots of people live happy, stress-free lives this way.

Good luck, my friend. Maybe we can tackle this goal together and become better for it in the end! (As long as we don't wait til the very end to work on it...I'll call you when I hit my nineties...that ought to be a good time to start making some serious changes!)

Jason and Fawnda said...

I always used the excuse that I work better under pressure! I also excelled by procrastinating!

I do remember during my school years, staying up late working on project/reports the night before they were due with my mom... lecturing me the whole time about how I should have started this before!

I try to plan things out... I try to get things done before hand but my brain still thinks "if they wanted it done earlier, they should have made the deadline earlier!" I often times have to make a "fake' earlier dead line for myself so that I don't wait until the last minute! it's kinda like setting your clocks ahead 10 minutes so that you are on time... which I also do! : )

Well, at least we are all in this together!


Donna said...

If I set my clocks ahead of schedule, then I find myself subtracting the extra minutes before I'm ready to go, thinking "Okay. I have to be there at 8:00. It's 8:05 now, so I have five more minutes to get ready and dash to the car with the kids!" Insane, I know. That's why setting my clock fast doesn't make a bit of difference for me!

Rachel said...

I am so bad about the clock setting thing that I used to set it an HOUR and ten minutes fast for a little extra motivation. Like you, Donna, I caught on to my trick and started calculating the time instead of just being on time. Scary how we all seem to think along the same lines, isn't it??

If this is any indication as to how demented I've become in my procrastination, I actually consider doing things the night before as getting them done EARLY. Waiting until the last minute would mean waiting until 9:00 AM to finish plans for my class at 10:00 AM. (And, technically, that would still be early.)

I do agree with the deadline thing, Fawnda--if they wanted it done earlier they would have said so.

Karly said...

Rachel, I have had a dream like this recently. Except it was a highschool math class that I apparently had forgotten to take. I was so happy to wake up!

I am the queen of procrastination! And like you all, it has served me very well in life, unfortunately. Too well. So now it has become not just something I do, but who I am.

The problem is that there are too many things to do on any given day, so the only things I can actually get done are the things that absolutely have to get done, the rest gets put on hold until they become emminent.

I know there are people who live their lives two steps ahead of the game. That's just not me.
Let's face it, if a friend calls me for a last minute playdate, I not going to stay home to get my projects done early, I am going to go socialize.

And about the time thing..I am with Donna and Rachel, I just can't fool myself into being on time!

Jason and Fawnda said...

yeah, I subtract the time too... I am a math teacher so I can do the math... But it made me feel better to know that the 8:00 on the clock is not really 8:00 it was 7:50 and I had more time... We were still NEVER on time! So, Jason nixed that idea and now all of our clocks are set to right time. But I still catch myself wanting to subtract. Than I think "nope it's the right time... Crap!" But at least now we have a kid to blame our lateness on!


Liz said...

I have recurring dreams about being the teacher on the first day of school and having absolutely no handouts for my students, even though I haven't been a teacher for nearly 3 years.
I have no words of wisdom for you, friend. I just wanted to share my scary dream.

Lindsay said...

I always start out doing great. For example when Avery started school I always had her clothes, socks, shoes, belt, and matching hair bow laid out the night before. I got up with her and we chatted as together we got her ready for school. Fast forward to this morning. I woke up her (5 minutes late), as she fed herself breakfast I grabbed clothes for her (in the dark since Sage was still asleep), and made her find her own shoes (which happened to be in the van). I then laid down on the sofa and fell asleep until she told me it was time to do her hair...lol So yes I also need a lesson in doing things on time and preparing myself better for what is to come.

Maria said...

My name is Maria and I too am a procrastinator.

There. I said it.

I try on a daily basis and some days are just better than others.

You are in good company!

Rachel said...

Sounds like it! I never knew this was such a wide-spread issue!