The Things You Put Off

Procrastination has always been a hobby of mine. Occasionally I’d flirt with going pro, but it never seemed like a real opportunity until I had children. Put me in coach; I’m ready for the Procrastination Olympics.

In my rattled brain, I have divided my procrastination into two events: Medical Stuff, and Everything Else. The Medical Stuff is the easier category to rationalize. The kind folks in my office gave me two maternity leaves in 11 months, and therefore I have tried to keep all other absences to an absolute minimum. This work ethic guilt has made it tough to schedule any other doctor appointments, even though I’m well overdue for the following.

  • Dermatologist check to see how badly I damaged my epidermis when wearing baby oil instead of sunscreen during my youth. (What can I say? It was the early 90s.)
  • New contact lenses (The pair I’m wearing were supposed to last a month. I got them in October. Seeing as it’s now April, I think this should be a priority before my eyeballs shrivel up and fall out.)
  • Reading glasses, because apparently I’m old.
  • The dentist to get a night guard. Recently I have been grinding my teeth like a beaver on hardwood.

And Everything Else. This stuff is easy to put off, too, because — well, I’m good at putting it off.

  • A haircut. Shaggy, shaggy, shaggy. And roots from old highlights.
  • Pedicure. Because it’s summer, and that’s no time to exfoliate and buff on your own.
  • Exercise. But I’ve always put that off. I’d like to blame that on being a new parent, but…

The gold medal event of my procrastination is the failure to renew my drivers license. It expired in August. Again, it’s April. I was so used to driving around with an expired license that I forgot it was even an issue. That is, until I flew to Texas on a business trip and tried to use it to rent a car. Luckily I was traveling with a colleague who did NOT have an expired license, and she was able to rent one for us instead. Otherwise, I’d still be in a sad little plastic chair at the airport Enterprise counter.

The state of Maryland granted me a year from expiration to renew. If I missed that deadline, I’d have to take the test again. The embarrassment of doing that was the only motivator to get it done. Let’s be honest — taking two children under the age of two to the DMV is a special kind of hell. No matter how much you love those children.

I know I’m not the only one out there who shoves tasks — even important ones — to the back burner. What have you shoved lately?

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6 Responses to The Things You Put Off

  1. Jill says:

    You MUST go pro. There’s a freshness to your procrastination that goes way beyond the mundane. I mean, ANYONE can do the expected “put-offs” (as we like to call it in the biz): mammograms, colonoscopies, household repairs … I myself have made it to staggering heights with RSVP’s (sorry) and, yes, the driver’s license (which I lost once and did not replace until two years later when it was time to renew). But you….(sorry; I’m teary)….I see great things in your future. Some are simply born to greatness.

  2. mrserinanderson says:

    Oh dear, I’m also guilty of many medical delays! Contacts, white bumps in my hand (what’s that about?), definitely need a hearing test! But I’m still alive so that’s a good sign right?

  3. Auntie Angela says:

    I’ll do this later!

  4. Thank Emily, I thought I was the only one.

  5. courtney says:

    dentist, doctor, eye doctor, other doctor, and sundry other items. i’m seriously impressed that pedicure even made your list. that’s SO not on my radar anymore! 🙂

  6. Jeana says:

    I’m procrastinating going back to work outside the home…because it seems too much work to pull together my resume, explain the 6yr absence and start applying/interviewing for jobs w/three small children. And the process of hiring a nanny, and organizing that…wow, it’s not a DMV trip, but not easy w/the demands of my current bosses….

    But it feels good to know I’ve got a comrade in procrastinating in doing stuff for myself (which I never thought would be an issue UNTIL I had my first child…).

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