I am one of those people that delay the inevitable. Or in other tribes, some may call me a procrastinator. I like to think of it as taking the time to enjoy each second of every last moment before I actually have to do something. I learned this beautiful character trait from a very skilled procrastinator, my father (I mean this with love, Dad).
I am doing it right now, actually. Delaying the inevitable. I am leaving for vacation and I am suppose to be packing. My whole family (except probably my dad…again, love you pops!) has been planning and plotting for months. My mom had already envisioned the rain pouring down on us and told me we needed to get ponchos immediately. That was like 6 months ago. My older sister has been preparing a 200-page list, alphabetized and ranked in birth odor of husband and children. She was kind enough to share it and when I saw it, instantly my blood pressure rose and I wanted to puke a little. So I deleted the text and went and hid in the bathroom (similar to this iguana running up the tree). My husband has been buying things for weeks in preparation, and then starts asking me all these questions about plans, some of which don’t have anything to do with this trip, and I was moments away from sticking my fingers in my ears. Even my younger sister is on top of things. She is supposed to be the irresponsible one.
To be fair to me though, I booked the damn trip. Yeah, that’s right. That counts for something. “If you build it, they will come” and that’s exactly what I did. Well, I didn’t build where we are going, but I did plan it and they all decided to come along for the ride. This is the first vacation we have taken as a giant extended family. So another point for me (that noise is me patting myself on the back).
So I am able to think months ahead and envision a trip with my whole family and get the hotel booked. Done and done. The rest of the details though…that’s where I fall short. Those details exhaust me. To help you understand, I’ll compare it to my morning walk the other day (I never said I was a lazy procrastinator).
Each morning, before I walk into the door of my place of employment, I park as far away as possible and then walk the trail behind the building…delaying the inevitable. I leisurely walk along, listening to my music (lately it has been Ed Sheeran’s catchy version of “Hit Me Baby One More Time”. Some mornings though it’s Nate Dogg and Eminem’s “Shake That”). So as I am delaying the inevitable, I am calm and one with the universe. A bike rider passes by and we both nod at each other as if to say, “peace be with you, and also with you bicycle dude”.
Still smiling from our mutual head nod, I look forward and notice a shirtless, scrawny young man running very quickly down the path towards me. Then another one right behind him. Then I see about 5 of them. And they are all speed running right towards me. Panic sets in as there are now about 20 teenage boys running as fast as possible right towards me. So I start to quicken my pace and just in the knick of time, I jump onto home base (otherwise known as sidewalk that juts off the trail). Safe. They don’t notice me at all and just keep on running.
That feeling of pure panic, heart racing as all those little guys are running straight towards me…that’s exactly how I feel when people start asking me about plans and details and what time are we doing something and when are we leaving and what clothes are you bringing. Ahhhh!!!! So my home base is avoidance. And it drives everyone around me crazy. Guess what though, all you planners? You plan everything down to the very most granular detail. All that time spent trying to remember every possible thing you may need. Then things go awry and all your plans get thrown out the window. That’s where I come in handy. Because that’s what I handle well. (Although, I do appreciate it when you happen to have a tissue in your purse, an extra hairband, or a first aid kit available.)
Point being, don’t hate me because I am a procrastinator. We all serve a purpose. When we leave on our 10-hour road trip, I will be ready. Everything will be packed. No one will be left behind. I may not have snacks in individual ziplock bags, but there are these fancy things called gas stations everywhere, so who cares? And when something on your handy dandy little list comes up missing, I will handle it in stride and keep you from freaking out about it.
In the words of the great Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men, “you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.” And don’t forget…a great quote by Julia Robert’s in Pretty Woman, “I say who, I say when”. (Well, I guess I said where and when, not so much who. I should have stopped while I was ahead since I just compared myself to a prostitute in a movie.)
So to all y’all that want to strangle me because I run from you when you want to ask me a question a year before I need to answer it, you know you love me. And this procrastinator knows the only plan she really needed to make was to bring my mom because she will plan for everything. And she is riding in MY car (with her homemade cookies).