It’s a little weird to be asked to review a book on procrastination. The jokes nearly write themselves, right?
I can’t review the book on procrastination because I’m going to write my own book on procrastination, and I’ll start tomorrow.
Most of you are here for life skills of some sort, learning how to deal with things that you probably weren’t taught growing up. Perhaps someone did try to teach you, but maybe you weren’t ready to listen.
It doesn’t matter the cause, you’re here now.
I have alluded to, but not really said that at one time this community filled a void that I couldn’t even tell anyone existed. I was absolutely terrified that if you or anyone found out that I was miserable that you, all of you, would lose any shred of respect you had for me -not that I had any for myself- and I’d end up more alone and more miserable.
So I filled up my days writing here, taking care of my kids, and pretending everything was fine. Not necessarily picture perfect, but fine, thank you very much.
And pound by anxious pound I slipped away.
People who haven’t dealt with anxiety, think that it’s a knot in your stomach and worrying.
People who have can tell you sometimes it’s being stuck in the stall of a public bathroom, dripping sweat, hanging on to the handicap rail and begging God, “Please, just please don’t let me pass out, I can’t be found like this” while trying to keep your toddler from crawling on the floor of a bathroom.
Sometimes I’d come home at night from work and I’d shut the garage door and think about whether or not to turn off the car. I always found a reason to make myself get it together and go inside. (Those reasons are currently zipping up and down the stairs with nerf toys having the time of their loud little lives)
One morning I was getting my youngest out of her carseat, I put her on my hip, reached for a bag of groceries and my legs gave out.
They said, “No. You’re done.” On the floor of my garage, I knew I couldn’t fake it any more.
I was a basket case of stress that I couldn’t explain. I really wasn’t hungry much of the time and what little I did eat, to put it politely, exited quickly. (Potassium is very important, trust me)
I didn’t even know how to tell my then husband. (That maybe should have been a clue, but denial is a funny thing).
I started going to see a therapist and I made myself a plan. I gave myself two years to change my life. After I was done emotionally vomiting over this poor lady, I realized she had no valuable feedback and just went to work on my plan to change everything.
What does this have to do with procrastination, Heather? Why all the stories are you just trying to put off the review?
No, I’m not. I just know what depression and anxiety look like and they aren’t pretty and procrastination and anxiety often go hand-in-hand.
I know how tiny tasks can be put off and the next thing you know these once little things are these massive –incomprehensibly so– and it’s just too hard. So you find a distraction. Maybe it was an oil change, or a haircut, or a dental appointment and weeks go by and these tiny tasks get bigger and when you have three young children those tasks pile up awfully fast.
I had a plan though and I carried it out. I made it happen one little step at a time.
After I moved out, I felt on top of the world. I had it made. I had a house for the kids and I, in a place where I wanted to live. I could have friends over and I began to feel less like a puppet going through the motions, like I was actually alive, and I was hungry again.
And while I had friends willing to help, and a therapist who was more than a sounding board, this was a pit I had to climb out of on my own.
I wish I had read: The More You Do The Better You Feel by David Parker long before any of this.
I knew that when I dug deep and made myself tackle a task that it was rarely as bad as it initially felt.
No one ever even yelled at me. (I am the stereotypical eldest child, overly responsible and terrified of authority figures.)
I don’t necessarily identify with David Parker’s theories about why we procrastinate, but overall I did like his techniques for dealing with the habit.
Just like FLYLady doesn’t work for everyone, David’s J.O.T. Method™ may feel like overkill to some of you. If you’re not seriously struggling with procrastination and avoidance, chances are this book wasn’t written for you.
And hey, that’s okay, some people like mayonnaise and I can’t wrap my brain around THAT.
While it may seem like this was an awful lot of writing to say, “Hey, if you are a procrastinator and it is severely affecting your life, order this book.” It was simply a chance to tell you that I get it, I’ve been there, and it’s going to be okay, but you are responsible for making the changes and taking those steps. If things are really bad, sometimes that first step is a call to a professional.
Send your domestic questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.