I will say it again: ever since I was young, procrastination has been a fact of my life.
When I make resolutions, along with lofty goals of eating fewer snacks and exercising more, I say ‘Stop procrastinating.’
I put things off until, fueled by stress and pressure to just ‘get it done!’ I finally make a plan and accomplish whatever it is that I have avoided. (And I usually do it in much less time and with much less fuss than I could have imagined.)
At no time of the year am I reminded of this trait more than during the holidays.
Every year, weary from last-minute shopping and late-night wrapping, I vow:
“Next year will be different.”
“Next year, I will bake with the boys more.”
“I will send one of those personalized photo cards with a family picture.”
“I will start shopping on Dec. 26 and I will wrap as I go.”
And then, every year, I start early… and finish late. And my self-esteem plummets.
And so it was this year, too.
With 1 day to go, I still had some shopping to do, most of my wrapping and cookies for Santa had yet to be baked. I couldn’t find the right gifts, I forgot to pick something up, I ran out of time – all of the reasons added up and there I was, heading out of the house early Christmas Eve.
Except, it was a bit different this year.
I was on my own that morning – something that rarely happens. I stopped and got a coffee and a breakfast sandwich before I made my first stop. I savoured the opportunity to go at my own pace and choose my destination.
The stores weren’t busy early, so I found what I wanted without bumping into others. In fact, those I met were very friendly and patient. There was a certain ‘we’re in the same boat’ mentality that ensured our camaraderie. I found exactly what I was looking for, with no panic or second-guessing.
It was so pleasant, I almost forgave myself for procrastinating. (Almost.)
I got home and took some time to wrap, so I wouldn’t be as rushed that night.
We still didn’t have time to bake cookies, but decided that Santa might enjoy a piece of fruitcake just as much. (He didn’t complain – I’ve learned that Santa is a pretty understanding fellow.)
After the bustle of the past couple of days, we finally made cookies tonight. (That still counts as Holiday baking, right? After all, Boxing Day is a holiday in Canada.)
So, here I am again, like every year, feeling like time got away from me and wanting things to be more organized next year. But, there is some consolation in the fact that, even though I am sometimes not the most organized Holiday planner, things are usually OK when all is said and done.
Are you are Holiday procrastinator?