The ‘P’ word

MITCHELL'S MUSINGS: Procrastination, it appears to run in the family

It’s that time of year when people ask, with all good intentions, “So, you ready for Christmas, or what?”

Well, going into this weekend I’d say I’d fall into the “or what” category.

Although, if all goes according to plan, of course it never does, after this weekend I should be one giant leap closer to being ready for the big day.

I mean I got the outside lights up nice and early, even before the cold snap hit I might add, and maybe I celebrated that fact a little too long and I left the rest of the stuff a little too long, and then there’s my youngest son’s birthday that always gets in the way of pre-Christmas preparations (not his fault mind you, although he blames me for his ‘late’ birthday), and then it’s always busy at work this time of year, and then there’s my procrastination problem…..

Anyway, with any luck, by the end of this weekend most of the shopping should be done, it does help when your wife picks out stuff for you to buy (I  know, there’s no surprise factor but I’m tired of seeing all that ‘surprise’ stuff hanging in the closet untouched by human hands), the tree should be up and the inside of the house should be finished and we’ll be on our way to a highly anticipated and hopefully wonderful Christmas.

Now wasn’t that easy?……

…….and speaking of procrastination, my boys are in the  middle of final papers and exams at college and under a bit of pressure.

Apparently under enough pressure that when I suggest helpful study hints or check in on their progress with their workload, well, it’s not that appreciated.

“I’m not 12, you know,” is a common refrain.

“Don’t you have your own life to worry about?” is another one.

Well, the answer to the first one is, “Really, cause it seemed like only yesterday you were running around the backyard in your underwear and, well, ….”

And the answer to the second one is, “Well, I’ve been working on that since you guys graduated from high school and are no longer involved in minor sports but I’m  having some trouble so do you have any suggestions on how I might move forward with my life? I’d appreciate it.”

And it’s not like I can’t relate to what they’re going through, that’s why I’m offering some unwanted advice.

I’ve been there. And I know I didn’t handle it well as I would always leave papers to the last minute and studying even longer and, every year, swear I wouldn’t do it again, and then somehow still go through all that drama and anxiety of wondering how to get out of it and eventually, somehow, getting through it all.

And it should be noted that they’re way more responsible than I was and likely don’t need my help at all, but, hey, I’m a parent, cut me a little slack, and here’s a conversation from the other night with the youngest son that shows there’s some genetics at work here.

Dad (knocking at the door and gently opening it): “How’s the studying going, son?”

Son (casually looking up from the computer): “Good, thanks.”

Dad (smiling) “Right.”

Son: “What do you mean?”

Dad: “Well, your bed is made, and it never is, and it looks like you’ve even cleaned up the place a little bit, which never happens.”

Son: “Yeah, well, you can’t study all the time. The books on my shelf are also now in alphabetical order, and do you think my jersey collection is kind of crooked, maybe I should redo it, eh?

Dad (smiling again): “Been there buddy, just try to concentrate on studying, instead of everything but, and you’ll get there.”

Son: “OK, do you mind closing the door on the way out, thanks.”


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