I was going to write this a while ago, but then again, I’m a Pro. Haste just is not in my vocabulary anymore. Oh don’t get me wrong, I used to run around in a crazy state of mind, rushing to get to the next plumbing service call, rushing to finish because the poor people were going to be busted broke before I was half done as it was. And it didn’t stop at work either. There was the rush to get home, because even if a person is stuck in traffic at a bare crawl, their mind is still racing home ahead of themselves. Life itself was an out of control rush all the time.
It started so long ago with the first words “Hurry up, we’re late” and it didn’t seem to ever slow down after that. I remember as a kid watching my dad pace back and forth, looking at his watch, cigarette smoke pouring from his mouth as he shouted down the hall to my mother to “for C____ sakes Madeline get a move on! We’re late!” I found out much later in life the reason for all this lateness.
It wasn’t out of any disrespect. We didn’t mean to be late for the recital, or graduation. We didn’t miss most of the wedding, or funeral because we were trying to be mean. We just put things off a little too long, that’s all. I could have climbed into the shower a half hour before I did, but I didn’t. I didn’t say to myself, by god, I’m gonna miss the wedding because I just don’t want to take a shower right now. It was more like, My God in Heaven, LOOK AT THE TIME! Did you know that at moments like this Time actually stops for a nanosecond and laughs at you?
I found out in school actually. Yes I did learn a few things, and one of them was this really big word, that summed up why everyone was always in a rush. Procrastination. Once I read the definition of that word I knew. It was like the clouds opened up, the sun shone through and violins proclaimed that this was a moment to remember. I wish I could say that once I knew what this ‘putting off till later’ thing was called I’d not do it so much. The corrective action to always being late was right there. What actually happened was that now that I knew what it was and what it was called, I got worse. I’d find myself looking for ways to procrastinate. This thinking led to a few fights with the Missus. We had a bad rainstorm one year and our roof leaked around the chimney for the fireplace. Consequently a beautiful fist sized hole appeared in our living room ceiling, and expanded with very little picking on my part to the size of an over inflated volley ball. Because we were having guests over that long weekend, and there was no way to repair the hole in time, I skillfully draped the Canadian Flag over the hole. Thank goodness it was Canada Day weekend. The hole was fixed after that weekend…four years after that weekend.
So you see when I say I am now a Pro Procrastinator, I’m not just puffing wind. Now that I am semi retired, and have discovered writing once again, I am realizing that writers are some of the world’s best at procrastination. So for all you folks out there who are looking at your watches and tapping your feet for us to hurry up, please be patient. It takes a lot of practice to turn Pro.