or: Meirav Becomes a Grown-up
Last week started with: oh dear, I’ve got a busy week ahead of me and there’s this big project that I have to finish in November and when will I be able to squeeze that in? So I made a point of doing a large chunk of that project on Monday, in case I couldn’t find time for much during the week.
On Tuesday I got an email from a client with some proofreading work – something extra to squeeze in on top of everything else. I found time and squeezed it in, and by Friday afternoon it was done.
If you’re reading this and thinking “yeah, so what?” then you’re not a procrastinator. Which is what I used to be until very recently.
I used to hate myself when I was doing it. Really really hate myself. When it got to the time when I had absolutely no excuses but was very clearly not getting on with what I knew I should be getting on with, I’d get into a seriously dark mood, absolutely wallowing in self-hatred, and anyone who tried to communicate with me was in danger of getting the flak. How dare you talk to me in a loving way when I know how horrible I am?
I didn’t know how to make it stop. I learned all sorts of tricks over time, all sorts of ways of making it more likely that I’d get tasks done, and they worked sometimes. I developed a habit of embarrassing myself away from online social networking by posting something like “come on, meirav, you have things to do, no more Google+ until you’ve done that stuff” – and that did help. But why did I need all these tricks? I couldn’t have answered that. All I knew was that I was a procrastinator, and even though I joked about it a lot, I was aware that this was actually a problem to me. If I keep repeating the same pattern of behaviour and it makes me hate myself, then that can’t be healthy. But where was this need to hate myself coming from? I didn’t know the answer.
Several years ago, when doing a counselling course, there was an exercise we had to do which gave me a tiny glimpse of what might be behind this problem, but that’s as far as I got at the time – just a tiny glimpse. I could see that it was something to do with still being a teenager in some way, but I didn’t know why my inner teenager was raging so much.
I’ve had counselling recently for stuff that happened when I was 15. It’s amazing how I managed to get to the age of 50 without realising that I needed therapy for that stuff, but at long last it came up to the surface and – wow! I’m free now! I didn’t realise what hurt I was carrying inside me, and how much my inner teenager needed to be heard and for her hurt to be acknowledged. And now my inner teen is at peace, I am free to be the grown-up woman that I am.
Which means I don’t need to procrastinate. The idea of putting things off has completely lost its appeal, which feels kind of weird now. I have friends who still talk the same way about it and expect me to rise to the standard jokes but my heart isn’t in it any more. That drug holds no attraction for me. I’d much rather get things done, actually. Does that make me a boring grown-up? So be it. :)
P.S. I’ve also changed the theme here to a more grown-up one, by way of celebration. And my tagline now reads “version 7.3.8”, because I am a constant work in progress and I’ve been upgraded again.
P.P.S. No, that wasn’t a serious question about being a boring grown-up. I’m absolutely confident that I can be a creative and imaginative grown-up with a sense of fun. I ain’t putting away my crayons, no way. :)
P.P.P.S. Also, it’s November and I’m not feeling depressed. Something major has definitely shifted! Halleluiah!