Saturday, January 10, 2009

apples and trees

No one can convince me that the procrastination gene isn't dominant. Two of my kids have inherited it and it drives me absolutely out of my mind. It has made me crazy for twenty plus years, and I don't see it changing anytime in my future. For what it's worth, I'd like to go on record that they didn't get it from me. I'm anal. You can't be anal and a procrastinator at the same time. It's impossible.

We've spent the evening getting Gumby ready for an all-day school competition tomorrow. Until late afternoon I was under the impression that he was completely ready for it, but six hours, feverish running around and the decimation of a brand new $30 printer cartridge later, I stand corrected.

At one point I looked at him and said, "You do realize, don't you, that you don't have to leave everything until the last minute, right? You really can do things ahead of time. And it makes your life a lot easier. Honest."

I don't think he's convinced. Why am I not surprised?


ped crossing said...

Just for the record you can be anal and a procrastinator. It is generally coupled with perfectionism. If you don't believe me, just come by any time for living and breathing proof.

I'll let you know in a few years if it proves dominant in my family. Look on the bright side, he got it done. Right?

lv4921391 said...

I taught "study skills" at VNHS and have an excellent, quick, 25 question test to show kids what type of a "learner" they are and how to use what they find out about themselves to their advantage...maybe that would help...

Devon said...

I have two kids... a procrastinator and a perfectionist. Depending on my mood, I can be either. Poor dears didn't have a chance!

Aoj and The Lurchers said...

But there's nothing quite like that adrenalin rush of leaving things to just before a deadline. It really gets the motivation working!

-Ann said...

My youngest brother is a champion procrastinator. In fact, our family even has a shorthand expression for his procrastination:

Mom, I have to be a stop sign in the school play tomorrow.

Something similar to this was inevitably uttered on a Sunday night, after all the stores had closed on a mind-numbingly regular basis during his childhood. :)

Akelamalu said...

Being anal myself I understand your frustration. :(

laurie said...

well, if you're anal (and what a lovely term, eh?) then they can be procrastinators. because they know you'll get everything done.

kids. they always, always, always have a way of getting around their parents, thwarting them, and making them feel a little nuts.

i remember it well. heh heh heh.

Kaycie said...

If you really want to get technical with the psych terms, you must be anal-retentive. It's entirely possible to be anal-expulsive and procrastinate. I know, I was once married to one.

And Laurie is right: aren't Freud's terms just lovely?

CC said...

actually i've tried to battle my own procrastination for about 20 years and am slowly learnign that i can't do things ahead of time. if i try, i am unfocussed, inefficient, indecisive and usually need to redo things three times and i have an anxiety attack cos its not perfect. whereas when my back is against the wall, i jsut get on with the task at hand and don't worry too much about the 'perfection'. but i still hear my mother's voice saying, 'you really would be happier with it if you gave it more time'.

distracted by shiny objects said...

"Why am I the only one worrying here about YOUR project? I've already passed 5th grade/10th grade/high school and quite successfully."
"But, Mom, I think better, have more ideas, do a better job when I wait till later."
Got confused---that's my house. Sorry, I got nothing for you.
"Anal-expulsive"-- now that's a term I could start to use on a daily basis:>)(Gotta love the "bowel regime" for the neuro-injured.)

the rotten correspondent said...

ped crossing - I know you're right. I forget it though because I'm not a perfectionist. (Some would say I'm sloppy, but I don't agree. Not always, anyway!)

lv4921391 - that sounds very interesting. Is it the thing where you see if you're a visual learner or auditory...or something else?

Devon - that's how I feel about mine. The genetic soup mix was not kind to them.

Angela - hey! I heard that exact same thing just last night!

-Ann - I've got two of those. Last night (at 10pm) "hey mom, do we have any of those giant paper clips?" Sure, sweetie, let me pull it out of my....

Akelamalu - On the plus side, he made it work. Somehow.

laurie - Freud was one twisted up boy, no doubt. And I can only imagine how a family your size would torture their parents. Shudder.

kaycie - yup. Anal retentive. I prefer organized, if you don't mind.

CC - my ex is exactly like that. He needs that extra added layer of panic to get anything done. I can't work that way. I can get things done at the last minute - I just prefer not to.

distracted by shiny objects - hey! Were you in my house last night?

Rose said...

Sometimes procrastination is good for one, but mostly it causes stress. I procastinate more than I used to I think. And I agree with ped crossing; you can be both but it's not good for you. Also, read yesterday's post. Your bad days are always worse than my bad days. Middle school's tough, but not compared to your work!

Anonymous said...

My girls all have this very gene. It drives me crazy. I think the more I overfunction for them and help, the more they underfunction and do less. Something like that anyway.