There is an old adage by Rita Mae Brown that says, “If it weren’t for the last minute nothing would ever get done.” While I agree with this statement I would like to give a little more credit to this last minute, because in my world, it is where everything gets done! And I know I’ve already told you about Lucille Ball when she said, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person,” to which I say – Please Don’t. Because if I have one more thing on my to do list my brain will explode, and with everything I have in my little brain right now, that would be quite a mess.
Now to some it would sound as if I am admitting that I am a procrastinator. Well, I am! It isn’t that I put things off, it’s just I have to do everything in the order of when it’s due. And though I don’t typically call myself a “logical” girl by nature, it seems to only make sense to do things in the order in which they need to be done. For example: grading papers – need to do, bathing a stinky, sweaty, soccer-loving-six-year-old – need to do now! Fold laundry and put it away? Need to do. Go grocery shopping so that we actually have something to make for dinner – need to do now!
I think I could vindicate myself into believing that this kind of lifestyle is acceptable if it weren’t for my punctual, perfectly-planned family. Although I love my mother and sister dearly, I think if I was less secure, I might actually have to hate them just a little bit because of their always-aware, organized and categorized personalities! But alas, I love them instead.
The ironic thing is, I too am organized, but again, that last minute thing comes into play and I am left with choiceless choices. Would you rather: A) make it to your triple-threat day of ballet, soccer, and Bible study, or B) fill in the weekly calendar on the wall? Now the argument could be made that if I did actually fill out said calendar, our life would be running a little more smoothly, however Sunday night (when I would fill out the calendar) typically ends up being the one time of the week I sleep.
I was having a conversation with my dad recently. We were talking about my writing career and how to balance it with teaching. I shared with him that I was having trouble finding time to write while I was completing lesson plans, attending committees, going to meetings, and correcting papers. After my pity party parade, my dad brilliantly replied, “Well baby, you’ve just got to make time.” SO not what I wanted to hear.
Let it be known that I love my daddy, he is a smart, giving, wonderful man, but that was one of his lesser helpful bits of advice. I wanted to ask him what the magic formula is for “making more time;” I imagine it would involve one cup of minced minutes, shredded seconds and half an hour stirred in. If I shared this mental recipe with my dad, I’m afraid he would remind me that I could have used the little thought tangent time more wisely. But sadly, regardless of my creative baking skills, I can’t make time. You can’t me time! So we just need to steal some here and there.
The unfortunate thing about stealing time is, it tends to send the Sandman to steal some right back. Just last night, for example, I was grading papers and feeling sorry for my dog … she saw I was still awake sitting at the kitchen table and not spending time with her. To remedy this injustice, I laid a blanket on my kitchen tile floor, snuggled up with my dog, my computer, and a stack of papers to grade. Complete with pillows, it was about 11:30 at night when I had the brilliant idea that I would just rest my eyes for a few minutes. Somewhere between sleep and sanity, I realized that I was about to compromise my comfort for the kitchen floor! That is when I when I recognized that time had one that match. It’s stole the rest of the night from me in my comfy bed where I could not deny sleep another minute.
Knowing that my students would be taking my Language Arts final exam today, my dreams were properly punctuated, interspersed with plenty of imagery, symbolism, and a metaphor or two. I think I even saw an ellipses, you know that … at the end of my dream, indicating that there should have been more but time omitted it.
But, things always get done. That same perfect-timing mother and sister of mine who I simultaneously can’t stand for their on-timeliness, are also the two people I call in a desperate panic the hour before something is due just to have them tell me, “don’t worry you’ll get it done … you always do.” And you know what? They’re right. So now I will say it to you, whatever it is that needs doing, it will get done! You may need to rearrange the order of your list a little bit, like me, but eventually everything that needs doing will be accomplished. Sometimes, I admit it is hard to decide how to prioritize my list, but I have found that finishing that last bit of whatever it is, is much less important than a child who says I need to go to the bathroom now! Please learn from my mistakes and remember the words of Oscar Wilde when he said, “I never put off till tomorrow what I can possibly do – the day after.”