Thursday, December 10, 2009

Procrastination is a great thing, in moderation

It's been weighing on me for a few weeks, now. The annual newsletter, that is. I started writing it, full of good intentions, towards the end of November. Then we heard the news that the MV Doulos will no longer be allowed to sail after the end of the year. It was possible that Daniel and his girlfriend might be coming to Cyprus in January. So naturally, I had to wait until we knew for sure what they were going to do before finishing the newsletter.

It was last weekend that we heard that they are going to Carlisle for three months, to work in their organisation's audio-visual department. So they won't be coming to Cyprus until April, which was the original plan. So I could write the newsletter on Saturday, write Christmas cards on Sunday, have the newsletters printed at Richard's office on Monday, and then post them on Tuesday, when I went to the PO Box.

No problem... but somehow the metaphorical weight of this newsletter had increased. I did search for a few relevant photos, and exported them to a useful size. But on Saturday, we did our big shop, so I had to put vast amounts of groceries away, and fold up the carrier bags to re-use. We were given some lemons earlier in the week, so as the mains water was on, I thought I'd better make our first batch of lemonade for the season. The laundry on the line was dry, so I had to put all that away in between rain showers. I even did a bit of ironing. And of course I had to fill the drinking water bottles. And I do a couple of Facebook games at weekends. In the evening we were out for a game of Settlers. And so the day went by, and I didn't write the newsletter.

On Sunday, we were expecting friends in the evening for our breakaway get-together of part of our renegade cell group. So I needed to make bread (three loaves), and soup (tomato) and our first batch of mince pies - not for the evening but for the following day. And I really needed to do some general sweeping and mopping, and keep up with my email, and Facebook. And I realised that I needed to look at the anthology that I'm going to produce for the writing group. Our friends came at 4pm to watch the musical 'Annie', and then we had an enjoyable evening together. So the day went by, and I didn't write the newsletter.

On Monday I was hosting the writing group, which includes one person who is allergic to cats. So I dusted and swept and mopped again, and vacuumed all the soft furniture, and then - since I had some extra time - I even cleaned some of the windows. And spent a bit more time looking at material for the anthology, so we could discuss it at the meeting. Since it's the last one of the year, we all brought some finger foods and had lunch together. And in the afternoon I did some laundry, and read and wrote email... and the day went by without me writing a newsletter.

On Tuesday I help at Tots. I did get to the PO Box first, which wasn't easy since I'd stubbed a toe quite badly on Monday morning and it was rather painful on Tuesday. I was thankful to have a ride home after Tots. And am always so tired by the end that I couldn't do anything much in the afternoon, other than sorting through the mail, and putting away the laundry, and writing some lengthy emails.

On Wednesday, I knew I had to get to the newsletter. But Wednesday is the day when I clean the upstairs and make the bed with clean sheets, so I determined to do that first. I did a very good job. I cleaned the entire house on Wednesday morning, and made up Tim's bed as well as ours, since he's coming back for Christmas. And I made some bread, and a slightly more organised lunch than usual since we were entertaining Richard's book-keeping colleague, and his small assistant at King Malu.

Then I'd offered to play games with our friends' children in the afternoon, so that was another couple of hours. By the time I got home I needed to start cooking for our evening meal, and when we'd eaten Richard suggested some board games.

So I still hadn't written the newsletter, but at least the house was sparkling clean by the end of Wednesday.

Today, the boy who usually spends the morning here wasn't coming, so I knew I had to write the newsletter. But first I had to proof-read Tim's latest essay, which he sent me last night, and which has to be handed in tomorrow.

Then I looked at my 'task' list in gmail, and was a bit shocked to see just how many things I'd neglected in the past few days. And I remembered a few short, urgent emails that I needed to write. So I did those. I made an online payment that was outstanding. I finally got around to ordering prints of the past five months' worth of photos which I'd uploaded to the Kodak gallery. I wrote reviews of the last two books I'd read. I realised that the site where I've kept my full list of books for the past few years really isn't functional - it hasn't been, for a few months now - so I searched for a new place to have as backup (Goodreads being my prime book list) and decided to try Shelfari. So I had to export and import the list.

In fact, I got right up to date with everything on my lists for the past few days. Other than one item...

.. and finally, I had nothing left on the list other than the newsletter. Procrastination had to be put aside. It didn't even take me particularly long to put in the photos, write a bit more, and adjust it to fit on one side of paper. Tomorrow Richard will print it on his office colour laser printer, and I hope to post them next Tuesday. Or possibly even Monday.

But if I hadn't procrastinated about the newsletter for so long, I probably wouldn't have got all those other things done...

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Wow....I'm exhausted!!!!