Because things aren’t really all that jolly and the days have been getting greyer as they always do towards the winter solstice, it seems to be the season for procrastinating instead. Not that it’s at all unusual for me to put things off until well beyond the last minute. I realised this morning that this trait is hereditary (as well as the one that gives people an interest in old railway lines that borders on obsessive) when I found that one of my sons, in the throes of filming and recording sketches for an advent calendar, is actually working less than 24 hours ahead of publication.
To cheer things up a bit I created a print version of my Christmas-themed mystery novel the other day. But that was really just a way of procrastinating on all the other things I should have been doing.
How do I procrastinate? Let me count the ways.
I didn’t buy any Christmas cards until the day before yesterday, and I have only written on about four of them so far. I’ve put off writing Christmas letters, which I know are a bit of luxury when many of the people I have on my card list are also friends on Facebook, so they already know more about my life than they would have done even with the most detailed annual letter. The printer has randomly disconnected itself from our home wi-fi and I’ve been putting off trying to fix it, largely because the next thing that happened after we realised we couldn’t use the printer was that my laptop also disconnected itself. I’ve had to deactivate the firewall to get back online, and now as well as all the rigmarole my computer goes through when booting up there is an urgent warning from McAfee about it, although, according to my technical adviser, with Windows 10 you don’t need a firewall and may not even need a virus checker, so it may be thank you and good night McAfee before very long.
Naturally I have been procrastinating on the housework for as long as I can remember, and now someone is coming round in the morning with the ominously termed ‘equipment’ I may need for when I come home from my hip operation. I feel I should have already spring-cleaned the house in readiness for this visit. Certainly the booklet I have about going into hospital tells me I should be doing so before the operation, as well as cooking meals in advance and freezing them in small portions. I don’t want to seem ungrateful for this advice, but (a) I am kind of hoping I’ll be more fit to clean the house after the operation than I am now, and (b) that’s what microwave ready-meals are for.
I realised at around lunchtime today that some of my procrastination was the result of indecisiveness (or was it?). For instance, I hadn’t wrapped up the presents I had decided to wrap up over this weekend because I was having second thoughts about what present to give to whom. Once I got that straightened out in my mind, it was easy. Of course I am still putting of getting them ready for posting, but one thing at a time.
Another case where indecisiveness has a part to play is with my writing. I’m writing a second ‘thing in the notebook’ at the moment and it seems to be coming along quite nicely. But I also have my NaNoWriMo first draft to read through, and my half-finished historical novel to work on. Then there’s the children’s story I half-thought of publishing soon. And the other things sitting on my hard drive – not to mention the epic novel of the English Civil War, the typescript of which might be on a shelf in the kitchen or, more worryingly, in a big plastic box in the garden. I wrote it about 35 years ago but every so often I wonder whether it might be worth resurrecting. But if it does turn out to be lying among the leaves so brown, that question could be academic.