Procrastinating or Prioritizing

It being May, the month of Mother's Day, I decided to dedicate this column to one of the best mother's I know (besides my own of course!) And the Oscar goes out to Sara, my little cousin, mother of three adorable youngsters and school teacher to many more! She is one busy momma for sure, but every now and again, I am delighted to see that she has found a moment to post a tidbit of a family tale on Facebook. The last one left a lasting impression on me and it happened to perfectly sum up my "theme" of the month- which has something to do with noticing the difference between procrastination and prioritization.

In her post, she laments the fact that she wishes she were not a procrastinator as the consequences often sting. She illustrated with a brief description of how a small deed left for later, like refilling the wipes tub, which resides at the foot of the changing table, when it is empty, can have rather dire consequences when they are not available when needed the next time a poopy fanny needs attention.

This one resonated with me. I had three in diapers at the same time for a short time, plus a dog with chronic diarrhea. Course it was my duty to clean the cat doodie too. My mom once remarked to me that I must be up to my elbows in crap most of the time. She was right, but looking back, I could at least manage that crap pretty darn well. I am happy to report that I always won the diapering battles. I don't recall ever running out of wipes at the changing table, but I could write a small book about my "crappy" experiences.

Of the multitude, two quickly come to mind. Just for fun, I will quickly recap. The first one was when the twins were but wee little guys, and we had traveled up to Chico to visit family. On the way home, we stopped to get a bite to eat. We had just gotten situated with the two highchairs and were just about to order when Computer boy felt the call of nature. I jumped up and quickly refreshed him. I had just sat down again when Soccer Boy felt the call. My wonderful husband gallantly offered to take care of Soccer Boy, but you see, Mens' restrooms were not equipped with changing tables at that time. So hubby was making due with the portable mat in the bathroom stall when all of the sudden, the dude occupying the stall due north overflowed the toilet with doo!. The manager hunted me down at my husband's request (I was wondering what was taking sooooooooooo loooooooong) to go to the car to get clean, dry clothes for poor Soccer Boy. The elderly couple sitting next to us kindly offered to keep an eye on Computer Boy who was content arranging his oyster crackers on his highchair tray while I ran to retrieve the clothes. I will never forget that day!

The runner up story happened on a 4th of July celebration. We had gone to see fireworks, and had parked about a mile away from where we hiked to secure the perfect vantage point. We were all settled in when Buddha Boy felt the call. I didn't even have a used Kleenex in my purse. All of the kids were out of diapers so we weren't equipped with a diaper bag. I took Buddha Boy to a semi remote area where he took care of business, but it was quite messy, and we needed to wipe with something! Hubby decided to sprint back to the truck to retrieve the paper towels. Meanwhile. Buddha Boy held onto his ankles and mooned the moon. After what seemed like an eternity, hubby returned with the paper towels. The three of us missed a spectacular fireworks show, but learned the dual purpose that any of our socks could have served. It just never occurred to either of us at that time. Fortunately, we never had to resort to the sock solution.

It was all so dire at the time, but looking back, it was child's play compared to the shit we deal with now. There is no simple sock solution for some of it. But I digress.

Back to my little cousin and her post, I responded that she probably wasn't procrastinating, but rather, prioritizing. When one has just taken care of one child, and another little one needs immediate attention, it's quite normal to forgo a mundane task such as refilling the wipe container. Course we think we will remember to come back to the task, but life takes priority. And then we get caught with our pants down- or should I say - our kids do!

I was musing on how different folks have different strokes regarding task completion. I like to get the big stuff done and then work on the littler things. Sort of like the trickle down theory. I start with what is absolutely essential and time sensitive- so that I can meet my deadlines. Gifts purchased and mailed in time for the celebrations- check. Food and house supplies purchased- check. School uniforms in the wash- check. Seems I never get to the little stuff like putting gas in my van, folding the clothes before they are perma wrinkled, properly dusting or weeding or cleaning my closet etc.

My husband likes to get all the little stuff out of the way so that he can give his full attention to the big things like paying bills and changing the oil in our vehicles. Problem is, there are just too many little things to attend to all of the time that he often has a difficult time getting to the big things before time runs out. We make a good team. He gets the clothes folded and I get the shopping done.

Then I saw the Dilbert cartoon that really brought it home. The scenario was the boss asking the employee if the mundane task had been completed. The employee's response was, "No. Of course not. We both know that if I ever had the time to get around to that task, my position would be eliminated!" So true. There are so many things that we just don't do until we have to. Like refilling the wipes. Or bringing out the recycling bin. Or dusting. I don't consider it procrastination. Really, it has more to do with prioritizing. And we all do that differently, depending upon how we are wired.

Happy Mother's Day!!!!!!!

Truisms:

You’re either part of the solution, or part of the problem.

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When bad men combine, the good must associate. (BURKE)

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When elephants make war, it is the mice that suffer.

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Truth is stranger than fiction.

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Trust only those who stand to lose as much as you when things go wrong.

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There’s no fool like an old fool.

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Those who CAN, have a moral obligation to do for those who CAN’T. (GARTH)

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The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.

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The early bird gets the worm.

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The first casualty of war is truth.

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The innocent and the beautiful have no enemy but time. (YEATS)

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The ends don’t justify the means

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The hand that rocks the cradle, is the hand that rules the world. (Wallace)

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The eyes are the windows to the soul.

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The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence

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The higher the monkey climbs a tree, the more you see his ugly side.

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The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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The most cooperative man in the world is a dead man. (OKMYX)

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The pen is mightier than the sword.

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The person who knows HOW will always have a job. The person who knows WHY will always be his boss. (RAVITCH)

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The nail that sticks up…gets the hammer.

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The wages of sin is death. (BIBLE)

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A stitch in time saves nine.

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The truth will out

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The third time’s the charm.

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The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

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The proof is in the pudding.

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The right tool for the right job.

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There is nothing new under the sun. (BIBLE)

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There is nothing to fear, but fear itself. (ROOSEVELT)

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There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots.

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There’s no place like home.

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There’s a fine line between genius and madness.

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There is nothing so small it can’t be blown out of proportion.

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There’s never a cop around when you need one.

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Those who ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.

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Three things the public clamors for: NOVELTY, NOVELTY, NOVELTY.

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Time and tide wait for no man.

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There’s none so blind as those who will not see

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There’s no atheists in the foxholes. (CUMMINGS)

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Next Post date: June 7, 2010
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May 3, 2010

Quotes:

The wisdom of the wise and the experiences of the ages are perpetuated by quotations.- Benjamin Disraeli

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ANDY WARHOL:
They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.

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ANNIE DILLARD:
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.

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BENJAMIN FRANKLIN:
Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that the stuff life is made of.

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BRIAN TRACY:
There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing.

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C. S. LEWIS:
The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.

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CAPTAIN JEAN-LUC PICARD:
Time is a companion that goes with us on a journey. It reminds us to cherish each moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we have lived.

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COLETTE:
Time spent with cats is never wasted.

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ECCLESIASTES:
For everything there is a season,
And a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate,
A time for war, and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

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EMILY DICKINSON:
To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.

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EUDORA WELTY:
Events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves they find their own order the continuous thread of revelation.

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HENRY DAVID THOREAU:
As if you could kill time without injuring eternity!

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HENRY DAVID THOREAU:
The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools, but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time.

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HORACE MANN:
Lost, yesterday, somewhere between Sunrise and Sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever.

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KENNETH PATTON:
By labor we can find food and water, but all of our labor will not find for us another hour.

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MARY PARRISH:
Love vanquishes time. To lovers, a moment can be eternity, eternity can be the tick of a clock.

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RALPH WALDO EMERSON:
The years teach much which the days never know.

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SALMAN RUSHDIE:
Reality is a question of perspective; the further you get from the past, the more concrete and plausible it seems -- but as you approach the present, it inevitably seems incredible.

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THOMAS PAINE:
Time makes more converts than reason.

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