2018-04-16 The Master Procrastinator Strikes Again

First and foremost.. holy hell!! Serious snow fall over the weekend. I don’t remember the last time it snowed on Tax day, but that’s exactly what happened.

My Saturday girls game day plans got postponed to next Saturday and I opted out of monthly wine night. Both were partially selfish as 1) I was still fairly under the weather and 2) I was hanging with JS and didn’t want to leave.

So instead we sat around on Saturday and watched the snowfall. On Sunday we had plans to visit Winterset Iowa and the famous “Bridges of Madison county”. We made the most of it despite the freezing temps. It’s being documented as the first road trip where we kissed “near” nearly every bridge.
How romantic. 😜

I say near because by the third bridge neither one of us wanted to get out of the car. We took pics from inside the car and tried to get the bridges in the background through the car windows. My toes were frozen and it was sloppy wet, muddy, and frankly a little unimpressive. I know these bridges were built in the 1800s, but they really look it. The covered structures were quite dilapidated and the insides were sadly littered with juvenile graffiti. At some point I’d like to see the movie that made the bridges famous. I bet they made them look awesome for that. I may never see the movie though. As huge of a hopeless romantic as I profess to be, I’ve never been much into romance novels or movies. Romantic comedy maybe, but mostly for the comedy.

In any case, I got some great pics of trees covered in snow and our first selfies and it kinda felt like we rewound time a little back to winter. Appropriate for a visit to Winterset I guess. We also had great conversations on the way out and back and when we arrived back home he cooked us dinner and then made us a fire and we finished off our weekend with a documentary about Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. It turned out to be a really nice weekend.

I failed to collect Sunday stats because my fitbit battery ran out and I had taken it off at some point and didn’t have my charger. My charger is actually broken and to get it to charge I have to use a clip to hold it together so the connectors connect. I’ve been wanting to replace it for a while now, but they are pretty pricy. Actually I’ve wanted the Alta HR version since about the minute I bought mine (HR came out about 2 weeks after I bought the Alta I have, of course). It is on my list but I’ve been holding off to see how well I can stick to my new monthly budget. I’m pretty sure I forgot to wear it half of this past weekend and due to not feeling well, I am sure my stats were way down for the week anyway.

That trend continued this morning when I forgot again before going to the gym to grab it off the charger. The only thing worse than not getting the steps is getting steps and not getting credit for it. Ha!! I’m hoping that I can get back on top of my normal exercise routine this week. I’m almost fully recovered from he sickness that took over last week so it should be doable.

The other thing I did this weekend was start my taxes (yeah, I did just say start).

Hence the title of this blogpost.. “The Master Procrastinator.” Normally I try to get them done a few weeks in advance of the deadline, but this year has felt kinda crazy and it’s just never bubbled to the top of my list. Well, with the deadline looming, it is now at the very top of my list. It makes no sense for me to wait because I’ll probably be getting money back (I do every year), but it doesn’t stop me from procrastinating doing the actual paperwork. I also file electronically so I should even see my refund this week. Yay!

Well, I’m well into Monday now and it’s really time to tackle some work (and finish the taxes maybe), so I’d better get to it.

Happy Monday Peeps,
~Miss SugarCookie

2018-03-27 “Impromptu Oral Surgery”

Words my co-worker said sounded like the WORST PHRASE ever. But, that’s what I typed several times yesterday to People explaining how my morning went. I went to the dentist with a tooth ache on one side of my mouth and what I would describe as a growing “bubble” on the skin on the inside of my lower lip.

The internet is an amazing tool and I successfully self diagnosed my problem on web-md and the solution recommended there was “leave it alone” as it may go away on its own or see your dentist. It explicitly said not to try any home remedy.

It was a mucocele, caused by obstruction or injury to a saliva duct. It gets blocked and then fluid builds up inside and it forms a bubble on the surface. I’m going to Austin this week and can’t be dealing with shit like that. Plus.. the toothache. Two birds with one stone as they say.

First, the tooth. I suggested it was a popcorn hull stuck in my gums to the dental assistant. She laughed, but I ate the end of a bag of smart pop like 5 days ago and it was full of tiny bits). I offered the same remark to the dentist, whom I might mention is THE BEST. He and his wife are both dentists and they started their own practice together. I’ve been going there for 20+ years.

He looked at X-rays taken last November and then poked and hunted with floss for a few minutes. Finally, he tied a knot in the floss and that extra bump in the string fished out the biggest corn kernel shell ever. Ouch!! It was lodged under the gum between my two back teeth which apparently has a space just the right size for this sort of problem. After that it was a quick move to the next problem, the mucocele.

I was right about what it was and web md was right in that it required professional help to alleviate. Two shots and some cutting and stitches later, I had a mouth full of gauze and it was gone. I’ve had my fair share of dental work in my history but nothing quite like this. I’ve never had stitches in my mouth.

When I was a kid, stuff like this, needles and the sight of blood, would cause me to faint. As an adult, I’m completely over that, but yesterday on the drive home, I felt like I was being put to the test. The fainting is phychological of course, and as I drove the main road home, I started to think about what I’d just been through and could feel my heat rising and the blood draining from my face.

I recognized it as soon as I started to feel it coming on and forced myself to get a grip. It was either that or pull over. I shifted my thoughts to other things and when I was stopped at a light, I started texting people. Literally to help take my mind away from my numb lips, cheek, and gums and the thoughts about that scalpel cutting into my skin.

The last few minutes of my drive included getting texts back and it was a nice distraction. Normally, I would frown on texting and driving, but in this case, it was potentially a life saver. Someday I will have blown that completely out of proportion and tell people the story about the day “Texting while driving saved my life”. 😜

It was really minor, all things considered, but I proceeded to use it as an excuse not to work on anything yesterday. It goes to show that my brain will use any excuse to procrastinate. Gah!!

Consequently, today I really have to hit it. Without the kids today and I was about an hour late getting started with my day so I’m already behind. Work first and then writing. I received a response back from my mentor and now have two more specific topics to concentrate on, so that’s definitely a step in the right direction.

Now for more steps…

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-02-24 Look Who Just Showed Up

Procrastination

From deep within a three week slumber
With first a slow and sleepy lumber
The monster moves, now cocks his head,
Instilling thoughts of sudden dread

And In the wake of Panic’s stare
I also wake, acutely aware
Long days and nights I’ve been remiss
Choosing something other than this.

***

I just couldn’t help myself there. That’s the nature of poetry sometimes. It just shows up and when it does, it’s like, BAM, you thought you might do something else with that little bit of time but (and with a finger wag) it say’s “you won’t”. Just add that to my growing left brain list bearing the title “Why Poetry”.

In this poem I’m referring, of course, of our beloved and sometimes long hibernating panic monster. A few days ago I was thinking about how I haven’t made much progress on revisions or reading my assigned materials. I really was thinking I had a few weeks to go before the next packet is due. Then I looked up the schedule. I was wrong.

One week.. and that was 2 days ago. So now I have 5 days to finish everything. I have made some progress but not enough to equate to 4 weeks of work. Where did those days/weeks go??!

So I guess that’s what I’m doing with my weekend. The good news is that I have no other plans so I should be able to dedicate a lot of time to what I need to do. That’s the positive side of having a slim social life right now.. not a lot of other things consuming my time. I think it will also help that there is a lull at work right now and literally nothing for me to do again. Aside from “running the household” I can focus solely on this and hopefully knock it out in just a few days.

Last night I did have a commitment to keep (happily) to go watch my friend Amy play in her band at a bar. The band is called Dirt House and they are picking up traction in the metro area. The singer is somewhat like Sara Bareilles and plays keyboard and she’s backed up by a very good pop/rock sound with guitar and drummer and then my dear friend on the violin. Superb! The bar was an OK venue but either their sound system was garbage or the guy running it was. I’m guessing the guy running it because when I wandered over to that area, the board was pretty sophisticated. He was acting as if he was paying attention and making constant adjustments yet oblivious to the negative feedback and also the drums being way to loud and drowning out the voice of the singer. Duh! At one point Amy’s husband came to stand beside me and he was looking at the sound guy like he was about to knock him out so I know it wasn’t just me.

Amy had a whole crew of people there to support her including her friends and family and I was really glad about that because I went alone and would not have known anyone there otherwise. As soon as I walked in, one of the women I met at her wedding urged me over to sit with them at their table and that was a huge relief. For the life of me I could not remember her name and felt incredibly stupid about that, but it worked out OK because it never came up, and I can ask Amy later without feeling so stupid.

Anyway.. I really wanted to get this in because I’ve not posted in a couple days and it might be a couple more before I am able to write again since I’ll be heads down in my MFA work. Now that the Panic Monster has officially arrived, I need to feed the beast. Oh the woes of procrastination.

I don’t know if the ideas in the Ted talk I watched about procrastination were original, but that’s where the Panic Monster originated for me. It’s a great talk and definitely worth 14 minutes of one’s life.. especially if you are among the mass majority of people who operate on principles of procrastination. Tim Urban: Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator

Time to Write (Something Else),
~Miss SugarCookie

2018-01-29 This is What Happens…

…When you substitute what you should be doing with everything else that’s not what you should be doing.

Every day we have to make choices about what to do with our time. Much of that is dictated by choices we have already made. We have to go to work because we need to pay the bills for our houses and cars and lifestyles. We have to drive our kids to the store or soccer practice or spend time helping them with homework because we decided to have children (or decided to throw caution to the wind about the matter at some point). We have to mow the lawn because we have chosen to have a lawn.

Now that I think about it, almost all the things we spend time on are because we made that life for ourselves and there is such a very small amount (of time) left, that we are really free to do anything else. There is also some weight to each one of the things we have to do, or should be doing, based on the impact it might have in our lives if we don’t do those things.

For example, if you decided to stop going to your job, pretty quickly someone would decide to stop paying you and then you would be in a tricky pickle about how to pay those bills. This is a lot heavier than, say, deciding not to mow your lawn. So what if the grass grows another week? What’s really going to happen and who is really going to care? You might be able to push this task off for a while without any residual affect besides maybe your neighbor giving you the stink-eye.

In my life right now, I’m living with the very strange attitude that none of it is that important and that, whatever happens, it’s all going to work out just fine. This is so very counter to who I have been historically that it’s kind of bizarre to think about. I question why that shifted and if it will be a permanent change in my life or if its just some temporary state I’ve dropped into for self-preservation while I attempt to recover from whatever perceived traumas I’ve endured in the not so distant past?

Years ago I would have freaked out if I didn’t have a job or was not making enough money to pay my bills. Yet right now, as I type this, its not really bothering me that much. Yes, I think about it, and I have some level of concern, but not enough to really press for more hours or find a full time job. I’m also not that concerned that my sink is full of dirty dishes or that I need to get my roof replaced. Large or small, the weight just doesn’t seem that heavy.

This aloofness has had an interesting impact on my daily choices. I feel more free than ever to just get up every day and do whatever I want. I feel more at ease with setting aside a task and not worrying as much as I would historically. In a way, this is fantastic because it means my life is less stressful. I enjoy going to the gym to workout. I enjoy going to walk around Walnut Creek. I enjoy writing and messing around in the garden and I’m choosing to do those things instead of things I should probably be doing. And I’m happy.

I’ve also found myself choosing to do things I normally don’t like in the face of some larger, looming deadline. For example, in the past week I worked on sorting and filing paper mail, reorganization of my filing system, and beginning to tackle the monster that is my electronic mail. I worked on patching the hole in my dining room wall where my old thermostat was and installed a new one. I took down my Christmas lights and finished putting away the last of the decorations. I even archived all my files from 2017 from my laptop and reorganized my external hard drive too. These are all chores I typically don’t care for (well, except maybe installing the thermostat, that was fun).

I’ve chosen to do those things instead of put more hours into work or reading for school or my first large assignment that is due on January 31st. I’ve procrastinated seemingly important things, and yet I still feel good. In fact, I feel great. Not only am I not worried about those heavy hitters, but I’m also super stoked about being productive on other fronts. I dig the fact that my office is now (mostly) organized and the fact that I don’t have to think about those damn Christmas lights anymore. I really feel like this is how life should be. I want to live this way all the time.

I recognize those deadlines and concerns are still there, and I’m certainly responsible enough to not let it go too long before I put in some real effort to get things done. I just want to continue to not stress about it. It just FEELS better this way.

So if this is what happens when you substitute everything that you should be doing with everything that’s not that.. then “challenge accepted”. Again, I don’t know if this is a temporary thing, but in any case, I’m just going to sit back and enjoy it.

Don’t Sweat the Small (or Big) Stuff,
~Miss SugarCookie