A Procrastinator’s Guide From A to Z
“I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.”
― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
I’m an obsessive person. If I like a TV show, I can’t just WATCH one episode. I have to binge watch EVERY episode that’s out there, sucking in every entertaining morsel of televised drama. (Netfix is my favorite enabler.) I can’t just read one book in a series. If I like the first book, I HAVE to read them all. What’s going happen? Must find out! I listen to the same songs, over and over, parsing through the lyrics, gleaning information. I watch the same movies when I’m feeling blue. There’s comfort in the familiar. I take solace in reading or watching the SAME characters, in hearing the same the voices. Kill off a favorite character…and there’s little room for forgiveness. I’m protective of my fictional friends. Even though, technically, they’re not actually MY fictional friends. They belong to their artists/writers/producers/etc. (*Note to writers* Kill off enough of your characters, your fictional “darlings,” and I’m going to bail on you. That’s just how it is. I don’t like saying goodbye.) 😦
Why do I obsess over the familiar, over entertainment I already know? Because, I am a procrastinator at my core. I HATE change.
In theory, I know that change can be a good thing. It can be a blessing. Real growth starts with change. But, I don’t LIKE it. I’m a whiny, foot stomping brat when it comes to change! I am instantly two-years-old.
I don’t like it!
I don’t want it!
No, no, NO, no, NOOOO!
In the past, and especially lately, I’ve tried to be more accepting of change. Sometimes, it even works. The changes I’ve made have brought me happiness. But this isn’t how I’m wired. I have to fight my very nature. When I’m thinking negatively, I have to remind myself that what I’m doing, the negativity…isn’t working. I have to find ways to justify going against who I really am, for my own good. Even then, it’s a guarantee that I’ll slip up from time to time. Because I’m human!
In my mind, in a perfect world, everything would be done the “right way” the first time around. No room for error. Do it right once and you’ll never have to do it again. LOL Of course, this is an impossible standard! I know this. The world would be boring if everything stayed the same! We couldn’t function this way. I couldn’t function this way. Would I want to hold onto my haircut from 1992? No, thank you. Even still…I don’t like change.
Is it any wonder why it’s soooo difficult to change a procrastinator? You can’t change them. They have to change themselves. They have to enjoy the changes that are happening, or it’s not going to work out.
Procrastinators LIKE things to stay the same. We obsess over it. We have this flawed belief that when things are going right, if we just hold on long enough, if we just hold on tight enough, everything will be fine. Happily ever after. So…we put off gratification. We put off our hopes, our dreams, our everything. Yes, things might get better if we finally give into change. But, what if it’s worse? What if things turn out like those HORRIBLE television shows, the ones where five season’s in, the two protagonists finally give into their feelings, become a couple, and ruin the entire series with their whiny romance drama? Favorite TV show…cancelled!
If I can find a way to make the changes in my life more enjoyable than what I’ve been doing…I can accept the changes a lot easier. New phone has better features? I might give in. Reluctantly. There might be some initial foot-stomping, but I can move forward. Changes in my behavior bring me joy? Carry on! However, it has to be my choice. No one can do it for me. No amount of coaxing or punishing is going to help because my default setting wants everything to stay the same. Forever. Any wonder my favorite supernatural character happens to be a vampire? LOL Yeah…I don’t suppose they would like change, either.
2 thoughts on “O is for Obsession #atozchallenge”
I hadn’t thought of obsession propelling procrastination, anymore than perfectionism. Though the way you explain–and the style–make them make sense.
Even though I’m of the TV generation, I can pretty much take or leave TV. I know that makes me an apostate. I often have the television on for background noise. Helps me deal with tinnitus.
I like Bird by Bird. Grace Notes, too.
Gee, you weren’t talking about Castle, were you?
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I haven’t heard of Bird by Bird or Grace Notes. I’ll have to look those shows up!
Yup! Castle was one. Bones, too. 🙂 That’s one of the reasons I love watching shows like Supernatural. I like shows where there’s NO chance of the two main characters forming a romance. The two main protagonists of Supernatural are brothers, eliminating the tired “will they or won’t they” trope. (Supernatural was just renewed for a twelfth season.) 🙂