Procrastination. The dictionary defines procrastination as “to put off” or “to delay” something that requires attention. I would like to offer an addition that has been especially relevant in my life: to desperately avoid. When I hear procrastination described as simply “delaying” a necessary task, it implies a sense of calm, as if the decision was somehow a logical choice to simply complete a task later. However, how I experience procrastination is less of a calm, logical choice and is definitely more of a chaotic jumble of responsibilities careening around my mind in a twisted path, all requiring immediate action. Of course, procrastination takes place in a headspace where logic is not involved and instead meaningless tasks take precedence over whatever responsibility I am desperately avoiding. Yes, this version of procrastination is much more chaotic than simply “delaying” a task and I admit, it doesn’t even fully make sense; however, that is procrastination for me, an experience that really doesn’t make much sense.
As I write this post, I am aware that I am working on it several days after I had intended for it to be completed. Due to the process in which Wendi and I edit each other’s blog posts, I always intend to give ample time between when I share my draft with her and when I am scheduled to post it online. A loose deadline that I try to respect for the sake of my co-author. However, this time even the desire of wanting to honor our timeline was not enough to pull me off of my procrastination roller coaster.
Why this procrastination? Because I am struggling with writing. In the past few weeks I have been pushed to make some big decisions that involve major life changes, specifically in relation to my career. As I have been processing the decisions, weighing the pros and cons, assessing my lifelong hopes and dreams, I have found myself in some sort of mental spiral that is difficult to articulate in words. I have been at a loss to find the best words to convey my current emotional state, so it feels as if I am currently in the midst of a fight with language. And one thing that is very difficult to do when you are in a fight with words, is write a logical, thoughtful, blog post.
The difficult nature of tackling writing a blog post while in the thick of a feud with words led to a very persistent case of procrastination. For example, whenever I have a few spare minutes to write, I instead spend my free time playing Wordle and various variations of Nerdle. When the game of the day was completed, I would turn to researching the nature of these games and why they were created. I suppose I could have written a blog post about 5 letter word games or number equations, but, due to my extensive research, I think there are already a sufficient amount of blog posts that cover these topics.
As I continued to contemplate my procrastination, I realized that it has spilled into more than just required tasks, and it has even commandeered some of my hobbies. For example, I am currently reading four books. Usually, I read two at a time, one on paper and one audiobook. But, my attention span is all twisted due to my procrastination roller coaster, causing my interest to be pulled in multiple directions as I split my already fractured attention into further splinters. Despite being invested in four different stories, recently, as I got ready for the day, I found myself listening to a podcast. Because, as I said, procrastination doesn’t make sense.
In the future, when language and I are back on the same page, and words and I get along again, I look forward to writing more posts about life changes, being brave, trusting God, and all the good and unexpected things. But until then, this is it. A blog post about how I am currently unable to write a blog post. And, in the nature of embracing the unexpected, I have decided, if this is all I have today, that is okay.
Jessica is a wife, mom, school social worker, and aspiring writer. She is co-author of the blog The Unexpected Ever Afters.