July 02, 2012

Personal Character Flaws: Perseveration, Persistence, Procrastination, and Perfectionism - With a Dash of Lazy Thrown in the Mix

Or Why I Can't Leave Well Enough Alone

I miss The Boy when he's at school. No wait, I don't exactly miss him, it's more like I'm anxious and eager to hear how his day went. No sooner does he get off the bus that I start my litany of questions...hence the sin of Perseveration.

"Did you have a good day?"
"What did you do today?"

Monosyllabic answers don't do it for me. I want a monologue of the ups and downs and ins and outs of The Boy's time at school. It's a sickness, I'm sure of it. Persistence, thy name is Kim.

"No, really, what did you do? Did (fill in student's name) bother you? Were you able to ignore him today without having an outburst? Did you have fun?"

"MOM, PLEASE SHUT UP! LEAVE ME ALONE! Can you log me in? What's for dinner?"

If I were patient, and waited an hour or two, The Boy generally starts telling me about his day...but I want to know it NOW.

Why can't I leave well enough alone?

I am a champion procrastinator. If medals were awarded in this character flaw, I'd have a chestful of shiny gold testaments to my putting off until never what I can do today. I've read that procrastination goes hand in hand with perfectionism. I would rather not start a job that I can't finish to my own satisfaction - so I put it off, waiting until I have the motivation and time and inclination to master a particular task. Because I am also inherently lazy, there never seems to be a good time to undertake a job - especially one that I don't want to do in the first place.

So here it is, 1:30 in the morning, and the dishwasher is finally running. For several hours I hemmed and hawed and used Facebook and Hulu and any manner of distractions to avoid the unloading and loading of the damned dishwasher. In my head, I know that it takes only about two minutes to unload the dishes and put them away...but I regard that task with the same amount of trepidation as if I were told to go out and clean up all of the neighborhood dog crap. 

Part of my reticence is that, once I unload the dishwasher, then I have the unfortunate task of loading it again. Today was a cooking kind of day; we made pulled pork in the Crock Pot, and I tried a new peach cobbler recipe - even though I found a perfectly good recipe that was enjoyed by all. I had this fantasy of perfecting the cobbler - and making it a family favorite. So I dirtied untold pans and bowls what with the zesting and syrup-making and batter-creating. I was sure that the Chinese Five Spice Powder would put this cobbler over the top.

It did not. Despite the five-star rating on allrecipes.com, it was not the best cobbler I've ever eaten. In fact, there was just too much syrup, so we ended up with a perfect golden brown crust that hid a soupy peach mess, with a funky taste, at that.

Why can't I leave well enough alone?

Back to the dishes. Those bowls and pots looked like failure to me. Who wants to do failure dishes?

When I ran out of distractions and excuses, I toiled exactly seven minutes in the kitchen to finish the job. Six hours of procrastination for seven minutes of actual work. No, the kitchen isn't perfect - but one of these days, when I have TIME, it'll look like a showplace, I'm sure of it.

Of course, it'll never measure up to this kitchen. Erin posted this pic on Facebook and said that the kitchen gave her a boner.

Soon she'll be aroused daily...she and Daryl signed a contract for the house on Saturday. She called and said, "We bought the house. I want to vomit."

Maybe perfection isn't all it's cracked up to be.


  1. I'm so happy I chose to procrastinate for just a few minutes this morning, and stopped to read your blog post. I see a lot of me in your description of yourself....scary, ain't it??

    1. Say it isn't so, Becky! I thought I was the only one!

  2. hahahaha. maybe you shouldn't visit her for awhile *wink wink*
    That is too funny about you making the boy talk to you when he's not ready. but I totally understand. I think I probably drove my kids crazy also

  3. Oh yeah, my mouth overrules me much of the time, too..and I despise putting silverware away.

  4. Mine is 11 and my distractions have other names but other than that, this post is my life word for word.

  5. I have the same problem with my dishwasher... hmmm, why is that?

  6. I feel the exact same way about my dishwasher. Then I do it and think 'OK, it isn't that bad." But then the next night, I feel the exact same way again. A vicious vicious cycle.


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