If I reach genius level in anything, it’s the “avoidance reaction.” If something that requires a lot of time and effort lies ahead, and it’s not necessarily my favorite thing to do, then I will find some sort of excuse to do almost anything else, regardless of what’s on the other side of the task. One could call it procrastination, I suppose, but it’s a bit more complicated than just putting things off, and it’s fed by yet another of my human failings, a tendency toward distraction. A common example: If I’m dusting the bookshelves, I’m distracted by reading what’s on them. These two weaknesses are in full takeover mode when we’re getting ready to go away.
Before I go any farther, let me qualify this self-analysis by pointing out that I always do get the job done. Eventually. The problem is the 11th hour scrum that leaves me totally out of juice. You’d think that at my age, I’d get my you-know-what together and, per the ever brilliant wise if pointed admonition of Loretta in Moonstruck, would just “Snap out of it!”.
My 96-year-old godmother, who is not sharp as but sharper than the proverbial tack, is fond of asking, beginning a week before we set out on a journey, if I’ve packed yet. “Of course not! You know me better than that!” This q-and-a continues nightly, until right up to the planned departure. We both laugh heartily. I know she is subtly chiding me not to let everything go till the last minute. And, of course, she’s right. She generally is.
Yesterday and today I’ve been working through a list of things to accomplish before we head north. One of them involves some cooking. A trip to the farmer’s market the other day yielded irresistible leeks and freshly dug potatoes (soup!), and eggplant that I will fry and freeze to use when we get back. There are clothes to wash, last-minute errands, and snacks to pack. We’ve been trying to eat more judiciously, so we’ll forego a restaurant lunch on the road in favor of healthy munchies as we make our way north. Anyway, here’s my progress at 10:15 AM the day before departure:
- Load of wash is in.
- Eggplant soaked and drying in preparation for breading and frying.
- Celery, carrots, cakes, hard-cooked eggs, and cheddar packed for the car.
- Turmeric capsules, Vitamin B stress formula (LOL), and calcium tabs in the pill keeper.
- Immediate work assignments (remember–I’m “demi” retired).
- Leeks washed and potatoes cleaned but not yet peeled.
- Ready to begin Chapter 26 in Louise Penny’s A Better Man. More about her in a future post.
When you write it down, it always seems like a LOT more than it really is. That last one, though… that’s the real distraction this time, You guessed it–I can’t put it down. So I’m using each chapter as a reward when I finish a task. Kind of like dog training (LOL again). And writing this post about avoidance reactions has in itself become—you guessed it—an avoidance reaction.
Cover photo: Isn’t it a pleasure when your pale pink roses surprise you this way?