There’s a letter that I’ve been meaning to write. I should have done it 6 weeks ago.
Procrastination is not about being lazy or disorganized. It’s a self-defense mechanism. You might be thinking that’s a crazy notion, but it’s totally true. If you commit to doing something and then do it poorly, then you’d probably call yourself a failure. But, if you don’t do the thing at all…well…then you didn’t fail, did you? You simply didn’t try. By not trying, you protect yourself from a feeling of failure.
Procrastination is one of those things in my BACKBONE that I’ve always struggled to correct. Knowing what it is…a defense mechanism…allows me to face the fear of my to-do list and prepare for the potential of failure.
So, in spite of the fact that I might do this poorly, here it goes…
I got your letter a few weeks ago and was thrilled to find it in my mailbox. I knew you had left for Afghanistan, but your deployment seemed to happen so quick that I didn’t get the chance to call and say good-bye.
What a whirlwind your life has been. Just last summer you were planning your wedding and opening bridal shower gifts under a sunny sky. A few months later, you were walking down the aisle.
And then…off you went to serve our country.
Planning a wedding and getting your orders shortly before the ceremony had to be hard, but we were all so proud of you…and still are.
So, you’re probably wondering why I haven’t written back yet. Honestly, I don’t know. I could blame it on the fact that everyone in our family has the late gene. But, that would really be a cop-out. I think the honest reason is that I don’t know exactly what to say. I’m procrastinating to protect myself from the failure of writing a bad letter.
The typical “hi, how are you, how’s the weather?” doesn’t seem enough. Questions I want to ask, like “is the war changing you?” or “are you scared?” don’t seem appropriate. And, telling you about life’s challenges here would seem trivial in comparison to what you’re facing every day. So, I’m going to get out some paper…grab a pen…and write you a long letter. I still don’t know exactly what I’m going to say…but I’m sure the words will come once the ink begins to flow onto the page. It will probably be about just random, every-day stuff…like snowstorms, all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinners, and American Idol. The typical American day-to-day life that many of us don’t appreciate nearly enough.
We love you. We’re proud of you. Come home safe and sound.
Do you procrastinate? Is there anything that’s been on your to-do list for way too long?