Last night, I thought to myself: “I’ll get up an hour early, wash the dishes, put the rubbish out, sort the recycling, get my stationery ready for class (another course), make a packed lunch (for the FRPs), fix my hair and leave early.” If the points were to be believed, you’d expect me to be more than capable of such a routine. This is what actually happened:
06.30: alarm goes off
06.35: alarm finally silenced, delay due to using a different (better) phone to run my sleep cycle app which didn’t have the QR reader installed meaning I had to download it. Lucky it wasn’t one of those times when the internet knows you really need it and decides to stop working.
06.40 Attempt to make a cup of tea by absent-mindedly placing the tea bag in the coffee pot.
06.45 Drink tea while flicking through a catalogue of pretty dresses (on sale).
07.00 Perform my ablutions.
07.10 Read a blog about Amazon’s mark up on e-book sales.
07.20 Pack my school bag.
07.25 Bag up the rubbish and put away the clean dishes from two days ago.
07.30 Text a friend to make sure class doesn’t really start at 08.30.
07.35 Think: “Oh dear, I need to leave in 10 minutes” and then re-evaluate train selection, thereby giving myself another crucial 9 minutes.
07.40 Get dressed and fix my hair (hair fixing being a known time-waster as it never stays fixed for long).
07.56 Leave the house and walk in a speedy yet composed enough fashion to feel amused by and superior to the lady in front of me in heels who thought a few quick stereotypically high-heeled “runs” (3 or 4 steps and really no faster than walking in sensible shoes) would make up some time on the way to the station.
Realistically, I don’t know which of these activities could be successfully honed from the routine. What really makes me despise such behaviour in myself is that I’m fully aware of the time I am losing in one direction and the impending deadline in the other. Rather than being some fluff-brained, attention-deficient dreamer, almost incapable of living independently and having little to no concept of the passage of time, my finely tuned body clock issues timely reminders, suggesting meekly that perhaps flicking through the accommodation section of the Rough Guide to Venice is a) not the best use of my time and b) only likely to incite room envy since I have already made reservations. It is that continual conscious awareness of my own time wasting combined with my inability to stop wasting time that makes me late, messy, unfit and academically sub-standard. I know I once had a secondary resolution to not worry so much about time and while, admittedly, I do enjoy life much more now, look what it’s done to me!
I realise I’m probably preaching to the choir here, after all who doesn’t like to procrastinate? Even now, as I write this, I’m fully aware that I have less than a week until my next encounter with the blackboard yet instead of wedging my head in between the pages of a giant text book and learning all there is to know about renal replacement therapy, cardiovascular instability and systemic inflammatory responses, I am here, talking to you, loyal readers. Oh I tell myself I’ll get on with it in a minute, I’ll just finish up here, add the finishing touches and then I’ll be done. But by then it will be dinner time. After unwisely gorging on all the edible contents of the house I’ll probably start to think about letting it all go down just while I watch a bit of iPlayer and then oh! look at that, it’s practically bed time, I’d better get an early night so that I can start the day fresh and early and hit the books with a clear head.
Except that I won’t. I have an appointment with the dentist on the morrow, after which I shall be meeting an in-law and dribbling scalding hot drinks out of the numb side of my face. Even by the most optimistic estimate I won’t hit the books until noon. Even if I didn’t have any plans for the morning, my organisational behaviour (or lack thereof) ensures the things I really need to do don’t even get looked at before noon since my mornings now consist of making loose leaf tea in the pot, seeing to my correspondence, reading the latest blog that Tim Harford or the F Word have linked to on Twitter, and trying to find multi-stop flights to the other side of the world for less than £1000. All this when I know my time is limited.
Still, I suppose life is limited. If I knew I was going to die tomorrow at noon would I alter my pottering? Not a jot. Well, maybe to go and visit anyone who has been nasty to me and make them feel really guilty. But no substantial alteration otherwise.
As with most -isms or prejudices, this only becomes a problem if some kind of moral value is attached to the behaviour. So, yes I am occasionally late although that is mostly nap related, I don’t produce work which displays my “full potential”, my humble abode frequently takes on the appearance of the streets of Clapham on a Sunday morning. But, if such failings are attributed to my being lazy, or disengaged or just plain filthy, I am robbed of that universally touted commodity: Choice.
Don’t judge me, I choose to live this way. Go on, try saying it, it feels wonderful. When your new partner raises an eyebrow because there are mushrooms growing on the ceiling, say it. When your friends constantly rip on you for keeping them waiting, say it. When your latest essay feedback advises you to “seek tutorial support before your next submission,” say it.
KarmaPs for feeling smugly superior to one of the sisterhood especially when my shoes were no more sensible for being flat: -1
KarmaPs for (I’m going to say) “accidentally” (I’m pretty sure it was) knocking tea all over the man who insisted on trying to impress me with a magic trick rather than just giving me my change: -1
HosPs awarded to me by @PolkaDotSkirts for offering a wide selction of teas: +1
CRPs for sitting here writting to you, loyal readers, instead of doing my home work: -1
Oh look, it’s nearly dinner time…
Total so far…
- Karma: +18
- FRP: +145.1
- Relationships: +4
- Family: +10
- Friends: +13 [Supplementary PPs: +2]
- Career: +17
- Fitness: +2
- General: +8
- Hospitality: +2