This is not procrastination.

Dealing with tags became necessary this afternoon, following a productive couple of meetings with professors about my “progress.” I had planned only to bask in the scraps of collegial support and approval I apparently beguiled from my mentors, get back to my research, and prove to Nurse Ratched

(guess I will let you know that today, during the agony of deep tissue therapy on my broken wing, I Jungianly named the asshole in me that gets freaky with sadistic self-hate-ons)

that, in fact, not only can I enter the outside today without blubbering in someone’s office, but I can get a pile of work done too. Just watch me put together my five-slide Powerpoint presentation. But suddenly I freaked out about the inadequacies of that stupid tag cloud. It only shows forty-five tags; what is the point? It filled up and would not add any more. Imprecise representation; canker. I am glum too about the writing behind the home page. It seems a bit lost, with nothing much connecting it to the blog’s good looks–if the home page is “home” then I want its rooms to stay connected. (By hallways? Such metaphors are precisely those that fall apart when pushed, so I leave further development to the imagination.)

Currently I’m experimenting with allowing myself to do tasks requiring organized thinking even if those tasks are a form of procrastination (I am meant to be revising an introduction and preparing a talk about my research on The Curve of Time, for Monday). So I went ahead and revised the tags. Of course fixing the tags raised more problems–titles of books or other works? what about authors? only if utopian or dystopian? Doesn’t work, because show me anything and I’m confident I can map its relationship to utopia. (Well, that is progress.)

I have to take care with the obsession thing because it easily turns into a bottomless pit of appetite and sloth, consuming everything about anything on five channels at once while pressed under a cat and sucking a gallon of wine. Those are the days that are hard to wake up from. But the nitpicky bothers that have solutions produced by ordered thinking and deciding (two vastly weak areas for me) use, of course, the same processes that introduce, argue, and conclude a good paper. Therapy, blog. Therapy.

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2 Responses to This is not procrastination.

  1. michael says:

    Wonderful post. I’m the same way about procrastination. I can’t make progress on many things (let alone many things at once!), and my capacity for decision-making seems to negatively correlate with my age.

    But, as long as I’m alive and semi-functional, I can’t complain!

  2. owl says:

    Thank you! For a long time I saw procrastination as a personal shortcoming, but then I started to understand its connection to perfectionism (I won’t start it unless I can do it perfectly–hah, fat chance!). Now I’m getting better at accommodating it a bit more comfortably and just working through my process. It helps me to remember not to be perfect.


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