pro-cras-ti-nate - v. To put off doing something, especially out of habitual laziness. To postpone or delay needlessly.
I have another dictionary that defines procrastinate as "to put off or defer until a later time; delay." Sounds less harsh than "habitual laziness," to my mind.
Possibly I already have posted something about this - if so, my apologies for the repetition, but it may serve to show how much the idea is running through my thoughts. A week or so ago a fellow Sparkler sent the following to me: "What you do when you're procrastinating is what you should be doing with life."
I castigate myself so often for postponing the inevitable: dusting, cleaning, balancing the checkbook, filing forms and meeting deadlines and running errands. I don't like to think of myself as "habitually lazy" (horrors!) but I am not the most timely of people.
My mother is a lousy housekeeper - oh, it's no secret. We've all known for years, and she'd be the first to admit it. The Department of Health wouldn't condemn her house, but her living quarters are certainly - well, lived in. (Maybe that should be "well-lived-in.")
Almost any level surface has papers, quilting, books, crocheting, magazines, you name it. Her computer monitor (oh yes indeedy, even into her 80s she's au courant) rises above the sea of detritus on her desk, and if it weren't for a shallow pull-out shelf underneath where the keyboard and mouse reside, I suspect they'd be engulfed by ephemera.
Her mother, on the other hand, was neat-as-a-pin tidy. Gram's refrain was "It'll just take a jiffy--" to clean up after supper, to hang some clothes on the line, to dust or vacuum or mow. She wasn't OCD about it, just cheerfully bustling, willing to do what needed to be done in order to earn leisure time.
I used to wonder how my mother ended up so far from her own mother in her approach to the mundane busy-ness of the household. Perhaps this is one of those traits that skips a generation.
During WWII, my grandmother and my great-aunts all worked "on the homefront," leaving early in the morning and not back until suppertime. My mother and her cousins were mostly elementary-school age, and after school or on holidays would gather at their grandparents' house until parents came to collect them. More often than not they'd all end up staying for supper before heading home.
My great-grandmother* always enjoyed having kids dashing in and out, and never minded coming up with a meal to feed the multitudes - likely she was long since used to it. She'd raised six of her own, and it seemed as though there was always one or another (with spouse and sprouts) staying with them, so cooking was no doubt part 'n' parcel.
Dusting wasn't, though. Nor floor-scrubbing. Dishes and clothes were (so they tell me) pretty much washed on an as-needed basis.
Was she lazy? Perhaps I'm biased, but I think not - we're talking 140-head dairy herd, an acre or two of truck gardens each year, ice-cutting and hay-baling and a profitable sugar-bush. Beside all that, housework probably assumed a low priority.
My mother says most of her memories of her grandmother involve activities like playing games, working jigsaw puzzles, sledding and ice-skating and maple snow in winter, picking blackcaps and swimming and homemade ice cream in summer.
And always, there were books - before her children, and subsequently her grandchildren, and eventually her great-grandchildren, could read for themselves, my great-grandmother read aloud to them. It's been over fifty years, but I can still hear her voice reading "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" and nursery rhymes and (especially, her own favorites) Baum's Oz stories.
At some point in her day, Great-Gramma would head off to fix supper - meals, like milking, don't wait. More than one family member has told of coming into the kitchen to find their mother / grandmother / great-grandmother perched on a stool next to the range, a long-handled spoon in one hand and a book in the other, mechanically stirring away but totally engrossed in a story - the consummate reader.
It's for this reason my mother always quotes her grandmother: "Some things are more important than housework."
Mmm hmm... ain't they just?
Procrastinating? Nah, I don't think I am, really. I'm just doing what's more important.
Have a good'un, Sparklers - carpe diem!
*I've written of her before - if you'd like to know something of my great-grandmother's background, this link should take you there: