If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always had.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Hereditary Procrastination

Today is Back To The Grind day. We're all so happy!

Yesterday morning, I was minding my own business, cruising the 'net and drinking coffee, when I realized I had math to check. It's one of my 'really must do better' things; if I don't do it right away I put it off. When I got up to go do it, Alex asked if he could use the computer. I didn't think too much about it when I said yes; I figured he was looking up guitar tabs to print.

Nope. He was doing homework. The last day of Christmas break.

Of course, Eric was mystified. Eric always did homework first thing when he got home, whether he was going to school the next day or in two weeks. It was always finished neatly and packed in his backpack, ready to go out the door. I did my homework when I got home, too, but I usually saved the subjects I hated for last. I had a snack and talked to my friends on the phone first, just to decompress, relax a little, strictly for concentration purposes.

When Eric called Alex on it, Alex just shrugged his shoulders and said, "It's not that much, and at least I'm doing it in the morning. I could wait until after dinner." (I really did try not to laugh!)

Procrastination wasn't a trait my kids were supposed to inherit from me. I guess the chromosome must be strong, though. When I was a kid, my grandparents had a plaque hanging over the kitchen sink; it was round and black, with yellow letters that said, "Round Tuit"--as in, "I'll do it when I get a round tuit." It was a family joke. The funny thing is, I don't remember them putting off a lot of stuff. The house was always maintained and neat, we always ate right on schedule, they gardened and cut the grass. True, the attic and basement needed to be mucked out for years and didn't get done until Grandpa died and Grandma decided to move into town. Maybe it was Grandpa who needed the Round Tuit; all I know for sure was that he always had time to hang out with us kids, and his lap was available whenever we wanted it.

Eric didn't know about this stuff when he married me. I don't know that I was really aware of it myself, but I'm sure he's kicking himself today. He'll read this and realize that his only son is a 4th generation procrastinator, and that there's really no hope. He got my procrastination chromosome and Eric's hair and eyes, and there isn't much to be done about it. That banging you hear will be his head on his desk. Sorry, honey, I still love you.

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