Procrastination. Stream of Consciousness.

08May09

“Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” -(According to my Google Search) Thomas Jefferson

A nugget of wisdom indeed.

Throughout my struggle with Taylor’s Syndrome, I constantly try to do more and more volunteer work with my “free” time. In the past, I volunteered for a literacy program and showed up a total of two times. I’ve attended several volunteer training sessions that I never followed up with afterwards, including helping adults prepare for the GED, tutoring teen moms, and even for a UNICEF initiative. Since all immediately resulted in the realization that I was over-committing myself, I never stuck with any of them and I felt like asshole for being a flake for months to follow.

Last fall I had the great idea that I would change the world and try to tackle all the misinformation out there in the universe about ADHD. In fact, this was initially when and why I started this blog. I wrote two posts and realized I was just angry and trying to prove something to myself, and I wasn’t saying anything different than the other 9 billion angry people on the internet. So I deleted the posts and felt like an asshole for looking like an asshole on the internet for months to follow.

Ever since I was diagnosed about 9 years ago, things like debates over whenever or not ADHD is “real” and the opinion that medication is the “easy way out”, have really affected my self-esteem. At several points in my life I believed that I was just lazy, or that I didn’t really have ADHD and was just taking medication so I could make better grades than everyone else.

Finally, I (somewhat) accepted that ADHD was real and I had it, and started the mission to cure myself and prove that I could do anything a “normal” person could do, only BETTER. There are obviously about 40 things wrong with that sentence, and thus began my spiral into a “Non-functioning Perfectionism” later recognized as Taylor’s Syndrome.

Anyway, last fall I decided to combine the powers of my “set the record straight about ADHD” self-esteem problem and my uncontrollable desire to set the world record for “volunteer that has flaked out on the most non-profit organizations”.

I contacted The 504 School, a small school in Midtown for students with ADHD, and volunteered to come in once a week to do fun science lessons with the students.

So I met with the director and visited the school for a tour, and my first lesson with the students was fast-approaching.  I was kind of short on ideas for lessons, or more like overwhelmed with ideas, so I called my Aunt Carol, R.N. and asked her if she’d like to come with me and do a lesson about first aid or anatomy or wearing scrubs and being sassy, whatever it is nurses major in.  But mainly I asked her because I’m kind of petrified of children and I had no idea what to expect. So I called for back up. She excitedly agreed to prepare a short lesson with even shorter attention spans in mind, and said she would figure it out and get back to me.

Aunt Carol, R.N. and I were going to meet at the school first thing on a Monday morning, and I spent the 4 days before that trying to call and get in touch with her and find out what she had decided to do. Finally late Sunday afternoon I got her on the phone and asked her if she had everything ready to go to the school.  She told me she was going to start working on it after dinner. My response was… “Wow! You’ve really been procrastinating?!”, and she said to me, “I never procrastinate. I just do things when they need to be done.” And with that, she showed up on time the next morning with a fully prepared lesson about the 5 senses complete with things to smell, touch, hear, and whatever other senses there are too. I actually still volunteer at the school and have two more visits before the school year ends. Although in recent months I’ve had to cancel several weeks, instead of being so ashamed of myself that I can never show my face there again, I send guilt and apology-ridden emails. So that’s gotta be some sort of progress. To my surprise, they seem to understand and constantly thank me for any of my time that I can spend with the students. I really like going and always look forward to the days I do make it over there, usually with a hardcore DIY mix of arts and crafts and science.

I procrastinate. All the time. Not ironically, this post is two days late. 😀

But I think I don’t have so feel so bad about not being all Thomas Jeffersonian, and just try to be a little more Aunt Carol R.N.ian.

“I never procrastinate. I just do things when they need to be done.”  -Aunt Carol R.N.

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4 Responses to “Procrastination. Stream of Consciousness.”

  1. you are a procrastination standard for the rest of us to follow. My motto has always been: why put off til tomorrow, what you will never do anyway, so just do nothing…

    • 2 skepticallydistracted

      This is more realistic. More of a M.O. than a motto, really.

  2. 3 kat

    i like that. “I never procrastinate. I just do things when they need to be done.” sounds like i’ll be using that…validation from here on out! gooooooooo auntie carol!

  3. Just read this, and suffer from this as well. The lesson I learned in college was to make sure the day before something was due, you had everything you needed, paper, pens, coffee, etc, and then you just do it.

    I am a great procrastinator!


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