I Hate Waiting….or How Procrastination and Impatience Go Hand in Hand

One of my favorite quotes from the movie The Princess Bride is “I hate waiting.” (Thank you, Inigo Montoya).

And I do, I hate waiting to the point that my lack of interest in waiting develops into an episode of black comedy (which I can only hope is entertaining for those around me, since it is certainly not productive in any way). And yet, typically I find that I am only waiting for something purely because I’ve procrastinated like a rockstar on getting the initial steps going for whatever it is I am waiting for.

Even more interesting, is that this typically only applies to my personal life.

I am a production manager in the entertainment industry by trade. Therefore, by definition, my work-self is consumed with forecasting, project planning and maximizing efficiencies. Funnily enough, when I am off the clock, I seem completely un-motivated to do any of that, and ride the pendulum clear to the other side and indulge in lazy, disconnected days in which I achieve nothing on my personal to-do list. When I say I “achieve nothing” I mean that in a highly spectacular fashion.

So, in my off time there are things that I need to do, heck, that we all probably need to do, to contribute to my personal happiness and development. Some of them are just about general housekeeping. All of it is completely uninteresting to me when it is about me.

So I find myself faced with the question – is this self-sabotage on a ludicrous scale, or, to find a more “zen on the mountaintop” way of analyzing it, is it about a sincere lack of balance? There is the interesting appearance of the word “consumed,” above…I don’t think that’s an accident.

What may seem odd to some, but perhaps not, is that I prefer to use the latter definition. I guess it makes me feel that by looking at it that way, there is still an option for “the glass is half-full” and room for self-improvement so I can put the safety back on the gun that is typically pointed directly at my foot.

Is this a symptom of self-delusion? Possibly. However, I do think there is some sense in applying the concept that if I were to find a better balance between what is apparently my all-consuming work life and my all-exhausted off-work life, than perhaps….just perhaps, I can find a way to preserve some of the planning and efficiency-centered side of my brain for when I’m not at work.

Those of us wandering the planet do tend to be invested in an all-or-nothing approach to life which leads directly to a complete lack of perspective. I think more success is found in remembering that “all work makes Jane a dull girl.” Because currently, as much as this Jane loves her job and is energized and adrenaline-fed by all of the projects and planning and details to remember….she is a very dull Jane off the job, and very little is energizing or adrenaline-generating in the anticipation of it.

I do have a lovely saving grace in my other half, who is quite good at finding ways to kick my butt out the door to do something that seems like “so much work” without my feeling that he is telling me what to do….clever that one–not many people have figured that particular trick out. And inevitably I find myself in the midst of doing whatever it is that he urged me to do and being quite happy about it, and hoping to hold onto that feeling for the next time that I “just don’t wanna.”

Good thing that opposites attract I suppose, but I digress. So, here’s to trying to build a sense memory on what living a balanced life can feel like, and putting energy into that rather than pointing dangerous things at my feet and just generally getting in my own way.

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