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January 03, 2005: Guess I have to do it myself

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Unfortunately, Santa did *not* bring me a Finisher for Christmas. Yes, I know, Iím as surprised as the rest of you. So, since I had today off from work, I decided to see what I could do about shortening the list of things my Finisher would have had to do, had one appeared under my tree.

It being a Monday, this meant that the very first thing I did was go meet my mom at Curves to work out. I did ponder, when the alarm went off at 6am, calling her to see if we could reschedule a little later, but I knew if I got up then Iíd have more time to get lots of stuff done. So I dragged myself out of bed and I grabbed a piece of paper and a pen and I scribbled down a rather lengthy list of things to accomplish today, and then I headed off to exercise.

Since I didnít have to go to work immediately after like usual I suggested we get breakfast at the nearby bakery (the Curves we go to is nestled between an ice cream parlor and a bakery, which seems either cruel or just extremely poor planning). My mom called my dad, who also had the day off, and he bicycled over to join us for coffee and bagels. And then I headed home and decided I might as well get started because that list wasnít getting any shorter and the cats still show absolutely no drive to learn how to operate the washing machine or the dishwasher.

I am actually pretty proud of myself for how much I managed to get done. I cleared off my desk in the office and finally dragged my laptop back upstairs (after months of having it living on the coffee table in the living room). I put away all the rest of the Christmas presents. I cleaned off the kitchen counters and ran two loads in the dishwasher. I did a massive amount of laundry (because it was time to clean the bedding). I filled a huge box with all the paperwork that needed to be sorted and I organized it and filed it and cleared out the files of stuff that was over 3 years old and now there is still a huge box of paperwork on the floor in the office, but it just needs to be shredded Ė a task which has far less urgency. The little cardboard box I toss bill paperwork into is now completely empty (or rather, it was until Allegra discovered it was empty Ė now it is full of rather sleepy grey fuzz). Even better, the little desk-top file organizer is now nearly empty Ė and the only things it has in it are the bills that are still pending. Plus, I finally tracked down the paperwork I need to send in to change my name for an old savings account (yes, yes, three years late), and the paperwork I need to fill out and send in to update my passport. Iíve placed those prominently in the front of the file organizer in the hopes that seeing them every day will guilt me into finally getting around to checking those tasks off the list as well.

I still found time to twiddle my thumbs and play a few dozen games of Spider Solitaire on the computer (although in my defense I was covered in three cats at the time and couldnít exactly move to go do something more useful). I returned a stack of library books and cleaned out the fridge (which meant battling a few containers of leftovers that had been in their so long they were starting to develop appendages). I even had time to do a little knitting.

I didnít get everything on the list accomplished. I have not conquered my procrastinating tendencies completely, after all. But it felt good to know that at least a few things are now off the grand list of tasks that have been waiting for far too long to be completed. And although Iím not planning on doing any official sort of resolutions for the new year, I think Iím going to try, this year, to focus on keeping this momentum going and see what else I can finally get done.

Donít get too excited, however. I have always been, and will always be, a confirmed procrastinator and itís always easier to say Iím going to do it than to actually motivate myself to finish what I start. Iím sure by next Christmas Iím still going to be wishing for a Finisher under the tree. After all, no matter how many projects I might complete, there will always be new ones to start and then abandon, half-done.

This has been a Holidailies entry.

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