Week 31: Procrastination While Pregnant
Sometimes you just need to check out. Said the procrastinating pregnant chick.
This past month has felt a bit like a rollercoaster. Coming off a packed yet fun filled weekend, the following weekend, I had a visit with a friend and then visited my parents. Add work out the wazoo pretty much every day leading up to our trip to Seattle last week and my level of fucks to give about doing anything but sleep, eat or mouth breathe on the couch while watching Netflix is pretty low.
Procrastination has such a bad connotation. It’s a dirty word. When is calling someone a procrastinator ever a compliment? But, really, what’s the difference between that and relaxing? Decompressing? De-stressing?
Here’s the official Dictionary definition: to delay or postpone action; put off doing something.
Yeah, I’m definitely putting off a lot this week. I’m officially two months away from my due date which seems absurd because I can’t imagine my skin stretching more than it is right now, or my belly button popping even more!
I’m putting off our breathing and labor homework assigned in our birthing class. I’m putting off cleaning the house in anticipation for our baby shower in a couple weeks. I’m putting off writing in my Baby journal (I think last entry was early May). I’m putting off returning phone calls, replying to emails, paying bills, registering at hospitals (just in case), ordering breast pump, etc etc.
I’ve been working 50-60 hour weeks most weeks with usually one weekend day thrown in. My stress level is at an all time high. I almost wrote about stress this week but thought it would stress me out more.
So procrastination it is. And really I always have had a little bit of procrastinator in me. In the past, I’ve sugar coated it by saying That i “work best under pressure.” This always allowed me to justify putting off a huge paper or project in college until the last minute. I blame the education system on this because all through my early ed, i could rush to complete an assignment or paper within hours of its due date and get above average to exemplary grades. Often this was done with no revisions or even second reads. I don’t think this means I was perfect or brilliant or anything. I chalk this up to lazy grading 90% of the time (as a former teacher, I both resent and relent to this notion, I sometimes was a lazy grader and have no shame admitting this).
In short I was positively reinforced much of my life to be a procrastinator. Rewarded even.
So I’m basking in it for the time being. Eventually the bell curve will slope back up and I will kick my butt into overdrive. For now, I’m postponing, delaying, putting off, and relaxing wherever i can.
Unfortunately, when there’s too much to do, relaxing at home is not as easy as it sounds. There are reminders everywhere of my avoidance. Thankfully, I had a commitment that I followed through with that fed me, got me out of the house, and that helped me relax.
I finally got to take a cooking class at Sur la Table and it was just what the doctor ordered. During a time when it’s been harder and harder to block out noise and listen to what a i need, procrastinating can be a way to push the pause button.
What motivated me to dedicate an entire series on my pregnancy was a desire to preserve as much of what it means to be me as I navigate through this pregnancy. I wanted to not lose sight of my focus on self care. I wanted my pregnancy to be an “excuse” to really put my money where my mouth is when it comes to all the things I know I need to do to have a better more fulfilling life: Eat well, exercise, practice meditation/yoga, read, write, sleep better, surround myself with loved ones, try new things, get outside.
These past few weeks, I’ve let those things slide, and as a result, my general happiness and energy has taken a dive. Tonight’s cooking class felt a little like a reset that I’m hoping will set me back on track. I’ve worked too hard during this pregnancy to slide back at the end.
For this reason, procrastinating this week is actually a good thing. It’s something I’m embracing,
Procrastination is just a universal state of being for humans. We will always have more things to do than we can possibly do, so we will always be imposing some sort of unwarranted delay on some tasks. The question is not whether we are procrastinating, it is whether we are procrastinating well.
Active procrastination means you realize that you are unduly delaying mowing the lawn or cleaning your closet, but you are doing something that is more valuable instead. Passive procrastination is just sitting around on your sofa not doing anything. That clearly is a problem.