Monday, March 19, 2007

It's not the Thought that Counts

It's the action. If it was the thought that counted everyone would be tickled with the fabulous Christmas cards that I wrote for them last year (and the year before) but only thought about sending. Don't worry, they are packed away with my Christmas stuff so that next year I can be reminded not to procrastinate again even though that theory was disproved this past Christmas when I found the 2005 cards as I was packing the 2006 cards away. I know this but it didn't alter my behaviour. Maybe for Christmas in 2007 you'll receive not one but three cards (this way you can be sure to have a wonderful 2006, and know that I was overjoyed to hear about your new child, now two).

I'm thinking about this because I have a stack of thank you cards written out sitting on top of my china cabinet. I've been planning to take Julia and Hunter for pictures so that I can include a professional picture in with each of the thank you cards (especially since I didn't get any pictures sent at Christmas, though trust me next year, you're getting a pile). Clearly, I had forgotten that I am a pathological procrastinator. But I'm starting a list* and I'm putting book photo appointment at the top. Now that it is written down I will get it done, eventually.

I think when major changes happen in our lives there is some opportunity for reinvention, or at least I like to fantasize that there is. When starting a new job you can come in with a persona different than the one you developed at your previous one - at least for a short time. When I was thinking about my maternity leave I was imagining all the things I would do with Hunter and the new babe - how I would have the opportunity to reinvent myself as a mother. How I'd have so much time to do the things that working full time seems to get in the way of. How I could actually be the mother I wish I was. In my mind I had unlimited amounts of time and the weather was perfect - we were at the park everyday and I was baking cookies, making play dough, doing crafts, etc. when we weren't (or when I wasn't at the gym getting fit). What I didn't think about was that without fundamental change, reinvention is short-lived and I'm not sure I'm up for fundamental change, at least now right now.

I had also forgotten that sometimes the weather is terrible and you don't even want to set foot outside for any great length of time let alone take your kid to a park with three feet of snow when it's wet to play on metal play structures. I had forgotten that in the first few months of a new baby's life just getting your basic needs met is an accomplishment. I had forgotten that I had forgotten anything that wasn't absolute bliss from when Hunter was a babe. I can only hope that their memories are as forgiving as mine and that they see that my intentions are good even if my follow through isn't always the greatest.

*For those of you unfamiliar with the procrastinator pathology, list making is huge. Not only does creating a ridiculously long list (with fake deadlines to trick yourself into getting that rush that comes only when you are under the wire) allow you to track just how little you've accomplished (thereby creating the previously mentioned rush), it also serves as an important tool in the whole procrastination process because writing and re-writing lists? that takes time and what better way to start a day that re-writing yesterday's list?

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