Monday, January 16, 2012

Procrastination A Defense Against Fate

I am a procrastinator.  There's no denying it.
Those who don't suffer from Procrastination Syndrome often mistakenly believe it's a disorder caused by poor planning or a lack of organizational skills.
Nothing could be further from the truth. 
If you saw the staggering variety of to-do lists, agendas, checklists, goal lists, schedulers, and event pop-ups that fill my computer, iPad, and iPhone, you might think I'm a little over-organized.
Yet even with all of these tools, I still tend to wait until the last minute to do or plan certain things.  Also, even with my day meticulously planned down to the last half-minute, I still manage to show up late for almost anything that requires me to replace my slippers with the brown docksiders I wear in public.
A few days ago, while pondering such deep and heavy philosophical questions as the meaning of life and why green sugar free Jell-o doesn't taste at all like lime, I realized that my procrastination isn't just a character flaw.
It's my feeble little human defense against God.
To understand that, first you need to know about the Workman Curse.
It's a very real and longstanding vexation the family of my father's surname has experienced for at least two generations, and maybe even before that.
Basically it works like this:
Something wonderful will happen to me and/or my family. 
Within seven days, something terrible will befall me or the family member who sustained the temporary stroke of luck.
I could give you a long tale of woe complete with an itemized list of all the things that have gone wrong on the heels of something great happening to me or my clan over the last 20 years, but that would just sound like whining when in fact I've actually had a wonderful life (peace and blessings be upon the sacred name of Jimmy Stewart).
It would be easiest to explain the Workman Curse like this:  If I happened to win $100 at a local casino, I would hurry out to my car in the parking lot only to discover two flat tires that would require $105 to replace.
In other words, it's my destiny to never get ahead.
With the Workman Curse firmly in mind because of the litany of bad news my family has sustained in 2012 since receiving the wonderful news that my book is going to be published, I realized that my Procrastination Syndrome is actually a subconscious technique for trying to outmaneuver fate, kismet, or the Guy Upstairs With The 10% Cover Charge And The Warped Sense of Humor.
I realized it while making hotel reservations for an upcoming trip to Reno with my wife.
After wearing out the internet trying to find the best deal on a hotel room in America's biggest little city, I found myself fighting the requirement to hit the "confirm" button.
While psychoanalyzing myself about this muscle spasm, I came to the following conclusion about why I am a procrastinator:
I hate to make plans well in advance because I don't want "them" to have a chance to discover a plan of mine ("them" being the aforementioned triumvirate of fate, kismet, and God/Allah/Visnu/Santa).  If "they" find out about something I've scheduled well in advance, it allows "them" the time to interfere, to disrupt, to turn God's lips upwards in that laugh the Divine enjoys whenever he learns of our pissant little human plans.
If this sounds familiar, it's like the trick Victoria the vampire used to keep future-seeing Alice from knowing about Victoria's plan to wipe out the Cullen family in the "Eclipse" episode of the Twilight movie series.  Victoria didn't make an advance plan, instead letting things unfold away from her purview until her last-minute decision to attack.
In a twisted way, I've come to the conclusion that my procrastination is actually a means of ensuring that the task or event has a chance of coming to fruition.  By putting things off, which sounds like a recipe for causing something to NOT happen, it is actually the best way of guaranteeing the event has a chance for completion.  If "they" don't know about it, "they" can't stop it.
Of course, as long as God is still in control of traffic lights and the little magnetic strip on the back of credit cards, there are still opportunities to mess up a last-minute plan. 
In those cases, the best I can hope for is that He is busy helping some rapper go platinum with their latest tribute to ho's and beyotches, or that He is tied up helping Tim Tebow complete a pass.
But those instances aside, the best I can hope for is that by continuing to put things off as long as possible, I'll be able to keep the Powers That Be on their toes.

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