Sunday, March 4, 2012

Epitaph will read, ‘She never got round to it’.

There are some quite fabulous people out there with oodles of potential, who would doubtless achieve greatness, change the world and go down in history books, if only it weren’t for the debilitating condition that’s afflicted them all their lives, chronic procrastination.  

I am one of those people. Ha ha.  Well, i feel i can say that with authority because I'll never know.  I’ve never had sufficient umpth, zip, rocket fuel to get on and test my true potential.  I have of course had plenty of excuses. Children is the current one, and a very valid one too, I might add.  But I had my children late in life.  By the time they're out the way and I can get on, I'll be pensionable.  What on earth was I doing pre-kids?  Oh yeah, that's right, I was navel-gazing, magazine-reading, socialising, cogitating, waiting for the right moment, the right outlet, the right signal, someone to pluck me from obscurity and say 'walk this way'.  

Brings it all home when you consider that Mozart died at 35, Van Gogh at 37, Shelley at 29.  Thank God for extended life expectancy eh?  Will apply myself.  I am, you see, not a happy ditherer.  The way I see it, it's all about drive.  There are four categories of drive.  Firstly there are those, like the aforementioned, born with drive (and yes, ok, talent); second are those who acquire drive (usually at the prospect of penury and destitution); third are those who will look hard but never find it; and finally there are the remainder of the population who are quite content to go without it and float through life without any urge to achieve.  

I am the third.  Full of great ideas and wonderful best laid plans, delusions of grandeur arising from grand accomplishments, then too easily distracted by well, minor distractions to make them happen.  It frustrates me no end, but my inability to ‘just do it’ has become an almost predictable and perennial vicious circle, and I’m not getting any younger.   Plus I talk about my 'plans' all the time.  Nothing worse than someone who keeps rattling on about that book they're going to write, business they're going to launch and then never do.  As a friend of mine once put it bluntly, 'Darling, but don't you think if you were going to do that, you'd have done it by now?'  Point taken.  Must stop babbling, and surprise them. 

The key question is, does this inertia stem from profound laziness or a more deep-seated lack of self-confidence?  There are theories that state I’d rather not attempt, for fear of failure.  Putting things off keeps alive the illusion of success rather than reveal the depressing reality of failure, innate inability, lack of talent etc.  

Surely it's better to die knowing you tried?  There's only one way to find out.  And I intend to, I really do.  Just as soon as I’ve made myself another cup of tea.  


  1. I'm thinking there are two things many people say they will do, but never actually manage to achieve. One is relocating to a radically different way of life, involving a loss of the accustomed kind of cushiness and the other is having children. So, you may be putting off one set of plans, but you're living another. You're actually doing it! And, mate, twins! They excuse everything. And you get published, and you always look great. If you really want to see some underachieving, you're welcome any time. I won't have made a cake and you may have to wash up a cup. xx

  2. Ah Lunar, what a boost. Thank you. And just what I need, we are puke central here. Five days of nursing what I suspect is the Noro and am not looking great now I can assure you..! So alas, shall be putting things off a little longer... And as for underachieving missus… what you're achieving right now borders on the superhuman, so not buying it. xx