Delayed Gratification or Procrastination?

I am the queen of both, so it might be a toss up.

FACT: I need to finish this third round of edits on Gliese 581: The Departure

This week I have had two classes to prepare for and teach, I also started on a wire basket project (more on that later on The Deadly Nightshade), helped my husband install lights in our attic and then promptly spent all of Friday organizing and cleaning it (still have more to do), and I’ve gone off on a couple of craft project research tangents (mini terrariums for a class and also salt-cured eggs – I can’t make this up, folks).

The editing has sat here, waiting patiently.

Years ago, tired of a constantly messy kitchen, I instituted a “Delayed Gratification Policy” that I still (more or less) follow today. If I want to eat food, first I need to clean up the mess. That means dishes in or out of the dishwasher, countertops wiped down, things put away.

Our kitchen is rarely pristine, but it looks far better and is relatively functional.

Delayed gratification works. It gets things done.

As the new season of The Walking Dead came our way, I decided to use the DGP to encourage my procrastinating brain to get to editing. I announced I would not be watching The Walking Dead until I had finished all of my 3rd round of edits. I’m dying a little, b/c my hubs has been watching it without me, and TEASING me about it.

He is a cruel, cruel man.

Then the weather warmed up and I thought, “Oh wonderful, I can get back to work on Zentangling the van!”

Nope, DGP. Get the edits done first.

Along with the weather warming, the yard is beginning to warm up and plants are poking up under the bricks I laid to enlarge our front walkway. They need to be dug up, but, again I am stymied. DGP – Delayed Gratification Policy – I need to finish the edits.

So here is the deal.

Laundry isn’t getting done.

Shopping isn’t getting done.

No more work on the attic, outside, inside, the van, projects, NOTHING.

Today I will finish the edits.

This post is my last opportunity at procrastination. Time to grab a bite to eat and get to work.


Reprint – Learning to Hug

I wrote the following essay a few years ago. I was recently reminded of it after reading a status update on Facebook. Read on…


I’m an only child who, after my parents divorced when I was six, was raised mainly by my dad.

Highly intellectual and sort of aloof, the concept of hugging seemed rather confusing to him, and I will admit that it passed to me quickly. As a mom, I actually have had to remind myself to kiss and hug my children. It isn’t that I don’t love them, I love them INSANELY, but kissing and hugging are not something that comes naturally to me.

For years I managed to hobble along with few friends and a handful of acquaintances. Most of my family was far away, and there simply wasn’t much hugging going on to be perfectly honest.

And as my friend count has increased, and my social interactions shot through the roof (thanks in no small part to my extremely gregarious child) I have found myself suddenly exposed to many hugging situations.

Take for example, this morning while IM’ing a friend back and forth, I received this “See you later today? Be ready for a massive hug!”


Dealing with “huggers” has been a lifelong challenge. There is that short moment when you aren’t sure if someone is simply going to wave you on in their house, or press their body against yours, and you have to match this unknown custom. I typically wait for the other to initiate, because honestly I’ve been clueless for so many years on what “normal” cultural/societal norms are that everything seems alien.

Sometimes I wonder if I am an alien.

Don’t get me wrong. I LIKE hugging. After that initial inner monologue of, “Oh God, is this the point in which someone I sort of know but have just barely met (Christine, you’ve known them for months) is now going to press their body against mine in a non-sexual way. At least I hope it’s non-sexual because I’m happily married, damn it!” – after that monologue and the resulting hug, I’m fine. Really, really I’m fine. Getting hugged is nice even for this General Malcontent.

It’s just that weird “are we going to hug or not” prologue that gets me all weirded out.