Indelible Blue Pen

Jason C. McDonald (CodeMouse92)

December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night…eventually

I’m sitting in front of my computer, bleary eyed, early Christmas morning.

“Looking at Christmas cards?” you ask?


“Watching Christmas videos?”


“Reading those Christmas e-mails that double as short novels?”


Actually,  I didn’t mention what TIME of Christmas morning it is – 1:23 AM. Ye-ah, I’m waiting for my annual Christmas present to the entire family to upload to the server. 31 large .mp3 files, and it just started.

Someone dunk me in eggnog, PLEASE!

At the rate we’re going, I’m going to wind up being the LAST out of bed tomorrow morning. Mom is reeeeeeeeealy itching to unwrap her presents this year, so she’ll probably wake ME up in the same way I’ve woken her every Christmas before this.

I do this sort of thing every year, mind you. I’m a procrastinator of the worst sort. Every Christmas season, I take on some massive creative project as a gift to my family. It started out as a DVD of finely-edited mock-TV videos (which were always a hit) and an original comic book in my series, How the West Was Fun. Then, 2007 saw the last DVD I made, and I moved on to producing original albums of my piano music, plus the comic book. And then, this year, the comic book doesn’t pan out (you’ll see why in a moment), so I decide to record audio versions of a bunch of stuff I’ve written.

A noble endeavor, I know, and if it were not for this confessional, not a soul outside of this household would ever know the dark secret behind my annual Christmas gift.

I put it off to the last minute.

Some guy once said, “I’ll stop procrastinating…tomorrow.” That describes me to a “T.” Every year, I put off working on the Christmas project until November, and EVERY January, after running myself ragged over the holiday season, I promise that I won’t do this to myself next year.

Yet I do. It’s as inevitable as the election of the entire year’s clowning school graduating class to Congress. I put it off, and put it off, and put it off…

My comic book is the worst case of procrastination. Each year, my dear mother implores me to start work on it in January. “Yeah, sure, no problem, Mom.” Then I get caught up in a whirlwind of other brilliant schemes, and start the comic book eventually.

In November.

Then I spend many a sleepless night crouched over my desk, with a pencil in one hand, and a cup of coffee in the other, TRYING to finish this comic book in time to send it out on November 26th. Needless it say, it always gets sent out in the second week of December.

This year, I figured “Hmm, an audiobook. That shouldn’t be too hard, right?”

Wrong. 28, 10 page chapters, each one about 20 minutes long. Add in retakes and editing. And mastering. And publishing.

I finished it earlier this evening (Christmas Eve).

And, even worse, the other items in my Christmas “package” aren’t even going to be finished until January 15th, 2011! That means, for the first time in forever, I’ve actually gone over the end of the year.

Meaning either my procrastinating is getting worse, or my projects are getting bigger. Probably the former.

And now, I’m sitting here (it’s 1:35 AM now), waiting for the publish to finish, and blogging about my inability to complete projects on time.

Perhaps it just comes with the territory of being a young adult. You have soooo much else you’d rather be doing, as opposed to be working on whatever project NEEDS doing at the time. This could be defined as “The Law of Contrary Preference.” This law also seems to have a profound effect on pets, who always want to be on the opposite side of the door that they’re on. Whatever is reasonable, necessary, and possible is more than likely not going to be high on the preference list of beings affected by this law.

My sister (my family knows exactly which one I’m speaking to) is the same as me in that, actually. She has a stack of Christmas and birthday presents that she has been meaning to send to me since 2009. If this law persists with her, I’m going to be hobbling around with a walker, and she’ll pull up with a double-long semi, filled with all the gifts she never sent to me. And I won’t have enough life left in my body to open ’em all.

It’s the thought that counts, though. : )

So, as a charter member of Procrastinators Anonymous, I’d like to say that I am in the same boat as the rest of you! And I will be officially repenting of my ways and turning in my membership card…as of New Year’s Eve.

Seriously, though, I’d better do it soon, before my habits spill over into certain other projects which do NOT have flexible deadlines. God help me.

You know, I might as well do it now, while I’m thinking of it. Forget waiting to make a resolution on New Year’s Eve, I’ll do it now.

I promise to do what is necessary, when it is necessary, to the best of my abilities, no matter what I feel like…because forescore and seven years ago, our founding fathers asked not what their country could do for them, but what they could do for…wait, no, that’s Lincoln. Or was it Kennedy?

Forget it.

Yeah, I’ll do my best to stop procrastinating, starting right now.

So help me God.



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