Caution: Exploding Brain

I’m not whining.  Really I’m not.   Well, sorta, kind’ve. Maybe just a little.  You see I get these ideas–neat, tidy, messy, disruptive, genius, life-changing, soul-shaking, ideas.  And I somehow assume that’s the hard part–the figuring stuff out part. The mind at work process.  The finger in the light socket wake-up call.

In reality, that’s just the half of it. The hard part is turning all the cogs and gears and moving all those brilliant plans into motion without my head exploding, because in the process of creation I’ve somehow forgotten to squirt some oil on the mechanism to keep it rolling smoothly.

Procrastinator vs. Overachiever

I very rarely procrastinate, although I sometimes like to take a few days weeks to think about a task or problem at hand.  Better to weigh and consider than it is to leap and regret.  For example, why rush the the doctor the minute you  notice the arrival of that strange spot festering volcano  on the tip of your nose, when it might very well disappear in 6 months?  Who want’s to be labeled a hypochondriac, for Pete’s sake. Far better to wait a while and see if anything falls off.

Ah, but overachiever! Not a title I necessarily rush to print on the front page, but okay, between you and me, I think that might be something of an issue for me.  Not because I am a TRUE overachiever, but rather, an A-Z organized, Pulitzer winning, Martha Stewart, chairman-of- the-board, Wonder Woman … wannabe.  Yes, I absolutely have all of my ducks standing nearly in a row– but as it is in real life, where I’ve NEVER EVER seen actual living ducks standing in a row–my ducks are more or less aligned in my head under the column labeled: MY PERFECT WORLD.

Perfect vs. Reality

It’s true I aspire to greatness, but my definition of such doesn’t necessarily fall into the category of Cesar or Ming the Merciless. I figure if I can just get the day-to-day requirements sorted out and orderly,  there will then be time to take it up to the next level where I conquer and build empires.

What’s more, I continue to hold to the hope that while plodding along the road to victory I might actually find myself becoming far more accomplished and in control–aka,  a lot less crazy. All I really need, as assures the quavering remnants of my logical self, is to master some simple basics.

And so, as it is with all great intentions and resolutions (hey people, they’re not just for New Years!) I will begin with a mighty list:

1. Return phone calls (Mom, even when it’s not her birthday. Also, the receptionist at the dentist’s office who is persistently calling to reschedule my 6 month cleaning, since the Dr has apparently decided to go on a cruise that week. Alas, the time has come to face the truth and cease the standoff, since only a crazed buffoon would seriously hold to the determination that by refusing to acknowledge a scheduling change, they might successfully force their health care professionals into sheepishly folding and rescheduling personal plans .)

2. Send Birthday cards on time and correctly addressed to the intended recipient. (Ex: The birthday card I recently sent to my nephew with his first name and MY last name printed on the envelope. Thank God I at least had his address correct so it did arrive. Humiliation and embarrassment of Auntie Barbara:Priceless.)

3. Morning workout accomplished without mental promises of cookies for lunch if I just do ten more push-ups and forty sumo squats.

4. Daily writing goals pursued and accomplished without being sidetracked by laundry (which will patiently wait) and cat naps because I’M NOT ACTUALLY A CAT.

5. Bills & monthly expenses paid before looming due dates have me writing checks in the middle of the night (and because I voluntarily assumed this task after telling berating hubby that he’s too much of a PROCRASTINATOR.)

6. Saying NO (nicely if possible) when I don’t have time or inclination to fulfill a request. (Beware the “Disease to Please.” It’s life stiffling!)

7. Stop making lists when I really should be doing all of those things I’m currently listing. (Although my son did just offer me one of the M&M’s he’s eating for breakfast and I did staunchly decline, so # 3 is nearly accomplished. Yeah Me :-D)

So, how about opening the valve and releasing some of that pressure from your own overtaxed-on-the-cusp-of-exploding-brain–what’s on your list?


18 thoughts on “Caution: Exploding Brain

  1. Oh my gosh, I am rolling on the floor in laughter over the recognition of my life in these refreshingly honest words, Barbara. You are ready to go on the road, girl – stand-up comedians, watch out, here she comes.

    Thanks for helping me relieve some of that pressure…at least for a little while. :-).

    • *Blushes, blushes, dips eyelashes* thank you so much, Elizabeth, but you truly make a girl (even one still sleepy from a cat nap) feel like a million bucks! If only my house dwelling audience waiting for clean socks and a timely supper would be so amused 😀

  2. Barbara, where have you been? You were catnapping, weren’t you?

    I so relate to your list, and I have good news. This very morning I finally knocked a long-standing item off my to-do list. Yes, you read that right: a TO-DO has become a TO-DONE! A part on my elliptical broke in NOVEMBER. I ordered the part today. $6.00, a 2-minute phone call, and 2-3 business days for shipping. So simple, so painless, so done!

    This must be my week for breakthroughs. I was invited to join another FB group. While honoured, I stopped. Took stock. Almost fell over when I realized I belong to SEVEN groups on FB, 6 of which are writers groups. I respectfully declined.

    • Hey Sherry! I’ve been cave-dwelling of late (though napping is much preferred) getting my latest pile of pages spit-shined and polished for my editor–scrambling through the days wishing for some TO-DONE’s of my own. (Honest, I’m not even a wee bit envious of your 2-minute accomplishment. Really, not at all–uh–shoot I think I just snapped my keyboard–maybe it’s not a good thing to punch the keys so hard …)

      I’m hoping some of your No-Mo-Jo will rub off here. I just said a beautifully executed “No” a couple of days ago, but have now found myself wondering if I was too hasty and should re-think what I KNOW I don’t have time to pursue. (Unless of course I figure out how to graft another set of arms to my shoulders, and–.) Looks like I still need some work on this one :-O

  3. This post was kind of like looking in a mirror. I hope I didn’t break it.

    I have no idea if my ducks are in a row … I don’t even know where they went.

    And #6? I heard it a lot growing up so I have no idea why it took me 50 years to learn to say it!

    Procrastinating perfectionist signing off…

    • Lol, that’s the thing about ducks, they really don’t stay put–line them up and the next time you turn your head, there they are pitty-paddling through puddles and taking your good intentions with them 😀

      I love your response to #6, Elaine, although I’m still diligently working on the part about learning to say it. It’s the oddest thing, I can feel it in there loaded and ready on my tongue, but it just never wants to leave my mouth!

  4. That is a wonderfully written, hilarious but very important subject. I am very much recovered from No.6 but would love a cat nap hmm…

    • Thanks for driving by, Catherine!. Yes oh yes, but that No.6 is such a stinker. Worse is the frustration of hearing the NO, NO, NO screaming in our head, only to have, YES, YES, YES be the word that comes out of our mouth. (Usually at the exact same moment that we’re kicking ourselves for saying it). It’s exhausting, but thankfully, immediate relief generally can be acquired by taking an immediate cat nap..

  5. I think we are twins separated at birth. Procrastinating perfectionist? How did you know? 😉 I am so guilty of helping everyone else take care of their to-do lists, then I move on to making my own list but for some reason never get to the end of it. Go figure. Probably because it is way too long. Can totally related to #4 and #7.

    • Yeah, twins! Does that mean I’m entitled to 1/2 ownership of Benedict??? 😀 😀 😀 (It never really hurts to ask, right?)

      You bring up another great crutch of the Procrastinating Perfectionist–helping others check-off the To Do’s on their lists while our own continue to grow mold and languish. There must be a name for that–Feelgood Procrastination maybe?

      • Lol. Benedict is his own person and I cannot claim any ownership to him. But you are welcome to ask him to stop by and visit sometime. He is a friendly guy that way. 😉

        Feelgood Procrastination sounds about right. Except sometimes I don’t feel so good because my own to-do list is threatening to overtake me. Maybe others’ to-do lists seem less daunting and therefore easier to tackle before my own.

  6. Oh, lists. I am a list writer. I share goals every Monday with 3 writing buddies. I heard recently that when you do get one of those lightbulb ideas, you need to act on it immediately while the energy of the idea is still with you. I wish I did more of this.

    • I’m “learning” to be a better list writer, since I notice that once I have one, I’m more prone to get things done. (And I’ve come to realize that my mental lists can’t be trusted!) The immediate action idea–when energy is high and enthusiasm is pumping–makes true logical sense. In fact, I think I’ll put that one on my list 😀 Thanks Sharon!

  7. I am a list writer. I share goals every Monday with 3 friends. I heard recently that when you get one of those lightbulb ideas, you should act on it immediately or the energy of the idea fades. I wish I did that more often.

  8. Lawd. I’ve had to say “no” a lot lately and it is uncomfortable and I don’t always like it – but, there is power in that no. Or at the least, there is getting my work done because I say no!


  9. Hey, Kat! Well let me tell you how really thrilled I am that you did say NO enough times to get “Family Graces” finished and into the window at the bookstore!

    You’re so right though, for many of us NO is just a hard word to get used to. I’m just hoping that if I manage to push it off my tongue and out of my mouth when necessary, it will indeed become easier with time 😀

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