Who doesn’t sometimes suffer from this common modern affliction? It is almost expected in a society that values so much “being busy” — a well-adjusted adult is almost expected to have too little time to accomplish all of their weekly tasks, making the excuses we give ourselves for procrastinating easy to find and easy to use.
I have the privilege of being able to take time off work for the last weeks of my pregnancy. Pregnant with Paul, in 2013, I had waited until my 37th week to stop working, partly because it lined up with the winter holidays, but mostly because I didn’t allow myself to have free time if I didn’t absolutely need to. If I wasn’t absolutely unable to work, I felt like I had to keep going. Even after Paul’s death, I felt the obligation to return to work as soon as I got back to a more or less functioning state.
With this pregnancy, though I would have been physically able to continue working, I felt emotionally exhausted and professionally disinterested. It seems as though between adjusting back to my job after Paul’s death and feeling like I couldn’t wait for my parental leave, I only had a short few months of being back to “normal” — albeit a different « normal »than the one « before ». I wanted to quit, I wanted to take time for me and stop putting aside the important grief work I still need – I wanted to stop using work and fatigue as excuses for procrastinating on grieving and getting ready to welcome a newborn. After many discussions with people around me and gentle encouragement from a psychologist, I decided that I could use a few weeks of rest, both physically and mentally.
So I’ve had more time, fewer easy excuses. And yet, I procrastinate.
I postpone actually doing what’s on my to-do list, despite having all the time I need to accomplish these things. I postpone writing, even though it’s been the most healing and concrete way of grieving I have found.
Part of me feels guilty, and then part of me feels like it’s ok to procrastinate a little longer. It’s ok not to get done with everything I wanted to. Because it doesn’t matter much if I actually install that shelf or organize my photos. What counts most is to spend time with people I love, take care of myself and get some rest before the arrival of bebe-lentille. So maybe sometimes it’s ok to procrastinate, and not even have an excuse for doing so.