I feel like, at 46 years old, I should be over my dread of making phone calls.
Then again, if I haven’t gotten over it by age 46, then maybe this is just What It Is and I need to accept it about myself.
Yesterday, after weeks (!) of delaying, I finally called the man who will be my son’s new trumpet teacher. I’d gotten his contact info a couple months ago from the middle school band director, and I’d emailed him (I don’t hate email). But I needed to call and actually speak to him so he could get to know a little about my kid, and we could make arrangements. And I’ve been putting it off… and off… and off…
I’m a huge introvert. But I grew up watching and learning from extroverted parents, so I know how to talk to people. In fact I can be so good at it that people are surprised when I tell them the truth! I’m sure the new trumpet teacher would never have guessed how much energy I had to muster to finally dial his number… after all, once I did, we chatted about trumpet, and church, and military life for probably close to an hour.
And that’s the thing—that’s what happens. I don’t not like talking to (some) people. In fact, I quite enjoy talking to (some!) people! But getting myself to make the move takes so much building-up. So. Much.
Procrastination and FOs.
On Monday’s post I linked to Tian Connaughton‘s blog; she’s a knitwear designer, coach, and Instagrammer who keeps posting things that seem to hit me right where I am, and hard. She did it again this week, with a meme she shared about procrastination. It asked the hard/embarrassing question: Do I secretly think God owes me another chance tomorrow to do the thing I put off doing today? Ouch.
I’m a funny mix when it comes to procrastination. UFOs (UnFinished Objects) of any kind make me anxious; I want projects to come to completion. But I also live into my Myers-Briggs-described “pressure-promptedness,” especially when it comes to writing. I mull, ponder, study, and stew over things until right up to the deadline and then get them done in a very satisfying mad rush. I don’t feel badly about working this way!
But other times I put things off… off… off… for other reasons. Like phone calls, because they make me so uncomfortable.
Or like writing a book draft, because I feel so underprepared, and even—if I’m honest—unworthy. “Waiting til the time is right” is an act of discernment. “Needing to learn more” is a posture of humility. But if I’m not careful, waiting becomes denial instead of discernment, and learning becomes deflection instead of humility.
Finishing and focusing.
So on this Finished Object Friday I’m checking a simple phone call off the to-do list. I’m still wrapping up my first novel draft, but it’s getting there. I’m looking forward to the spiritual writing kidlit conference that starts on Monday, and I signed up for a picture-book writing class that runs through October. After that, I’m “finishing” signing up for conferences/classes (for awhile) so that I can focus on doing the work, and hopefully discover what I truly need to learn.
And maybe even figure out what it is I’ve been waiting for.
Stay well, friends. 🙏🏻