Confessions of a Serial Procrastinator

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I’m sitting here at my desk at home on what feels like our hundredth snow day. A teacher’s work is never done, and I have a pile of papers to grade and lessons to finalize.  

I’ll probably do pretty much none of it today. Ok, I’ll finish my lesson plans because they are due tomorrow morning. But the stuff that doesn’t HAVE to be done now? That’s another story.

Procrastination has been the story of my life. My time management skills are awful and have been since childhood. I don’t want to be this inefficient, but it always seems to just happen that way. I have had a million resolutions swearing that I will be better next time. I will have a plan in place. I will be self-disciplined. I WILL DO BETTER. I WILL.

Then comes the inevitable failure and the self-shaming. You said you could do better, Nancy, and you have FAILED. Again. Just like you always do. 

I know that I am not alone in this mindset. Self-defeating inner dialogue is a part of many of our lives. Pastor Greg pointed it out in Sunday’s sermon about King Saul. A lot of us spend our lives feeling “small” and gathering evidence that our perceptions of ourselves are true.

The question of identity is an easy one to speak and a hard one to follow. I’ve been able to say that my identity is rooted in Christ for what seems like forever, but have I really LIVED that way?  When so much of my life is rooted in thinking about where I fall short, I’m not thinking as a daughter of the almighty God. I’m centered on me, me, and more me, not my Father. I am happy or sad based on what I am doing right or doing wrong. It has nothing to do with God. I’m giving the right answers but not living them.

The utter selfishness of the sin nature always wants to rear its ugly head, no matter how much we claim to know differently that it isn’t about us. We have Good News; the Creator of the Universe has redeemed and adopted us as His! But that Truth gets lost in the day to day self-chatter of all the control we think we should have in our lives. Absolute beauty gets lost in the petty ugliness of the human mind.  

Actually saying and knowing you are adopted as a son or daughter of God takes a daily, systematic fight against wrong thinking. Prayer, Scripture, Community, Counseling…all are great tools to battle wrong mindsets. But it is a daily, lifelong process, one that ebbs and flows. Rooting identity where it belongs is ongoing. 

My habits of procrastination are far from cured. But I can stop thinking about them as reflections of my worth.  They aren’t. I am not my habits, flaws, failures; I am a daughter of the King.

 Nancy Vasquez

Nancy Vasquez