Sometimes you just have to jump up and get going. This can be hard for a professional procrastinator. I come by this from a proud family tradition of procrastination. My dad had all sorts of plans for things that he never actually did. He did stuff, too. He built a darkroom and a bathroom (by himself) in the basement of our house. But he was really proficient at procrastinating.
So I’m pretty good at putting off what I don’t want to do. In fact, sometimes I need the pressure of a deadline to get my work done. Sometimes, when I’m writing a sermon, I can’t get anything to come out of my fingers until I’m bar the deadline. It just won’t happen. Even if I’m spending time thinking about what I’m going to be saying, it just won’t gel until I have the pressure. Kinda like a diamond.
Anyway, I have a lot of stuff that I have to get done right about now. if you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I’ve talked about the Ministerial Fellowship Committee (MFC) a fair bit. I’m going to see them at the end of March, and they have The Power. They will grant me fellowship or not, which will then allow me to be ordained (in good faith) or not. In order to keep my appointment in March, I first have to send a packet of stuff to them by the end of January. What kind of stuff, you ask? Essays. Evaluations. Competencies (pages of statements about how I’m competent in 16 different areas, plus an additional one that I’ve chosen to include). A photo. Which reminds me, I really need to get that photo… Oh yeah, where was I? Yes, things I need to do. So there’s that. The MFC packet.
I’m also applying for a CPE (clinical pastoral education) residency – a chaplaincy residency – for next year. I’ve already done my first unit of CPE – my chaplaincy internship, but since I feel called to chaplaincy and want to be certified, I need to do a residency. Those applications are due…well, now. But the application is long and tedious and all about me. Stuff I hate writing about. Well, sort of. I mean, I write about myself here all the time. But I don’t really like the “tell us your whole life history” stuff that I have to do in the applications. So I’ve been putting it off.
I put my internship off for a whole year because I didn’t want to do the initial application. Seriously. So I figured I’d just pull up my old application and update it, and that would at least be easier. Right?
I went to open the file (after I’d updated my word processor), and the file wouldn’t open. What? NO!!! So I put it off for a while again. But I really need to have a job next year, and one in ministry would really be preferable to, say, retail. Nothing against retail, and I might even make more in some retail settings, but after six years pursuing the Master of Divinity degree, I’d like a job in ministry.
Today I called Apple support. God bless Apple support. Really. In under five minutes, the friendly guy on the phone gave me a simple work-around. Turns out, I still have the old version of the word processor on my computer. I was able to open and save the old file. Hallelujah!
Then there’s the thing about me being really disorganized. In my head I’m very organized. I have to be. Because outwardly, I’m a mess. I file by the stratification method. When I got laid off from Fannie Mae in 2009, I was supposed to have a half-hour to clean out my cubicle, but I’d been in that job for ten years. I couldn’t leave the mess for everyone else to figure out. It took me over an hour to leave it in a state that at least was…well, someone could make sense of it, anyway.
So one thing that has to be included in my CPE application is my final evaluation from my first unit of CPE. OK. I know I have that somewhere. I have some vague idea of where I have it, too, and I know it’s in a manilla envelope. Might as well start searching. So I look down and see an envelope, and pick it up, and look in, and there it is! The first thing I look at! How much do I love the Holy Spirit? How much is God pushing me today? Leapin’ Lizards! I should be jumping for joy!
So all the parts of my application are ready to go. I just need to copy them, write some checks and send them out. I might actually have a job next year!
And once I’m moving on something there’s the thing about momentum. You see, inertia is a big thing with procrastination. But once you overcome the inertia, then it’s not so hard to keep going. So I’m hopeful about getting my competencies finished in the next few days. Then on to the essays. Oh, and my mid-term evaluation. More writing about me.
I can do this. I can do this. I can do this! And then I’ll be doing the Snoopy Dance of Joy.
That’s all I’ve got. That’s my mite.