(this post was written December 23)
I’ve always been a last minute person. Whether it was studying for a test, making a gift, cooking or baking for a party, or finding something I need for an event, I always wait until the last minute. In the days and weeks leading up to the deadline I often do things that give me the false sense that I am not waiting until the last minute. For example, if it’s a gift for a friend I’ll know exactly what I want to make, how I want it to look, and what materials I’ll need. If I know I am going to need a special outfit for an occasion, I will usually have an idea of what I want, where to look for it, etc. But none of that actually gets it done. The day before the event I will be driving all over town, frantically searching for the perfect belt that I want to pull it all together. I’ll decide to make the belt, and I’ll run from craft store to fabric store, looking for the necessary components. The day of the friend’s party I’ll be trying to remember where I put the supplies that I actually bought in advance and wondering if I could substitute something I have for the thing I never found in my frantic search.
The motivation to write this post came from the fact that on December 23rd I was trying to figure out what I could use for hooks on a gear rack I was making for my son for Christmas. I went from hardware store to big box store, and tried to remember every little gadget and widget I had in my garage that might work. Not only did I not find what I wanted, I spent that time on edge instead of home with my family, enjoying Christmas cookies and carols.
If you are not a last minute person, let me assure you it’s a stressful way to live.
About 9 months ago, after spending most of two days running around looking for “just the right thing” I announced to my kids that we were going to stop being last minute people. I laid out much of what I just wrote here, and told them that I don’t want them to have that kind of stress in their lives. I think that was the first time in my 40+ years that I had realized just what the problem was.
We had done a really good job up until the Dec. 23rd debacle. There were two instances in that 9 months where I said to one of my children, “No, you do not have time to make that gift. The party is this afternoon, and even though you knew you wanted to make it, you didn’t do it, so it’s not happening. We are not going to spend this afternoon stressing and panicking. Go read a good book until it’s time to go.”
I don’t know if my Dec. 23rd slip up will repeat itself soon. I honestly didn’t realize that I was being a last minute person again until the project started to fall apart. I intend to keep reminding myself, and my kids, that it’s no way to be, and that the end result is rarely worthy of the emotional energy spent. I hope that will help.
** I must add a footnote to this post. After writing it, and having a renewed faith in my ability to conquer “last minute-itis” I set about getting Bekah’s new dollhouse ready for Christmas morning. It was 10:30 pm on Dec 23rd. The dollhouse was in the garage. I was going to bring it in and do some minor repairs (it was purchased used), then put it back in the garage until she went to bed on Christmas eve. This is all stuff that I’d been planning to do since I bought it in early November, but I waited until the last minute. Ok, back to Dec. 23rd. I asked Husband to help me carry it in, because it is BIG. We went to the garage, lifted it, walked across the yard, up the two back steps, and discovered that it’s about an inch wider than our door opening. No, I’m not kidding. I’m sure if I had discovered this a week earlier I would have more options than I have now. Wouldn’t that have been nice?
The moment she first saw her Remember When dollhouse (minus its base, which we had to remove to get it in the door).
(under that sheet is a gorgeous mid century Lane coffee table that was being thrown out when I snagged it. more on that later!!)