Procrastinators Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from chronic procrastination.

Procrastination and Hospitalization

The plonking of DH in the ICU with chest pains and high blood pressure has highlighted several procrastination issues. An obvious one is that putting off taking care of your health, eating right, and exercising can have sudden SERIOUS repercussions. We all know that--even DH! But guess what? He started working REALLY hard on eating right and exercising and getting the right meds, etc., about a month ago. He's rather angry that after being so good for a month, this should happen NOW. And his parents, step-parents, and my parents & step-parents are jumping ALL OVER HIM about how they hope he has "learned a lesson" rather than being supportive and commending him for the great start he made and commiserating with him for the bad cosmic timing. And I watched him just swallow that criticism without a peep! Well, ~I~ made a peep--one to each perpetrator of the kicking-him-when-he's-down routine. So then they all jumped on me! How I'm also overweight and stressed and better take a lesson from this as well. They haven't a clue how hard I've been working the last few weeks to get my life in better order and make some needed changes. I chose not to reveal all that and argue about it with them. I'm proud of both of us for the changes we have been working on--even if I still get furious with DH nearly daily and even if, for all my effort, my life hasn't experienced any changes visible to others. Which brings me to a final issue about procrastination and hospitalization. My house still looks like a trainwreck (which is only 1/4 my responsibility, btw), and that's really undermining at a time like this. I wish it were clean and orderly and neat, a pleasant refuge and a handy storeplace of resources. If I need to find papers I'll never be able to, and if people come over I'll be mortified (and family would be the worst because they'd be openly judgemental). The disorder and diorganization makes coping with this added stress even harder. And I have little opportunity at the moment to do anything about it! So I AM taking a lesson from this that they don't even know about, since nobody has seen our house for months: procrastination can make things snowball sickeningly. On the other hand, I am determined to do a little bit around the house before I go up to the hospital each day. This is a new behavior for me. In the past I'd have seen the crisis as an excuse to abandon all discipline whatsoever, and then I'd have wound up overwhelmed and depressed. Not this time! Thanks for the good wishes, everyone. I'll post updates here about DH later. He's ok for now, in a regular room, undergoing tests to figure out why his outrageously high BP won't respond to any meds other than nitroglycerine. (DH jokes about shaking him and setting off an explosion.)

good news!

Heart cath finally happened at 5 pm ( was scheduled for 1 pm, but it was a bad day in cardiology), and DH's arteries were TOTALLY CLEAR. He cried out, "Then it wasn't my fault!" Indeed, the cause of his high blood pressure remains unknown. They let him go, but they are running blood tests for thyroid problems, for excess iron (who was it whose father has that?), and some other stuff. His slightly abnormal EKG and echocardiogram reveal that his heart is not pumping at full efficiency, and that is due to the high blood pressure. So they changed some meds around and told him he must take it easy for 4 days, then continue exactly as he was before. The pains were evidently caused by the medicine he started on Tuesday, so they switched him one more time. DFIL and DSMIL were mostly supportive,but a little judgemental throughout the day, moreso when alone with me. At one point DFIL said, "He needs to lose weight. He just needs to make up his mind," and I said, "He HAS made up his mind. What do you think he has been doing for the last month?" They became more careful about what they said. Meanwhile, my own DSF sent me yet another email deploring my abysmal, self-destructive behavior that matches DH in eating himself into a coma that will deprive our children of parents and has robbed them of responsible examples! (paraphrase) How do you like that! This from a former hippie who used to do motorcycle repair in exchange for drugs! He added, "I am terrified by the death you have chosen." Jeez. I am overweight, but I am not on any meds for anything but alergies and reflux (yes, I know--the reflux would be better if I were less heavy. I know). I do not have diabetes, or high cholesterol, or high blood pressure (though that is inching up). In both our cases, stress would be the biggest cause of both the eating poorly and the rising blood pressure. Eventually eating poorly exacerbates high BP, that's true. But it appalls me for everybody to suddenly jump on us with both feet in such a moralistic way just when we are feeling vulnerable already.

"They became more careful about what they said."

OH, yeah!! OH, yeah!!!!!!!

(Jester standing with one foot planted way out in front, knees flexed, doing that upside-down-fist-pull-back thing

OH yeah!!!

Can the doctor help?

I wonder how the judgemental family members would take some advice from the doctor... something to the effect of "adding stress through criticism won't help anyone's blood pressure -- here's how you can really help." With whatever advice the doctor would like to suggest.

Everyone is no doubt worried enough about the whole thing without making it worse with personality friction...


DH has heart cath at 1 pm today

I will go up there by noon. His DDad and DSMom drove from out of state to be here for the angiogram today, even though DH asked them not to. Last night DH said Dr. told him he might get to come home tonight after angiogram, that nothing significant is going on with heart other than the high blood pressure (in other words, all irregularities are simply the result of the high BP). Now what causes that, though, I wonder? I hope he doesn't come home with it still high! If his parents come home with him, mine will be high, too! (Despite the work done yesterday, there's still a lot of CHAOS--and their standards are quite high).

Lots of mojo coming your way

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thinking of you!

I'll be sending good thoughts your way today, slider, with a special side helping of 'dealing with the in-laws' mojo.

Take care of yourself.

What to do about torpedoes


Many of us have experienced the infuriating ignorance of those who, like Job's friends in the Bible, "pile on" blame in the guise of lending comfort. Some would vaguely defend such friends, saying "they are only trying to help," or, "they don't know what else to say." On the contrary, THEY are to blame, and are wrong, and should be dealt with mercilessly. There is a time to let anger out, and tell people off - and this is one such time. (Job did!) There is no excuse for this adding of insult to injury.

I admire the way you are plowing ahead with improving life for you and your husband, ignoring the impotent shadows hurled by these darkened spirits.

Sorry that the phrase may have been uttered in battle against your countrymen (are you one of the Brits here - I think so), but anyway it fits:

"Damn the torpedoes, and full steam ahead."

Where people are based

JestRight if you click on someone's name at the end of the post it shows you where they are based (if they choose to share it that is!).

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Knowledge is power

Cool, thanks for the tip.

Slide, no offense for the mislocation? Scarlett and I will buy you a barbecue to make amends.

dealing with family

I also can related to what you said about family. My family isn't very supportive, either - constantly criticizing me and trying to boss me around to do things their way.

And I invite it (or have, historically) by sharing details of my life with them, which is sort of like handing them a loaded gun. Since I've stopped doing that, my life has been much more peaceful. But oddly, I still have to fight the urge to do that - justify my decisions to them.

We've been emailing about the E. Coli outbreak in this country since both my mother and I have been eating raw spinach all week in salads. My mother was eating the exact brand that was tainted, and clearly had E. Coli. She's been very sick, and got better after she threw out the spinach.

Since we were talking, it was all I could do not to mention my decision to close a piece of my business, even though I knew that would cause them to criticize me, throw me into a defensive posture, upset me, and inflame my ongoing fight with my brother. I did manage to keep my mouth shut, happily, but it was amazing how hard it was for me to do that.

Congratulations to you for not handing your family the gun to shoot you with by sharing the details of your present efforts.


I rarely get the urge to tell my family anything, and they rarely get the urge to ask. When I told them I was going to Uni they thought I'd got a job there! For many years they had no idea what I did for a living, and some of them probably still don't. It's not that we're hostile (I don't think we are anyway - though some of us were in the past), just not very close.

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more typical of Brits, I think

I know many Brits who aren't at all close to their families, but that degree of estrangement is very unusual in the US. Broadly speaking, Brits seem to have excessive boundaries, while Americans have no boundaries. :P


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didn't mean it to sting!


Not typical

I don't think my family is particularly typical - perhaps somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. My mum died when I was at school and I left home shortly afterwards, and I wasn't mature enough to go around socialising with the older ones in the family. Plus I had a psych who told me to stay away from my dad, which involved staying away from everyone in the family pretty much, and when dad died that pattern pretty much just carried on until I met DSO, who gave me the moral support to get back in touch with family. I did, but by then we'd grown apart.

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My ex-therapist told me to stay away from my family, but I was too stupid to listen (then). I'm trying to now.

procrastinating on health issues

Healthy behavior is one of my worst areas of procrastination, and I agree with you about its importance. I'm not especially overweight - just a little bit (recently gained) - but I have a chronic and potentially fatal health problem that I don't pay enough attention to. It really matters what I eat and whether I get good nutrition, regular exercise, and adequate sleep. I need to take very good care of my health if I want to live into old age and be healthy into old age. I can't fool around with it, and yet I do.

My worse offense is not taking my medication or supplements, which is why "take pills" is on my to-do list every day. That's helping - I've been swallowing pills with much greater regularity than I ever did in the past. I'm getting more regular rest now thanks to my morning and bedtime routines. I'm eating better since I started using the salad bar at Balducci's every day (new habit I added to my day plan). And now I'm trying to get fit again by going to the gym regularly (added to my morning routine on weekdays).

We are fragile, flesh-and-blood beings. If we trash our bodies, we will simply not be on this earth as long as we like - or we won't be as healthy as we like while we're here. It's that simple. We can deny the truth of this or ignore it, but that doesn't change anything - it's an inescapable truth.

Re housework... I don't procrastinate in this area, but I can tell you, as motivation, that it is indeed wonderful to have a neat and clean home that provides a pleasant refuge from the outside world. :)


I'd always felt depressed and oppressed by the clutter around me, and it definitely helped to improve my state of mind as I decluttered. I now find I also work better in a clear area. But I didn't realise how much a 'refuge' my home could be until we decorated our bedroom and bathroom as we wanted them to be. Both those rooms are now like a sanctuary. I used to go to the library a lot to escape, now I can retreat in my own home! (Libraries have become noisy, busy places in recent years - not my idea of retreat).

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Good input on this topic - I have either lived a sterile environment, or a clutttered one. An inviting one? Novel idea. Something to keep in mind.

I have tried to make my place nice when I expected company, or was hoping to entertain.

But doing it just for myself? Seems improper somehow - like ducking into a cool, inviting den of iniquity.

Funny to recognize how dedicated one has been to ignoring one's own self-interest.

Fix that now.

procrastinating on housework

Many, many years ago, like when I was in my late teens and early 20's (I left home early), my home was a trash heap. But at some point I realized how pleasant it was to have a nice home, and I have for years now. It's not only neat and clean, it's comfortable and attractively furnished. My nieces love visiting my apartment. They are intrigued by my clever use of space (it is pretty clever, if I do say so myself), and they love all the interesting things to look at and play with. (Being a large child myself, I tend to have a lot of toys.)


Sorry to hear your news Slider. ~We~ know how hard you've been working, and we understand that change doesn't happen overnight.

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