Saturday, 15 November 2008

P = Procrastination

Procrastination is an art form, and I long since graduated from apprentice to journeyman to master.

Unfortunately I am also married to a master. Perhaps together we have encouraged each other to refine and hone our skills to this level of performance, and I only have myself to blame. But there are times when it frustrates me. Drives me crazy, in fact. When I want nothing more than to make a decision, and just do something for god’s sake. But my chief procrastinator is till procrastinating, yet not allowing me to go ahead and do things myself. Let me explain.

Summer is almost here. In New Zealand that means that during the height of summer there are about six weeks when it is impossible to get anything done unless you do it yourself. We have a half built project. A deck to expand our outdoor living space. We need a building permit, and if we don’t get it in the next few weeks, we won’t be getting it till February, when all the good building weather will be over. But D is procrastinating. Don’t ask me why. All it takes is getting our plans to an engineer for approval, then back to the Council. Shouldn’t be too hard? According to him it is, as our plans have changed a bit since they were drawn up. But this has delayed our project for years.

We also need a builder, as part of the deck is a good 4 metres from the ground (hence the need for the building permit). Previously builders shunned our small project, preferring bigger more profitable jobs. So whilst normally this would be an excellent time – the housing market is slowing and those builders might now be prepared to work on it – all builders will be on their summer holidays till February at least. And I want my deck now. I want to be able to sit on it in a deck chair, under some shade with a cool glass of something, and a good book. I want to be able to entertain friends over the summer. We have friends who are returning to New Zealand after two summers overseas. The deck wasn’t done then and we were already the laughing stock of all our friends and family. The deck still is not done now. I’m starting to feel like the village idiot.

I now know real sympathy for my mother. She spent many years waiting for my father to decide it was the right time to approach his mother about getting the family farm, which he had worked since he was 13 and managed since he was a teen, transferred into his name. Only then could they borrow the money needed to build a new house. My mother had spurts of enthusiasm, designing the house herself, drawing up the plans. Then she’d fall into a pit of despondency, wondering if anything would ever be done, and what was the point.

I feel a bit like that now.


  1. Perhaps some unilateral action is required?

  2. yeah, i'd be taking matters into my own hands, just to get it done.

    but then again, i still have a 85% complete kitchen 5 years later ...

  3. Don't think I haven't thought about doing it myself, or looked up all the requirements, downloaded the forms, etc. Been there done that. But the plans and the requirements are complicated and he's the engineer not me, and if I got it wrong ... argh!

  4. One reason I still don't have an upstairs bathroom, besides the incredible cost, is that I just can't face what a total inconvenience the project will be, especially since I work at home. Construction is painful.

    So are you saying that in NZ builders take the summer off? Or a good chunk of it? Seems like where I live that's when they are trying to get everything done...

  5. I was going to write a witty comment here, but then I thought I'd just put it off until tomorrow...

  6. Mali, are you procrastinating, or are you doing Nanowrimo? (In which case I'm impressed that you even have time to comment on others' blogs.)

  7. nope, not nanowrimo this year despite my best intentions ... working on Q right now.

  8. I'm a huge procrastinator and my daughter has followed my lead. Not a good lesson! My husband is also a procrastinator, but not as bad as I am.


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