Tag Archives: procrastination

From a rock, with my feet in wet sand.

Looking upstream from mouth of creek.

On my drive to the coast today, I listened to “How Satan Deceives People” by Elder Cleopa of Romania. That story certainly set the tone for my visit, to make it even more contemplative than usual.

I had missed my Alone Time on the beach for exactly three weeks. Because wind seemed to be in the forecast a lot, I had been wondering if I would be able to get out there very much this spring, but when the wind died down here, it did there, too. I think the air temperature was about 60 degrees, but the water felt colder than ever; it was the first time I felt it to be somewhat uncomfortable right away.

The water temperature on the beaches I frequent ranges from about 50-55 degrees over the year, with the coldest months being April and May, and the warmest, September. By the time you get as far south as San Francisco the water is five degrees warmer on average. Anyway, that’s not much variation, and I’m wondering if the water felt colder because I am older (not to say old). What I like about that reductive explanation for certain perplexing changes is that it can quickly free up time and mental energy for other more interesting inquiries.

Today I was thinking about too many things to let the water temperature take over my mind, though I walked in the surf as much as ever. Tears came to my eyes, for joy at being there in the elements, my senses refreshed and my mind having encouraging things from Elder Cleopa to rest on. It was convenient that the elements were fairly gentle, and that the tide had gone out just enough to reveal comfortable sitting rocks at the north end of the beach where no other people were. I sat.

The tide had peaked high about two hours before I arrived, and as each wave fell away from the shore, it looked as though it were pulling back on itself; I wonder if that was an optical illusion from me seeing the steep slope of the beach as the wave retracted. The way tides work is pretty complex! I just read this online, when I was looking for the opposite of ebb:

“The incoming tide along the coast and into the bays and estuaries is called a flood current; the outgoing tide is called an ebb current. The strongest flood and ebb currents usually occur before or near the time of the high and low tides. The weakest currents occur between the flood and ebb currents and are called slack tides.”

I learned three things in that short paragraph. If I could find the time to study it, I would like to learn much more, from this book, Tides and the Ocean, that I borrowed from the library. I may have to take it to the beach and sit on a rock to read it, where I have no other books, and few other “tasks” to distract me. Pippin read a bit from it when she was here (away from her own books and usual tasks) and explained to me about some other things that affect the tides, like the sun, and local weather. There are many great diagrams and pictures to help explain everything.

The view from my sitting rock.

One idea from Elder Cleopa’s story that impressed me was that the only thing demons can do to us is suggest thoughts. We think they are our own and we build habits out of them, and follow a path away from repentance leading to salvation.

But God, through our conscience or our Guardian Angel or maybe many means, also gives us promptings, which it’s best to follow hard on. Otherwise the demons will come right along and suggest that we procrastinate. Merely procrastinating doesn’t seem too bad… But watch out!

The kindness of God quite overwhelmed me this afternoon. I got home a little late, with not enough time left to tell you all I had planned, about my outing — especially what I saw on the way home. If I am here tomorrow maybe I will work on that part. It’s easy to get behind in recounting the gifts of our Creator and Lover and Friend.

Art and happiness flow from love and work.

Jeannette on her blog introduced me to #dangerdust, some stealthy design students who have taken chalkboard art to a new level. I browsed samples of their works, many of which are illustrated quotes, and this one immediately joined with the theme of design to start a new phrase, “designing my life,” floating around in my head.

dangerdust JessicaHische_DSC_9440_

Who is Jessica Hische? I wondered, at the same time knowing that I couldn’t in good conscience take her on as a life coach, a woman who would try to comfort me with quotes as I avoid housework. I’ve found that true comfort can only come from getting at least some of the put-off tasks accomplished.

She is a graphic designer, and perhaps she was just talking about herself when she made the statement quoted above. I hope so, because she’s a little young to be giving advice to the rest of us. But her website is so lovely and clean (those must be really passé descriptors in the design world!) that it makes me want to hang around… procrastinating?

I know that creative work is a tricky thing. Whether it’s a cooking project, sewing or writing, sometimes I dink around and putter about nervously, and even do some other kind of work until suddenly I feel that all my brain-ducks are lined up and I can get going. So which is the work that I should be doing — this is funny, old as I am — for the rest of my life?

Yos 05 G cook 2
camp cooking

At her age Ms. Hische can’t have known the variety and richness of a life like mine, full of so many kinds of work for art’s sake and also out of love for so many dear people. What they say about the breadth of education one can get, the amazing things one can learn and create and enjoy, when one is a woman at home — I’ve found it to be true.

I do know also about the great fatigue and all the interruptions and unfinished projects that are the bane of a mother, but as I look back I also see the clothing and costumes I conceived and made, the gardens I designed and brought to fruition, the realms of knowledge and culture I explored on my own and with my children: history, the arts, theology and literature, for a start.

There was ample opportunity to learn to cook, and I got my children started as well in that skill that can be a loving and reverent creative act. The simple labors of housecleaning go a long way toward making a home homey. I haven’t had to choose which one kind of work to do, thank God. And I thank my husband, who did engage in mostly one occupation, making it possible for me to have this good life.

haircut clip
42 years of barbering so far

I never thought about my life as something to design, so that little phrase that came to my mind doesn’t connect to anything real. Most of the kinds of work I’ve learned to do as artistically as possible can be seen as flowing from love for other people (housework and cooking) or love of the created world (gardening, reading and writing). I wish everyone could have so many happy and useful tasks to do, a long series of gifts that have almost fallen in my lap.

At this moment someone might accuse me of procrastinating, because it’s true, there are several (hundred) things needing done around here. But haven’t we all heard that A Woman’s Work is Never Done? No need to ever be bored! I think I’ll just rest in that reality and work at being thankful for it.