So it’s Sunday night — last so many hours of March Break — and guess what I’m doing?

Yeah. If you guessed marking school work, you know me pretty well. As my son told me, I’m not a terrible procrastinator, I’m a great procrastinator because I’m so good at putting things off.


The good news is that I feel fairly rested and ready to take on the work week. The bad news is that I kind of wish I could spend the next few days focusing my newfound energies on my home. That great long list I’d made for myself at the start of the break? Didn’t do it. All the skiing I anticipated? Didn’t happen. The laundry folding, floor washing, paper organizing, marking and editing frenzy throughout the bonus seven days of free time?

I could blame it on the cough that lingered through most of the break and made my waking hours difficult. But the simple fact is that I’m lazy when I don’t have a deadline. I do much better with routine. What I need to get better at is setting and following my own routines.

That, and turning off the TV. We binge-watched The 100 today and yesterday, reviewing season 1 and getting halfway through season 2, with little intermissions of 3rd Rock for comic relief. I really, really enjoy The 100 — so much food for thought, and we do a lot of talking about character motivations, science, and philosophy while we’re watching. I’d love to read or write some fan fiction (if it exists) about the lives of the Grounders and the Mountain Men before the Sky People landed and skewed the world just a little more. And I’d love to watch the show with a few more adults and some shot glasses — the writers love the term “my people” so much, it really ought to be a drinking game.

So there’s that. My addiction to the boob tube, time suckage at its finest. I’ve toyed with doing away with the television completely, but we’d have to get rid of all of our DVDs and Blu-Rays as well, plus slapping an elastic on my wrist every time I felt tempted to put on Netflix or do a little surfing through YouTube.

I just want to be entertained.

And the funny part is that I suspect even without the TV, movies, and Netflix, I still would seek out the escape of fiction because I’d be reading. I don’t read nearly as often as I used to, in part because I get really into the book I’m reading and therefore I become very pissed off when my child or spouse pulls me away from it. Come to think of it, I get peeved in the same way when I get interrupted in my cleaning. So either I need to cultivate patience, or they need to learn to leave Mommy alone when she’s in a groove.

That’s another reason why I’m throwing myself into the marking tonight. Doing it at home with distractions is hella frustrating. The lack of proper desk space and lighting, constant noise (except late at night, and even then — or right now — I’m listening to my teenager gaming away on his Xbox) — it’s far easier to be productive at the school. But the thought of going up to the classroom last week put knots in my shoulders and gave me bad dreams. So I stayed home and promised myself every day that I’d get to the marking, knowing full well that I was telling myself dirty lies and that this was the inevitable result.

Self-fullfilling prophecy?

I’m punishing myself for being lazy. For misusing the gift of time. For sleeping when I ought to have been working. For knitting when I should have had pen in hand. I have to do penance in some way for putting off the work that had to be done. Mary Poppins glares at me from the back of my head. So does my own mother.

So. There’s my twenty-minute break between marking stories that should have been handed back a month ago. I’m diving in again, hoping to surface some time before 1 am so I can get some sleep before it’s back to work tomorrow. Maybe by March Break next year I’ll have learned my lesson.

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