Monday, January 26, 2009

Why the 'Procrastination Series'?

The idea for a series on procrastination evolved last November, during my latest visit to my son and his family. Every evening, my granddaughter Temimah kept finding one excuse after another to delay doing her homework. It became a running joke with us, and one evening I taught her the word 'procrastination'. She enjoyed having a name for her delays, and another level of fun was added to her daily ritual.

In the weeks since that trip, I've found myself putting off tasks and chores, and each time I thought of Temimah and chuckled. Memories of my own procrastinations filled my head, and I started thinking they might make for a pleasant blog post. Then the war in Gaza broke out, and my thoughts were filled with 'What ifs', and I realized that my ruminations about procrastination were unexpectedly filled with hopes and dreams and political sighs.

I'm not sure how many posts there will be in this series, but I can promise that there will be a mix ranging from fond memories to serious political and religious discussions, all themed to procrastination. It's something that's been bubbling inside me even before my fun with Temimah, but it wasn't until last night's wedding (see my post from earlier today) that I was finally ready to stop procrastinating and start writing.

As I write these entries, I'd love to hear your own procrastination experiences. Are you the type who never puts things off? Or do you wait until beyond the last minute to get things done?

Oh, What a Night!

What better way to start off my 'Procrastination series' than writing about a wedding?!

Last night we went to a wedding of two '40-somethings'. It was the first wedding for both the bride and groom, and the glee (and relief) from both sides was fun and contagious.

It started off a bit ominously- the groom is the part time rabbi for our synagogue, and on Friday he sent word that he was ill and wouldn't be able to attend services that night. Needless to say there was a lot of speculating going on at dinner tables that night, but on Saturday he showed up, looking a bit frail and pale as a ghost but happy as any groom should be.

The ceremony was a delight, as rabbi after rabbi joked under the wedding canopy, all of them openly reveling in the moment in ways I don't ever remember at a wedding. It turned out that was just a preview of the evening's fun.

As I mentioned, the groom is the part time rabbi for our synagogue. His first love is musical theater, and he showed off his talent both under the chuppah, and later in the evening when he treated us to a couple of songs. He brought life to the saying, 'the show must go on', because even though he was clearly feeling weak, he sang in full voice and ceded to the calls for an encore, even while pleading that his throat hurt and it would be best if he rested. A true showman. Of course, we all guessed what his encore song would be, and we were right- 'The Impossible Dream' from Man of La Mancha.

But the best part of the evening was when the fathers of the happy couple stood up to speak, first the bride's father and then the groom's. The father of the bride devoted most of his speech to plugging the upcoming show the groom is producing and starring in. He told us that he had a stack of playbills available at his table, and I was waiting for him to offer discount tickets to anyone who attended the wedding (alas, he didn't).

The groom's father was hilarious. My husband felt he must have had a few drinks before getting up at the podium, and who could blame him? He certainly turned out to be the funniest accountant I've ever encountered!

He started out by telling us how important it is to not pressure your children, not be a pain. He went on to describe how it turns out there are many ways to drop subtle hints, and that he had mastered several of them over the years. For example, each year he filled out his son's tax returns. And year after year, he pointed out to his son that for yet another year he was not filing a joint return. (Trust me, he had us rolling on the floor- guess that's where his son got his acting talent!)

Next he talked about meeting his future daughter-in-law for the first time. Turning to the bride, he said that at that point he would have kissed the feet of whoever his son brought in the door! (Then, of course, he continued by lovingly telling us how much he adored the bride and that even though anyone would have been good enough, she was perfect.)

The point is that the bride and groom (and their families) never gave up on finding love. They kept dating and searching for someone to share their life with, someone to fall in love with, convinced that while love was taking it's time, it would find them in the end.

As we were driving to the wedding, my husband told me that he had learned that morning of a woman in her 50's who had just gotten engaged for the first time.

Some dreams take longer than we hoped. But if we pursue them, if we stay convinced that they are obtainable, then one day they just might come true.

That's the theme of my procrastination series. Stay tuned for the next installment :-)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Prologue to Procrastination

If it's a 'prologue to procrastination' then I guess it's OK if I put off writing it a bit longer :-)

Consider this a temporary posting, just letting you know that I'm still here and getting ready to write again. Soon. Really. Any day now.
Maybe even tomorrow.