Saturday, November 14, 2009


I like to procrastinate.

I mean, I don't really like to procrastinate, but I tend to procrastinate. Often.

Subconsciously I find a way to put off things that I don't really want to do. I suppose in my minds eye, it'll be more palatable to get to another day.
These could be small things, like clearing out that basket under the sink with multiple bottles of dish washing detergent or cleaning out that junk drawer. Or they can be large tasks. Reorganizing all the storage bins in the basement or cleaning out the garage space.

If they are on the small list; I figure I can get to it another day. No biggie.
But, if they are on the large list; perhaps the task is too daunting to attempt on my own, or overwhelming in it's scope...I just get it off my radar.

I'm convinced that living in denial could possibly be the root of all happiness.

I'm starting a new project in my home. Yes...another project. As soon as one gets completed, I move to the next on my wish list. This one is going to leave most of the second floor a wreck for several weeks. But I know the end result will be fantastic and enjoyed for years to come.

My plan , if all goes well, is to have it completed for the holidays.

My daughters room is on the south west side of the house. The room next to hers has become the 'catch-all' room. Off season clothing, things to be sorted, school projects and supplies, junk that isn't junk but needs to be all gets tossed in there. And then the door gets shut.

Out of sight, out of mind.

That room faces the front of the house and has a large beautiful window to let in the morning light. My plan is to knock out the wall between the two rooms and create one very large room.

Sounds great, right?
Perfect for a pre-teen?
Room enough for all those future sleepovers?

Except that means I've got to clean out the 'catch-all' room. Which also means I need to organize to find 'homes' for all the stuff that has mysteriously filled the room. A goes to B; B to C; C to D; D to E and then E can finally go back to A. There seems to be much schlepping in my immediate future.

It's funny how things have steps. Alcoholic Anonymous has twelve steps. Overeaters Anonymous has twelve steps. Narcotics, Debtors, Gamblers, Smokers, Workaholics, Sex Addicts...there are an abundance of twelve stepper groups to associate with. There is even a CLA; Clutterers Anonymous which I'm sure would welcome me with open arms.

But I don't need to have group therapy for the task at hand. I need some planning.

There will be at least twelve steps to complete my project. And as with all step programs, the first step is the always hardest. I need to commit myself to the task. So I don't put it off to another day.

This morning I took my sledgehammer and busted a huge hole into the wall.

As I hit the wall I realized what wonderful therapy it was. I could skip my workout because this exercise of destroying my daughters pristine bedroom wall was exercise in itself. It was not only physically exhilarating, but also stress eliminating. I could feel my worries disappear with each and every swing. My frustration with a peer at work, my disappointment in my relationship status, my hidden anger at the medical field for the inability to cure my mom. All these things kept jumping into my head and low and behold, I felt better. Much better.

Sometimes hitting something, or breaking something is the best therapy.

Back eons ago, when I was separated from my then husband, he had moved out of our home and into an apartment. Not just any apartment, but a really nice one on the lake. I thought it a bit extravagant since his rent was more than our mortgage payment, but who was I to question. I didn't rock the boat. I didn't have a voice.

I suspected his continued infidelity although supposedly that was over and we were going to work things out. I was in that neighborhood and stopped by unannounced. Despite his protests to the contrary, his behaviour belied the fact that he not only was continuing to see his mistress, but that she was there, right then.

I was hurt. I was angry. But I didn't say anything and got into my car to leave. At the base of the driveway I had a change of heart. What I realized at that moment was that I needed a voice. One that could be heard. One that would resonate loud and clear, way beyond this minute in time.

Who would've guessed that my voice would come in the form of the brush bar of my Land Rovers. I put my Discovery into drive, floored the gas pedal and crashed the garage door.

Oh yes. I did.
Twice. For full measure.

On my second smash into the heavy wooden door, the alarm from the BMW cradled inside started to wail. I had an exuberant feeling with each high pitched squeal of the car I just killed. I backed down the driveway, flew the bird to my husband standing gaped mouthed in the window and drove off.

I decided it would be prudent to make a visit to my parents home. I reasoned there would be a high probability that I may need to secure a temporary loan from them to fix the damage due to my impetuous demolition derby. My mother stood in our U-shaped kitchen washing dishes while my dad and I sat at the kitchen table. I braced myself for the lecture of a lifetime, but instead what I got was a laugh.

My dad started laughing as I've rarely heard him before. One of those deep guttural laughs that can only be described as a chortle. Tears streamed from his eyes. At which point I couldn't help by laugh along as well.

My mother peeked her head from under the kitchen cabinets and a sweet soft voice said, "How...did it feel?"

"Great, mom. Fantastic even."

"I've always wanted to do something like that, but have never had the courage to do it.", she said in her sugary voice.

My dad chimed in through his laughter, "So that's why you have a brush bar!"

That was it.
We were all done in, laughing hysterically in the kitchen. We laugh about it still.

That one moment was worth 5 years of therapy.

It allowed me to step beyond where I was. Which before then I hadn't been able to do. So yes, there is therapeutic satisfaction in hearing the sound of breaking glass, splintering wood and crunching metal.

It also makes us push forward. Without the possibility of procrastination.

Just about the same way this huge hole in my wall just did.

I suppose the next tool that I a checkbook.



  1. You're a woman with a lot of gumption. Remind me to never piss you off. :)

    Good luck with the remodel of your daughter's room. How about framing an extra large closet at the end of the room away from the window and use that for storage? That's what we did... no basements in FL.

  2. so funny, I totally get it! That laughter..I lost my mom too and the best I remember of her is the laughter,
    she had the best laugh.20 years ago and it still brings tears to my eyes to think of her laughter.. sigh

  3. Up until the part where you started smashing stuff up, I totally could have written this post. Everything from that point and beyond? I *wish* I could write that post! :)

  4. I love it! By smashing that garage door you probably sent a much clearer message then if you had simply yelled at him or told him off.
    I think we all need to break something every once in a while.
    Good luck with the remodel, what a great mom you are!

  5. Nancy,
    My level of respect for you has just gone through the roof!
    You are one kick ass broad!

    Sledgehammer away, my friend... but don't forget this is your house and your stuff. You're gonna have to clean up the mess afterwards.
    Good Luck with the remodel - looking forward to photos.

  6. Procrastination is the most effective way to get through life...especially the things you really DON'T want to do.

  7. Fantastic post. And yes, a robust checkbook can be a) the best therapy b) the best revenge.

  8. You know, it doesn't matter how old we are, getting our parents love and support makes everything ok. Your dad's laugh was just what you needed to validate your feelings. That was a nice story and a touching moment with your mom and dad.

    However, the only flaw was that you let off of the gas and didn't continue to take the entire over-priced rental down. Oh well, next time.

    Enjoy your renovation project my friend. Pictures are a must.

  9. you are crazy! ;)
    but yes, i do agree with you on the whole satisfied feeling you get when you just go out there and break something... i don't think i would be able to go to your extreme of driving repeatedly into a garage door, but sometimes when i'm mad, i like to rip and scrunch paper up into tiny balls. it somehow works! :)
    good luck with the knocking down the wall to make a bigger room project!!!

  10. Pinch me, am I dreaming this? Sounds like something that only Kate Hepburn would have done, in high style, of course in some old black and white film. But you did it - in high style, full color and in real life! Bravo!

  11. That sounds like intense fun! Smashing stuff up is so awesome, especially when it's under the guise of *cough* remodeling!
    Oh admit it, you know you want to. If it were me, I'd be thinking how awesome it would be to take a sledgehammer to a wall like in the movies. Then when anybody asked, I'd say I was remodeling. That's just me though.
    Can't wait to see what it looks like, I'm sure it'll be simply fabulous!

  12. Sometimes ... we gotta drive the Land Rover into the asshole's garage door and smash into his stupid BMW! I LOVE IT! I'M TOTALLY FEELIN' YOU! That one incident probably served you better than three years of therapy!!!!


  13. you're so hilarious. i must get a brush bar! if i were a therapist id just prescribe a a landrover with a brush bar.

  14. Haha...I'm laughing so hard my stomach hurts. That was great. XD I totally agree...physically taking out your emotions is the best therapy ever. Good luck with your remodeling btw. (:

  15. Yay! I loved this. It's one of those moments and you harnassed it!
    I'm very proud.

  16. I bet that felt great. You're my hero

  17. I was going to leave you a comment, but I decided it would be easier to procrastinate. :-)

  18. You are now my hero ... I procrastinate too, and I have found myself without a voice, wish I coulda thought to run the car into his garage door, either literally or metaphorically. You rock!

  19. The truck throught the garage. That's my favorite "M" story. I remember that night well.

  20. That was ABSOLUTELY the best blog! Been there, done that with the mistress thing. Only difference was that I don't have the balls you do and I did go into therapy for 5 years!!

  21. I laughed, I're awesome...and hey - please tell me the image of your daughter sitting up in bed in startled horror as you smashed through the wall with a sledge hammer was a completely imagined one....I couldn't help but laugh if you hadn't actually told her what you were up to. LOL

  22. *applause* well done!

    PS: I'd explain to you how much of a procrastinator I am, but I am afraid I'll never get around to it.


  23. Guts! You've got 'em... I think you just might really rock.

  24. I hope he didn't ask you to pay for the damage. A-hole!

  25. Here's my witty comment . . .

    On second thought, I'll write it tomorrow.

  26. smashed his garage door...I kept his dog!! When the end came and I made him move out he held the dogs leash and called him. He was a King Doberman and he planted his head against my hip and wouldn't budge. His last words before leaving were, "even the dog doesn't want me". Damn smart dog! Loved the post!

  27. Half way through, I thought de-cluttering that's it, I am experiencing the same lazy issues. By the time I got to the end, I knew I could never have done what you did. If I am your mum, I would laugh too. What a brave daughter I have!

  28. Ok, I was going to keep putting this off but decided to delegate it to my subconscious instead, so while he is sleeping here are my thoughts.

    You are awesome; all therapists should prescribe Landrover’s with brush bars on them as therapy.

    Next, before you finish smashing the wall draw faces on it and put names under them, draw bills on the wall and label them, anything that you have stress with; that will make smashing it SOOO much more fun!

  29. What goes around comes around.....and his desperately needed to come around to bite him right in door in this case! :)

    Good for you, I had a similar experience once, sometime i'll tell you about scares me that sometimes your stories so often resemble my own. maybe it's an Ohio thing! ;)

    You know what else really, really helps....when you don't have a wall to bust up?...kick boxing. Oh, how great it is!



  30. now THAT is living life out loud and with complete honesty my friend.

    please continue!


  31. Totally awesome post. I'd definetly want you as a friend...would never want to piss you off! Bravo, I've always wanted to destroy something in anger but have been too chicken. You are my new hero. Kick ass and knock that damn wall down. Sounds like the best therapy ever! So, I guess the cure for procrastination is to go at it fist first!

  32. my mom is the same way about redecorating-I never got to weild the sledgehammer though :)

    Your catchall room reminds me of a book I'm aiding with at work: Stuff.

  33. Wonderful post!! :) Hope the demolition continues to go well,I'm sure your daughter will be delghted with her new Super room :)

  34. Wow.....wish I could have been a fly on the dashboard for that adventure! You ROCK....! Have fun with your project.


  35. I just went from an occasional reader to a faithful follower Nancy! I had a similar experience after my ex spent the night with his mistress. He came home to find every article he owned on the front lawn. My little 120 lb frame found the strength to knock his 6 ft body to the ground when he demanded I put it all back. It's an amazing feeling to find your voice!

    Best of luck with the renovation!

  36. As I was reading this, I was just thinking how satisfying it would be to hit the wall with the hammer; then you shared the car into the garage. Now that's Satisfying!!
    GREAT story.
    Good Luck with the renovations. Your house is going to be the "hang out" house for your daughter's friends. That's what mine is and I love it!

  37. Good luck with your renovations- I'm sure it will be fabulous. That story about the garage is hilarious, too.

  38. Fantastic! You should give your daughter the sledge hammer too, she may have some emotions she would like to release.

    I will always stay on your good side, you rock!

  39. Destruction can be wonderfully cathartic. That guy had it coming. I've found relief in running too. I don't mean the measured steps of jogging. I mean running like Jason Voorhees is on your ass.

  40. One of my all-time favorite movie scenes is the the beginning of Fried Green Tomatoes when Kathy Bates smashes the car of two snotty young girls for taking her parking spot, then becomes totally empowered after doing so. I will forever think of you now when I watch that scene.
    Thanks for the smile--I enjoyed your sense of satisfaction!

  41. OH my! You makeme laugh!

    I have a RedHead Dancing award at my place for you!

  42. What a great story ~ it comes right out of things that we have always wanted to do but were too chicken to. Aren't catch all rooms the best and the worst things ever! I wish you the best in your remodel project and finding permanent homes for all that "stuff".

  43. I like your dad, the fact that his initial response was to start laughing makes him a very likeable guy...

  44. I think you should write down a list of tasks for tomorrow and what times you will complete them. Before you go to bed tonight, imagine doing them all - really, vividly visualize it. And when you get up tomorrow, look at the list and get right on it - you'll be surprised by how much you get done!

  45. Hey Nancy! As a Brit, I'm a lover of the underdog and anything surreal. I cheered for you as I read this, seeing you bite back outrageously AND come out on top. And yes, bless your parents! Indigo

  46. FABULOUS! You're my heroine, Nancy! I wish I would have found my voice like that when my ex left to move in with his (20-year-younger) mistress! That must have felt so awesome! I applaud you! Now, where is that sledge hammer... I feel like smashing something!

  47. There's a great line in the movie 'The Holiday' where the elderly gent says to the Kate Winslet character: 'You've been acting like the best friend when you should be acting like the leading lady,'which leads her to stand up to the crappy guy who treats her like dirt.

    My life's not as exciting as yours, Nancy, but my husband and I have always found chopping wood great therapy, too. Good luck with the reno, leading lady.

  48. Good for you on the whole, let's trash the ex's shit! I never had the courage. I'll live vicariously through you on that one.

    As far as the remodel, I guess we got the same bug at the same time. Last week, I tore out the carpet in my bathroom and put down some tile. And when I say "I", I mean all by myself. Chris didn't even know I was going to do it. And today, me and my son cleaned out the garage.

    Feels great! Good luck on the remodel. Make sure you take pics along the way.

  49. Very funny! I like Shell's idea. You got guts girl!

  50. That’s a great tale there matey. And it sounds like you have two great parents there as well.

    And may I just add that I am your friend, and in no way would do anything to piss you off.

    Just for the record....

  51. Great story. A little destruction can be quite freeing!


  52. hey thanks for the comment. But i didn't actually do it. Copy and paste my friend, copy paste...

  53. Sometimes, you just have to give in to your feelings. He's lucky that's all you did! Great story! Good luck with the remodel.

  54. I prefer not to think of it as procrastinating but rather, delegating things to be done later I an excellent at making to do lists but not so excellent at to-doing the things on those lists. Bah. We are just making sure later is interesting, if we did everything now, later would be boring. Yea, thats it.

  55. My but that is hilarious! I agree though, breaking things is very therapeutic. I had to help chop some wood a few years back with my father and wow did it help me with so many things. Not to mention the tension between my father and myself. Glad you enjoyed yourself, and may the BMW RIP even if it would have been funny to watch you do that to it ;)

  56. I've always wanted to know exactly how that would feel and it sounds as though it is as great as I'd imagine. :-)

    About your procrastination issue, well, that only gets worse when you have too much time on your hands because you always think "I have tomorrow". It comes and still nothing. A timer, and index card have now become my best friends.

  57. Good for you! I found that moving every couple of years took care of junk closets and drawers. But, now that we have lived in this house for the past 6 years the stuff is starting to accumulate. I just went through a junk closet yesterday and threw a bunch of crap out. If you haven't used it in more than 6 months, toss it. It's very liberating.

  58. You have a south-west side of the house?

    Sweetie, if your house is large enough to have its own compass points, I have to admit I'm struggling to feel your pain in this instance. ;)

  59. This post is so me...the procrastinating part anyway.

    I usually go on a good verbal rant because I am cannot seem to get up the courage to get physical...although some day I am sure the reigns will break and with it all hell...can't wait:)

    Great post.

  60. I am a procrastinator as well. I have days when I can push the feeling aside and get things done, but most days it's a battle.

    As far as crashing into the garage door, that is something I would love to do, but don't have the courage to do (or the money/insurance to cover it after I'm done). I do however have a punching bag, and will occasionally buy some plates from the dollar store and break those. I always feel a release of emotions when I break or punch things. and a $1 plate is something I can manage to pay for. :)

    I can't even begin to imagine how good that really felt. congrats to you!

  61. 64 comments? Girl, you GO! What could I possibly say that hasn't already been said? Other than you GO!

    I agree that the hardest thing sometimes is just getting started. And that I'm the biggest procrastinator, especially if I don't know where something should go! I've been known to leave things in a corner of a room till they virtually disappear (at least, in my mind they do!) and then one day, *poof!* I figure out where they need to go and it's done!

    So, good for you! Now, write that check! 'Cause taping and drywall are NOT FUN!

  62. I too am a procrastinator. I propose to you my dear, that together we stop our bad habit of putting things off until later. What do you say? Next month you and I will stop procrastinating and start taking care of things in a timely fashion. If you're in, call me later. 8)

  63. Boy - I needed that back when MY first husband was cheating on me. Reminds me of a card I once saw -

    The front of the card said, "I ran into my ex the other day"

    And the inside of the card said, "And then I backed the car up and ran over him again!"

    Good luck with your overhaul project. Sure you want to start this BEFORE the holidays?

  64. Meet the world's largest procrastinator - ME! Just ask my fiancee. I'm horrible at getting unpleasant things done when I don't want to do them.

    The garage door story made my entire week. Good for you! He totally deserved it.

    Good luck with the remodel. You're right. It'll be a lot of work, but it'll be worth it in the end.


Do it. Do it NOW!