Dagdha's Blog

Clean Procrastination

Posted in Uncategorized by dagdha on May 31, 2012

My bed is made. My room is clean. The laundry is running, and the dishes are soaking. If my university years are any indication, it must be time to write. I might be described as tidy, bordering on the upper scale of the obsessive-compulsive, but this wasn’t always the case. I vividly remember my mother’s harrowing threats to clean up my room, and my utter anguish and despair whenever she would follow through with these threats by picking up my toys and hiding them away in the Dedalian labyrinth of her closet. A week without Legos was the equivalent to waterboarding or nail-pulling to a four year-old without Nintendo or cable television. Somewhere in the ever-fading memories of childhood I developed an overwhelming predilection for cleanliness, but not because of the inhumane boredom by which I was tortured in my youth.

I think it began in high school, when I found myself having to make an effort in schoolwork for the first time (or at least what I thought constituted ‘effort’ at that point). Like every school kid since the invention of school, I quickly learned the art of procrastination, which I practice tirelessly to this day. I was still a proper Christian boy then, so I could only ignore my work for so long before a heavy sense of guilt would burden my shoulders with the dead weight of Christ and I’d eventually give in. Fortunately my conscious was as lazy as I am, and together we decided that cleaning my room was the perfect method of procrastination. After all, it’s one of the first things my mother taught me, and she’s much more of an angel than Mr. Smith. His essay on the motifs of Carl Sandburg’s poetry could wait while I clean every last inch of my room like a good son. Why make an effort when I can procrastinate in favor of instant gratification? I told you. Perfect.

After nearly failing out of university in my first quarter, I discovered the real meaning of effort in my attempt to learn the art of studying. Consequently this coincided with my discovery of what it meant to clean. High school taught me to organize and tidy, but college taught me to scrub. The day before a research paper was due always seemed like a prime opportunity to clean the bathroom or de-clutter my closet. Eventually, after my second Monster and fixing all the meta tags in my iTunes library, I would run out of things to clean and resign myself to the assignment at hand. It took me an extra year, but somehow I managed to graduate with a double major and respectable GPA. My degrees haven’t done much for me professionally, and my diploma is lost somewhere in my mother’s closet where a few Legos no doubt remain, but my room stays clean and that’s one thing she can be proud of.

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