Recently, I perused an article post by Ann Marie Dwyer  called, “The art and math of procrastination.”  In the post she talks about how procrastination can be a good thing when it causes us to save money or in some other way not do something that can be put off forever.  At the end of the post, Ann Marie asks a profound, thought-provoking question, something she is quite good at.  The question was:  What is the thing you are most proud to have put off and never done?

 

The following is my response to this question:

 

How about this one? During a rather hairy point in my marriage, many long years and gray hairs ago, I put off getting a divorce. Put it off long enough that we made it through the rough patch (mostly because we were both too stubborn to leave the kids or be the one to walk away). I’ve actually found that, in the absense of such things as abuse, this works well in a lot of relationship issues. Give it time, put it off, wait and see, along with a huge dose of prayer, usually moves things in the right direction.

 

Hear the gears turning.                                                                               

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This got my brain moving, and I decided to bring it here.  It is very true that life usually works itself out if we will just pause, procrastinate, stop, and wait.  The gift of procrastination is time.  [That statement is a mind-blower in and of itself because we often think of procrastination as something that wastes time.]  But, it is true that procrastination can be a good thing in the right context.  Ann Marie brings up that putting of certain purchases, especially those “ooo, gotta have it” purchases, can save money if we can wait until we have the money saved or avoid the purchase altogether.

 

Procrastination can also save relationships.

 

I have to wonder how often, in the absense of abuse of course, people have burned their bridges and said goodbye to relationships because they just didn’t procrastinate long enough?  In the heat of the relationship crisis, we are unable to think clearly.  We can probably say with certainty that both partners are believing lies and need time to sift through and find the truth in the situation.  Others sometimes need time to come to change, and sometimes, we are the ones who need to do so.

 

Throw-away relationships.  

Is he or she disposable?

                                       

It amazes this writer how often people treat others just as they do their latest gadgets:  if it doesn’t work, get a new one.  One advantage of society’s mores in the past on such things as divorce and etc., people were either forced to stay or forced to work on the relationship.  While that wasn’t all good, it certainly wasn’t all bad either.

 

Going through the hard times.

 

I can tell you from my own experience that going through hard times together builds a bond that is amazing and not quickly broken.  When my husband was in a major car accident years ago, he was off work for a year.  I had to take care of him in the beginning, doing things like debreeding his wounds and taking care of personal needs.  Brian is the one who gets things done in the physical world while I live in my head too much, so my physical tasks increased greatly.  Financially and otherwise, this was a very difficult time for us.

 

Thank you for staying.

 

One thing that came out of that time was that my husband told me how much he appreciated that I stayed.  He knew several people who had spouses bail on them in the rough times, and he realized how much I loved him and my commitment to him by the very fact that I stayed.  Lots of good people do, but so many do not.  When the going gets rough (again not talking abuse here) so many head out the door.  This is when procrastination is a good thing.

 

Things always change.  

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Life is a series of ups and downs.  This is true of relationships as well.  If you’re doing great, hold on, it will change.  If  you’re doing poorly, hang on, it will change.  If  you hurt, procrastinate, it will change.  If you don’t hurt, watch out, it will change.   Sometimes procrastination allows a person to get to the point where healing and change come.  Sometimes not procrastinating can cause a person to miss out on some of the best things in life.

 

So, what’s your story?   Have you bailed too soon on a relationship?  Have you  procrastinated and saved a relationship?  How has procrastination, taking time to think things through, helped you in the area of communication?  Or to quote Ann Marie Dwyer of Mamma’s Money Matters  blog fame:  “What is the thing you are most proud to have put off and never done?”

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