Thinking Aloud on a Sunday

Seasonal excuses

I woke up thinking about Christmas this morning. So much still to do, and running out of days to do it. I sort-of resent all that effort, for what amounts to three days of feeling under pressure, hours spent cooking and eating, and then it’s all over until this time next year. That made me think about how we approach our year, divided into ‘before and after’ so many occasions.

We find ourselves saying things like, ‘I will do that after Christmas’, or ‘OK, I will get that done before Christmas’. Speaking personally, I have often used Christmas as an excuse to put off things I know I should be doing. It has become a convenient barrier in my mind, and an excuse accepted by most people too. For me, ‘I will do that after Christmas’ has become an annual standby to accommodate a list of chores or tasks that I could probably do just as well tomorrow. Following straight on from the 27th of December, the New Year celebration offers a short break to add to my list too. ‘I will do that after the 2nd of January’ is perhaps my least effective excuse, but that doesn’t stop me from using it, I assure you.

As well as Christmas, we have other seasonal breaks to add to that arsenal of potential excuses. Easter is a good one, as it moves around, with no fixed point. ‘I will do that after Easter’ is very useful, especially when it comes to those Spring jobs needing attention in the garden. The summer holiday is another classic. The annual two-week break is planned so far in advance that there really is no excuse to use it to put things off. But I always try. ‘I will do that when we come back from holiday’ has been a solid excuse in my repertoire, for as long as I can remember.

Of course, my birthday is the best. Despite knowing when it is every year, and the fact that it is just one day out of 365, (or 366) I can deploy this as a genuine excuse at will, with no hint of conscience or guilt. ‘After my birthday’ has long been my favourite, and my most stubborn excuse for not doing anything I know I should be getting on with.

If I was American, I would no doubt be able to deploy Thanksgiving too. And it is just as well I am not a devout Catholic, as there are at least 14 official religious days I am sure I would have to observe.

65 thoughts on “Thinking Aloud on a Sunday

  1. Other than things that have specific deadlines (like the course I’m teaching and the correcting for it) for most things these days I can pretty much do them at my own pace and don’t have people to remind me (other than my mother), but I know what you mean. With all my travels and now my definite move, things will have to wait until after… (Oh, and the reviews… Those, no matter how many I write there are always tonnes I’m due for). Do take care. (I should consider your point about the Catholic religious days…) Thanks, Pete!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m slowly realising that nothing is that important, although I split my year into summer and winter now. I’ll do it next summer or next winter, the delayed schedule used more the closer I get to the end of each season.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I guess we are all guilty of that-I have been eating far too much sugar and say “but it;s Christmas!” I wanted to give my only grandchild an early gift and said it is ok because it is Hanukkah – We aren’t even Jewish! Guess holidays provide all sorts of excuses-and indulgences. Best wishes on your preparations!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just realized my penchant for creating lists, is really just a procrastination tool. Rather than do the thing, I add it to the list each week. Then when it doesn’t get done, I add to the list for the next week. After a few such transfers, I figure it must not be that important to do, and it drops off the list altogether. The really important things just get done, list or not! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was once given a little round piece of wood with the words “to it” written on it. The joke was that it was “a round tu it” since that was what I was always promising that I would get around to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. One nice thing about deciding to spend Christmas on our own this year is that I don’t have that “running around making sure we’ve got everything” pressure. Grandkids have been sent money, OH’s presents bought and wrapped, we no longer post cards instead donating the equivalent to charity, Christmas lunch is taken care of as we are going out for a turkey lunch this week and will probably have a nice steak on Christmas Day and indulge in a few chocolates that we have said we won’t buy…

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Oh, the truth hurts, Pete. For Americans, throw in Halloween on top of Thanksgiving and you have a non-stop pathway of excuses to the new year. Then January and February are just too darn cold and snowbound… sigh!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Here we live by ‘deferred gratification’ rules – get done what you have to do before getting on with what you want to do. I’m still not starting my diet until after Christmas though, or maybe New Year. 2019. 🤣🤣

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Hmm, I guess it is a bit like human nature at times, to put things off. I really have done that quite a lot myself I’m ashamed to say. And then of course there are new years resolutions which amount to the same thing really. Why wait until next year to start with things like that, when you can already do that today ?😊

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I’ve always been a procrastinator. If you leave things for long enough, you find that many of them didn’t rally need to be done at all.

    My current mantra is ‘That’s what the last minute was made for. If we hadn’t invented the last minute, nothing would ever get done.’

    Liked by 1 person

  11. There is an old German saying that goes somewhat like this: Tomorrow, tomorrow, and not today is what all lazy people say. I enjoyed your post as procrastination is also one of my weaknesses. I have been following your amazing post for quite some time now, but never received any notifications. But now the problem has been taken care of by WordPress.

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