The Excuses

For more than 20 years now (I am embarrassed to admit), I have had an idea to write a book about my mom - - affectionately called “My Mom Book”. At my request in the 1990s, my mom recorded 20 cassette tapes about our family. The majority focused on our life overseas in the mid 1950’s to early 1960’s. I have managed to get the tapes transcribed in the ensuing years and taken various stabs at writing – starting over and over again – with little to show for it. But I have remained serious about one day writing this book, so I’ve done historical research, and even asked two of Mom’s friends to record their memories of my family and of that time.

Lucky me to have gotten these remembrances as all those amazing women have since died. The last one passed about a year ago at 99 years 6 months (she always said she didn’t want to live to be 100!). Writers have done so much more with far less and would kill for such resources. Yet, here I sit worried that I will die without telling this story all because I am the world’s greatest procrastinator.

So what has stopped me? Oh I have a list of excuses…

  • My job responsibilities – I’m a bit of a work-a-holic (my friends might say, more than a bit).
  • My taxes (seems the government doesn’t have much of a sense of humor when it comes to late taxes and it sounds like a good excuse, right?).
  • My Mom getting terminal cancer (nothing funny here).  Although I do have this little story that helps you understand me. On the day she received her stage 4C Ovarian cancer diagnosis or the “you don’t have very long to live” prognosis, my Mom quietly sat watching me have a meltdown in her living room. I sobbed and carried on about how I was losing my best friend. After listening to this for a while, she looked at me a bit bemused and said, “Pam, I’m the one who just got diagnosed with cancer.”  (Good Point.)
  • Cleaning my messy room (how easy is it to clean rather than write? – surprisingly, very).
  • Losing my job and 3 months later the man I loved for 24 years died. (Okay, I’ll give myself this one).
  • Shredding papers (it is important to avoid identity theft, you know)
  • Finding a new job (a girl’s gotta eat!)
  • Traveling over 100,000 miles a year in my new job (a workaholic working for a workaholic, never a good thing)
  • Going to the gym (okay, maybe this was more of an intention than an actual activity)
  • Quitting the job that was absorbing even me who thrives on working long hours by nature (OK! NOW I can write, but…you know…)
  • Getting another new job and finding a new calling – teaching - and learning all of the work that’s involved in shaping young minds (turned out to be really cool though)

See, I am a master at this procrastination stuff. Everything else seems to take precedence.  Why?  Why?  Why?

I needed to figure this out if this story was ever to see the light of day.

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