Procrastination and Anxiety

Why does my anxiety build up in my head and creates obstacles for me? This is a question I am pondering this morning, as I consider whether or not I wish to read poetry tomorrow night.

On Sunday, I awoke nervous. Mostly, it was because of the stress I was building up in my head. I had to work in the morning, which is usually pretty easy on Sundays, but it was stressful because I knew as soon as I left I had to go home and do my taxes. Yes, I am damn near 40 years old, but I have only ever done my taxes by myself twice. My father always handled them in the past, as he has a degree in accounting and is a computer whiz. But then, he retired from his job, and thus retired from doing mine and my sister’s taxes.

We discovered the Cashapp filer, so I used that this past year and again this year. It really was quite simple, especially since I could upload our W-2s, and then just double check the information. Also it auto-filled all of my personal information from last year- I just had to change my address. The state taxes I have always found confusing, and I am 99% sure I got it all right, but I think we all have that one wriggling thought in our brains that makes us worry that we put a decimal in the wrong place or left out a tax credit. I don’t know. Everything seemed to go fine last year, so hopefully this year will be the same.

I submitted the forms and received emails back this morning that they had been accepted, so that is over and done with. My point, however, is that this simple task which took me maybe 45 minutes lived rent-free in my brain for 4 months. Because anxiety!

When I was a kid, my mom told me I had a problem with procrastination. The truth is I don’t think it’s really procrastination, or at worst, that is a symptom of an underlying problem – anxiety! It’s not that I wish to put off my tasks, it’s that my anxiety gives me 5,000 reasons why doing the task is a bad idea. I then have to rationalize through those 5,000 reasons to get to the task. That is why I filed my taxes on April 16th, instead of the end of January like a normal person. That is why I am sitting here right now looking at my three poems I would like to read tomorrow and thinking that they are stupid and crappy- because I have not yet rationalized that they are good and worthy.

Time will tell if I manage to do so and end up reading them tomorrow night at the cafe. I hate having to wait for my brain to catch up with my mood- especially when my mood is good and high and I am feeling alright, but then my crazy brain sends crazy thoughts that ruin the day. If the poetry reading were right now, I would go based upon my mood alone, which has been quite good these past few days. Alas, anxiety threatens that mood, but I shall fight back! I shall not relinquish to my old foe. Even if I have to rationalize for the next 24 hours, I will find a way to overcome. At least, one can hope.


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