The rude awakening happened while digging through a box of paper memories in search of information related to high school friends. Among my amateur artistic endeavors, autograph books, newspaper clippings, and old letters were several diaries and journals with sporadic entries spanning the 70s and early 80s. When I flipped one open, the first passage I saw was A typical "Tina-type-day." I accomplished nothing. WHAT?
With the exception of referring to myself as Tina, I could make that same observation about many of my days now. Worse, the reasons - reading magazines, watching television, yakking with friends - still apply! True, the magazines I read and shows I watch are different from when I was a teen, and a lot of my current yakking is done via text and Facebook, but the bottom line remains. I have in 40 years absolutely failed to master the arts of less procrastinating and more productivity.
I might feel better if use of my time was the only issue. Apparently I made a lot of lists in my youth (as I do now) in an effort to define myself and set goals. Weight, eating/not eating certain foods, exercising, getting slimmer, and having a wardrobe filled with clothes I really like are among the recurring themes. There are lists of things I like (dancing, writing, food, giving gifts, autumn, easy listening music) and things I don't (being overweight, ruffles and frills, hypocrites, boring people, uncertainty.) Scattered among the entries are also prayers I'm still praying: please God help me be kinder, less judgmental, more cooperative, more productive...
My young self also longed for the kind of perfect romantic love that books and media (even back then) mislead teen girls into thinking is waiting for them just around the corner. I wrote pages of angst over the guys who did not call, and lists of male names who were less-than-perfect probabilities, those who were possibilities (long shots,) and those who-would-be-perfect-but-didn't-know-I-existed. It probably would not have been much consolation to know back then that my "perfect" guy wasn't going to show up for nearly two decades.
Eventually I grew into my given name and left Tina behind. Sort of. She is in my hard-wiring, and it's likely a tendency to avoid doing important tasks until the last minute, as well as other common likes, dislikes, and prayers, will continue on into future decades. Happily, though, we've parted ways when it comes to love and romance, as I was reminded yesterday. My guy was out power-washing the sidewalk and called me to come out to see his artwork: