I was adding a page to the Self Help series of Steps to Increased Self Confidence a few minutes ago when a word picked a fight with me.
In case you the initial post about these steps, here’s a quick refresher: I’m taking a section of one of my favorite Grenville Kleiser books (from 1910, and no, I wasn’t around for the first printing), How to Develop Self-Confidence. I’m using his amazing text to create “steps” for improving one’s self confidence. I’m trying to leave his words alone as much as possible, only changing a few outdated phrases and adding TO his thoughts… never taking AWAY from them.
Anyway, the step Mr. Kleiser’s words and I were creating this evening involved the word Promptitude. I have to confess, I wasn’t entirely familiar with this word. I asked it if it could possibly be any more old school. I think that’s where the whole disagreement began – so, yes, I admit it. I started it.
I recognized PROMPT in the word, of course, so I assumed it had something to do with being “on time.” However, a few visits to a couple of my favorite websites (ones with ridiculously high IQs) let me know that I was only half right. I was on the right road, but what I thought was an avenue was actually a highway. Promptitude is the characteristic of doing things without delay. Furthermore, it’s the quality of being prompt; quickness of decision and action when occasion demands.
…and there, boys and girls is where the fight broke out. All of a sudden, Promptitude was in my face reminding me of instances when I’ve sat in front of my computer with, oh let’s say, 789 gazillion things to do – only to get up, stretch slightly and announce to my cats, “I’m just not in the mood…” Oh, yeah, that totally happened three times this past week! I’m not sure if it’s the holidays or if I just needed a little break. If the latter’s the case, I should be good to go. I took 3 little breaks.
One of my problems is the fact that I’m woefully late to the working class. I got married right out of high school and began having beautiful baby girls right away – three in all. I homeschooled our girls all the way through school. I wore many hats (mom, wife, chef, teacher…) but not one paid monetarily. I had a laid back life that consisted of no more stress than deciding what time to take my girls to the library, which period of history we’d tackle next, what time to go to the store, and what to make for supper.
I’m trying to remember, but I wonder if I ever looked at a clock back then. If I did… why?
Fast forward to today. We run our web publishing business from our home office and I, at any given time, have more stuff to do than the day’s hours permit. I love every busy second, but, sure some days find me missing rainy afternoons in the library, reading a great mystery as my girls worked on research papers or read novels for book reports.
I can’t even remember the last mystery book I read…
I explained all of this to mummy breath – I mean to Promptitude, but he didn’t back down. He said I needed more Drive, I said, “Your momma needs more drive,” he said, “Leave Genesis out of this…”
Then he got me. He asked if doctors, police officers, lawyers, salesmen, beauticians, teachers, waitresses, Starbucks workers (he’s hipper than I thought) and the like were able to pull the old stretching, “I’m so over this…” routine.
One of the traits that my family seems to love the most about me is the fact that I’m very, very laid back. Sometimes it’s my undoing, however. I have to admit, there’s something very inspiring and motivating about the definition – “..the quality of being prompt; quickness of decision and action when occasion demands.”
Another problem I run into is one that most of us who work from home encounter: No days off! Think about it – people who work out of the home have certain days when they don’t go in to the office. Out of sight, out of mind. When our office and our work are inside of our home, we’re face to face with it daily. It’s up to us to schedule our time in a way that leaves us with free time for things like mystery novels, walking, crafts, etc.
Too much work leaves us wanting to flee the scene too often. Or, um, so I hear.
I’m glad I encountered the definition tonight – and even the obnoxious word. I feel, somehow, more inspired and focused than I did before. I also love the Lord Chesterfield quote that Grenville Kleiser included in his book, although it sort of has an attitude, itself. “Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination; never put off ’till tomorrow what you can do today.”
Promptitude called in reinforcements.