Monday, July 13, 2009


All my life I’ve been a world-class procrastinator, often flying by the seat of my pants…and getting by even if penalties ensue. I’ve come to believe there must be some strange sense of satisfaction in having a dark cloud hovering over my head, a perpetual sense of anxiety that feels bad -- but familiar.

For instance, there was the time I had a 500 word critical thinking essay due for my Lyrical Poetry class in college. I kept putting it off and putting it off. Finally I was down to Sunday – and it was due on Monday. That’s when some friends stopped by and said they were on their way to Seattle to see the Rolling Stones – and they had a ticket for me. And I couldn’t go because I had that dang paper due the next day. To top it off, I got a C in the class, the only one in my college career.

The word itself comes from the Latin word procrastinatus: pro- (forward) and crastinus (of tomorrow). Wikipedia states:

“Psychologists often cite procrastination as a mechanism for coping with the anxiety associated with starting or completing any task or decision. Psychology researchers also have three criteria they use to categorize procrastination. For a behavior to be classified as procrastination, it must be counterproductive, needless, and delaying.”

At the beginning of this year, my top resolution was to stop procrastinating and just do whatever needs to be done, as it needs to be done. I can’t say I’ve been entirely successful but I’ve made big strides. The biggest surprise for me has been how good it feels to not have that black cloud over my head; it’s so freeing, I feel almost buoyant, untethered. I like it.

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