When all of our kids were growing up, they all had various school projects. Usually, the huge projects were assigned in the beginning of the school year and were not due until sometime in the early spring around mid March. Science projects in our house were the most dreaded of all school endeavors. Not only was there a typed paper to be handed in, but also a journal or log that must be kept along with the cleverly decorated science board complete with labels, graphs and more written material. Although the guideline sheet and instructions for the projects were always handed out during the first month or so of school, the Hastings kids were usually scrambling to put it all together the last few weeks before the deadline.

 

        Not to change the subject entirely, but have you ever had a dentist tell you that you had a crack in your tooth that should be fixed as soon as possible or the tooth will begin to decay? I have and my response was “Well, it doesn’t hurt at all…” to which the dentist replied that it soon would be if it wasn’t taken care of. He then would launch into a mini-lecture of the benefits of preventative treatment as opposed to emergency care that is needed because the patient (me) is in excruciating pain. On each of these occasions, even though I had been warned that it would be so much more beneficial to have the crack in the tooth filled immediately, since I felt no pain, I put it off and sure enough, found myself calling the dentist with a throbbing tooth pain.

 

        Something else that I am picturing right now is the bright orange “service engine” light that glows in the dark when it is on. It is an obnoxious nuisance but it serves a purpose.. for the responsible adult. When it comes on, that is a signal to the driver that the car needs to be taken in for service and that a particular problem might be lurking  somewhere under the hood. I have stared at that bright orange light that is definitely “on” more times than I care to remember. Every time that I pull into the driveway, I pray that it will not come on again the next time that I drive the car. The truth is that it almost always does, but there have been a few times that it has gone off which only serves to encourage me to continue to ignore a built in feature of the car that was designed for the express purpose of alerting the driver to a potential problem. As I said though, more oft than not, I do not immediately take the car in for service but I wait instead.

 

        All three of these examples reveal and highlight a serious problem that many of us have which is the plight of PROCRASTINATION. It just is so much easier to delay something, isn’t it? I have discovered that there is a very good reason why wise old sayings become just that and it is because the clichés address struggles that are common to folks everywhere. Hence the need for the well known warning of “ Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today!”  I can be a terrible procrastinator at times however my husband most definitely is not. As soon as a light bulb goes out, he has it replaced within seconds. Any small repair that needs to be attended to in our home?...Tom the tool man is on the job within twenty-four hours. If he has a crack in his tooth, you can bet your life savings that he is going the preventative route with an appointment made within the week rather than be in a world of hurt two months later. The bottom line is that responsible, on the spot people like him can be driven out of their minds by procrastinators like me. His OCD tendencies can also have the same effect on yours truly so I suppose we balance each other out.

 

        Ironically, the idea of writing today’s blog on the big “P” issue came to me because of a dilemma that I was facing about an hour ago. You see, it is 11p.m. right now as I am writing this. I have had a long and tiring day and am lacking the energy that I have in the mornings when I almost always do my writing. There exists one glitch however that will prevent me from working on this article tomorrow morning as I normally would which is the fact that our two small grandchildren are spending a few days with us. This means that bright and early tomorrow morning,  I will get pounced upon in bed by a three year old and a five year old. I love being pounced on by grandbabies but it doesn’t allow for a whole lot of time for the creative juices to flow at the keyboard if you get my drift. Consequently, I knew that my blog would have to be written tonight. I always look forward to writing, but when I have been swimming and playing with those little munchkins in the pool all day, the eyelids were protesting when I sat down with laptop in hand several minutes ago. I had a choice to make….I could be responsible or I could put off to tomorrow what I knew I had to do today. For a change, I chose the responsible route and am glad that I did.  I just might get a better night’s sleep because of it.

 

        What is it that is nagging and hollering for your attention and your action? Perhaps it is a work related item or maybe a long overdue house project. The truth is that you know exactly what it is as you read this and you have actually procrastinated so much that you wish you weren’t reading this blog right now. I know that this topic is one that makes me wish I wasn’t writing about this subject , that is for sure.

 

        Whatever it is that you have been trying to forget about and ignore, whatever it is that you are putting down on the calendar for tomorrow, whatever it is that you are sacrificing on the altar of procrastination, take care of it now, today. When you do, you will have a sense of pride and accomplishment for a job well done in a timely fashion not to mention that if you have grandchildren, the reward just might be that of having a free and clear day to have nothing but fun with those only perfect little people in the world.  (ha)

 

A procrastinator…not a label that we want or should have to live under. Make a decision today to not be one any longer. It will be one of the best choices that you ever make and if is definitely worth not putting if off!