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Procrastination

It seems like I have been meaning to sit down and write a post for months now. I wake up in the middle of the night with my head brimming with things that I long to say, but in the wee hours of the morning who wants to get out of bed? So I do the smart thing and dig deeper into the sheets hoping to fall back to sleep again. Comforting myself with the promise that I will get around to it first thing in the morning. But when morning lights dutifully rouses me from my bed, and I drag my achy bones over to the sofa and pull up my laptop to write, the fatigue and pain makes it so easy to push away my computer and curl up in a ball saying to myself, “A few minutes rest and I will feel more refreshed. After all, there is plenty of time before lunch.”

But of course that little rest soon turns into an hour or two and before I know what has happened it is time to reluctantly drag myself off of the sofa and help my parents make lunch or help with some other small chore around the house. But of course I am not disappointed because the nourishment that lunch has to offer is sure to brighten my thoughts and give my words more force.

But again, before I know what has happened I am awash in a wave of unwanted fatigue that leaves me to dull whited and sleepy to focus on the task at hand. My eyes feel like two heavy weights falling with great force to the earth, and seem to require superhuman effort to keep open. A little nap after a night of painful tossing and turning sings its siren song to my worn bones and before I knew what was happening, I was sound asleep.

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Pain and the need for refreshing sleep lowered my resolve and made it so much easier to listen to the voice of procrastination.

On the days that I was able to wake up refreshed from my short spurt in dreamland, I have often tried to sit down at my laptop and write, but my attention was easily swayed by the enormous list of backlogged chores from the all to common days when migraines, fatigue, nausea, and a sea of other miseries that accompanies autoimmune disorders had won the battle for my attention. And it was so easy to say, “It’s still early, there is plenty to time before bed.” Or so it always seemed, because like a slippery lion hunting its prey, bedtime seemed to leap out of the bushes at the most unexpected moment leaving me to declare, “Oh well, tomorrow is another day.”

Before I knew it, one tomorrow had turned into two, then three, four, five, ten, twenty, until I had lost count of how many times I had given into procrastination enchanting song of, don’t worry, if you don’t feel like doing it right now because waiting a few minutes will allow you more time to think about what you plan to say, or don’t worry if you don’t feel well enough to do it right now because you will feel better tomorrow and will be able to do a much better job.

What I find so amazing about it as I sit down to write this post, is that at first I felt bad, about putting off the task, but as I listened to procrastination’s sweet lullaby, I began to rejoice in the relief that there was some better time, some wiser moment to do what I really wanted to do today. I began not think of reasons to do, but reasons to wait for that better season that never quite seemed to materialize but was always around the corner.

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While there were many times it was not unreasonable to put off for tomorrow the things I wanted and needed to do, I am amazed to think how easy it can become to put off even the most important task when we listen to procrastination’s lulling voice.

Granted, there were some good reasons why I was putting things off. For the past few weeks I have been rather ill. My stomach has been so unsettled that the doctor ordered medicine to help ensure that its contents stayed in its proper place. And some of those mornings and afternoons I spent on the sofa were spent curled up in near tears for the pain I was in. Yet sadly I know that there were some days when it might have taken some effort but with the help of a few pillows to raise me up I could have pulled up my laptop and wrote a few lines, taken a break, and then wrote a little more.

Unfortunately procrastination is a funny master. At first there good reason to delay, such as taking a moment to synthesize ones thought until it crystallized into a more clear and concise form, or to wait until my migraine medicine has worked enough to allow my eyes to endure the glare of the screen. But while it might start with good reason, if this dreadful monster is given too much exercise it quickly morphs into a monster most dreadful. One that if were are not careful has the power to conquer us and forever alter the course of our lives.

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