I don’t think anyone can say that procrastination actually makes them calm; not with a straight face anyway. So my question is this, if we all know that procrastination makes us anxious and takes us away from calm, why do we do it?
I sit and think this while I procrastinate moving forward on three papers that I refused to spend time on for the past three days. I sit and think, just how will I finish the work and get it in before our trip this coming week? I sit and think, just why do I do this to myself?
I, like many, am a product of now. Now it feels good to lay in bed and watch a movie with my husband. Now it feels right to clean out that fish tank that I procrastinated last weekend. Now it feels right to search for just the right seasonings to make barbecue sauce that has no sugar for my finicky diet. Now….and so it goes.
And the more I contemplate about putting off what must be done, the more anxious I get and I ask myself why do I never learn? Do I enjoy the rush of trying to get it all done? Do I enjoy the long marathon of writing and stressing? I don’t think so.
I do think that I dread the feeling that whatever I start will not measure up to my idea of my best. I procrastinate in an effort to avoid disappointing myself. But that procrastination does little to bring me calm. And that is where the true disappointment lies when the dust settles.
Here it is, the Fourth of July. While we will all rightly be focusing on American Independence in the U.S. I can’t stop thinking about personal independence.
There’s a lot of feel good quotes and slogans that tell us to that no one can make us feel X or no one can make us do Y but when it all boils down, we are all led by some unseen something. That something tells us what is right and wrong. It tells us what we “should” be doing and what we “should” be thinking, etc.
I believe that unseen something is part of us all. We all have a never ending commentary playing in our heads. I used to think I was unique before I realized that I am not alone in this. Now I just want to learn to quiet the voice and just be calm for a moment or two.
Right now, I’m inclined to believe that the little “something” inside of us is largely a product of our environment, the things we were taught when young and still experiencing things for the first time. It is a product of what the authority figures in our lives taught us about right and wrong, responsibility, morality, etc.
What makes us all different is how we deal with the commentary and that little “something” that tells us what to do or not do. Some will learn early to ignore the internal commentary and make their own way; thinking independently. Others, like myself, will spend years listening to the commentary, feeling a sense of duty for everyone and everything and wishing for the independence and calm.
The question is how does one learn to think independently of this commentary? How does one shift from the sense of duty and responsibility to everyone to duty to self? That’s really the independence I’ve been thinking about today. No offense to this great Nation.