MANN: Procrastination: Don't wait for the rain

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OPINION


Growing up I would start each school year with a proclamation (to no one in particular) that this would be the year I would get all of my ducks in a row. I would keep up with my studies and accomplish great things — no waiting until the last minute to finish projects, connect with new friends or take advantage of any upcoming adventures.

But just as quickly things would be pushed to the back burner, as the expression goes, and the days and weeks would blend together with a all-too-familiar cycle of good intentions, anxiety and finally a panicked race to finish whatever it was I hadn’t started yet.

I suspect I was not the only one.

For many, Labour Day Weekend signifies the end of summer — and for me it was a reason to pack in as many activities as possible, fearing I hadn’t taken my children out as much as I could have in July and August — I hadn’t taken myself out enough.

It was a race to cram in as many beach/outside days that I could.

From the Interior Provincial Exhibition (IPE), to Orchard Park Mall in Kelowna and up to Dutch Lake in Clearwater, my husband and my two children and I logged almost 1,000 kilometres in three days to squeeze out the last few drops of summer.

Included was breathtaking scenery, countless boxes of Goldfish and endless laughs from our two-year-old entertainer.

Sometimes leaving things to the last minute is unfortunately when I become the most productive, with the adrenaline rush pushing me to perform. 

Of course I wish I would have accomplished more throughout the summer — I wish I had bought my two-year-old daughter a bike, fit in more workouts, spent more time exploring different lakes in the Okanagan, and I wish I could have enjoyed more s’mores around the campfire — for now I will settle for toasting marshmallows on the stove.

There is always next year.

And even after 34 years of the same pattern, I haven’t been inspired to do away with procrastination just yet — it has become a part of who I am.

In fact at this very moment I am procrastinating doing anything productive as I watch my daughter giggle her way out of an empty diaper box.

There is a really neat quote I found regarding procrastination from a Max Brooks, someone I knew absolutely nothing about until I googled him.

It goes: “If you believe you can accomplish everything by “cramming” at the eleventh hour, by all means, don’t lift a finger now. But you may think twice about beginning to build your ark once it has already started raining.”

Hopefully my children will avoid waiting for the rain to build their boat, figuratively speaking, and inherit some of my less complicated qualities — but where is the fun in that?

For now, I will admit to myself I have a perplexing relationship with procrastination and work on overcoming it…starting tomorrow.


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