Tag Archives: consequences

Procrastinator Extraordinaire

Hi, I’m Heather and I’m a procrastinator.

I know most everyone can admit to some procrastination here and there. We all have tasks we put off for one reason or another. I’m sure there is at least one person out there who is a more extreme procrastinator than I am, but I don’t know them personally.

I try to blame my procrastination habits on the fact that I am busy, and in part that is true. I often feel overwhelmed by all the stuff I need to do, and rather than focusing on any one thing to get it done, I’d rather shove it all to the back burner and go do something fun instead.

Sometimes procrastination can work in one’s favor. Who knows how much money I have saved by putting off shopping trips for new clothes or shoes? I’ll just wear these scuffed and worn shoes until the soles literally fall off and I am left with no choice than to buy new ones! Or, at work, procrastinating on some menial task often results in that task slipping through the cracks of time, never to be considered again.

More often than not, however, procrastination has unpleasant results. Late nights (or all-nighters) of despair and self-loathing as a long-put-off task suddenly becomes urgent. Ok, so that hasn’t happened since college, but you know what I mean. There is a workplace equivalent, where something is suddenly due and desperate measures have to be taken. All the while you feel crappy and swear that you will never let this happen again.

It used to be that I only procrastinated on things that I didn’t like. Math homework. Vacuuming. Getting out of bed in the morning.  More recently I have found myself procrastinating on just about everything, even things I really want to do. It is very easy to busy yourself with tasks like, organizing your file folders or syncing your iPhone and iPad to your computer. When you’re done you feel like you accomplished something, but really, how necessary was that?

It’s pretty likely that I am being too hard on myself. I often forget to look at my actual accomplishments. I tend to only see what I have NOT done, and ignore all of the progress I have made in my life. I mean, obviously I don’t procrastinate on EVERYTHING, or I wouldn’t be where I am right now.

There are plenty of online resources available to tackle procrastination. I am a big fan of Zen Habits, and get these delivered to my inbox. There was also this fabulous post about what goes on inside a procrastinator’s brain. I’m pretty sure that mine has TWO instant gratification monkeys. Of course, as you’ll see in the above-mentioned article, going online isn’t exactly the best idea for a chronic procrastinator.

Where am I going with this post? Basically I was just procrastinating my morning exercise routine and realized that I hadn’t done a post in a while, so I thought I’d sit down and do one! Now it’s almost 7 am and if I don’t stop writing now I won’t have time to exercise before I have to get ready and leave the house.

Do you struggle with procrastination? Did you just read my blog post in order to avoid doing something else? Have you found ways to be more productive and keep your instant-gratification monkey from taking the wheel?

Throwback Thursday – Train Wreck

Several years ago, I came across a box of my school things. I’m certain the contents of this box will provide much fodder for the Throwback Thursday series, but for today I’m just going to comment on my memories of learning to read and write.

I was one of those lucky kids who learned how to read easily. I can hardly remember a time where I couldn’t read. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. I would read everything I could get my hands on – even reading all the labels on the soap, shampoo and toothpaste in the bathroom. I wanted to read EVERYTHING!

My second grade reading workbook. Hated it!

At school, reading class often consisted of reading aloud from our text book, one student reading a paragraph and then someone else reading the next. I quickly tired of dragging along while some of the kids stumbled over words, or read at a snail’s pace. So I would read ahead in the book, and end up reading the whole story before the group had moved past the third paragraph. Then I would grow bored and flip ahead and read something else in the book, or I’d doodle and daydream until it was time to do our workbook lessons.

My first recorded use of the word “hate” in reference to school.

Does anyone enjoy doing worksheets? This I remember being even more agonizing than listening to my classmates read out loud. Sadly, being that this was 2nd grade, I had another 10 years of worksheets ahead of me. Dun dun dun!

I much preferred when we were able to do creative writing exercises, like contemplating potential disasters.

What might cause a train accident????????????????

I’m almost certain that my teacher did not ask us to write about what would cause a train accident. Unless one had recently been in the news and she was helping us work through our fears, but I kind of doubt it.  Whatever the case, I got a +400! Wow!

Thoughts on Bullying, Part 1.

Every Friday morning, NPR airs a short segment called Story Corps. I often catch it on my way to work. Last week, it was a story told by a father whose 14-year-old son committed suicide after being bullied relentlessly. In recent years, there have been a lot of stories of kids killing themselves after being bullied. My heart goes out to these kids and their parents, of course.  But this past week’s story got me thinking about bullies and the effect their victim’s suicide has on them.  Does it make them stop bullying? Do they even realize how their actions have so drastically affected someone else’s life?  Do they even care?

"I just don't fit in!"
“I just don’t fit in!”

When I was a kid, there were bullies at my school whom I avoided as much as I could. Even now, my stomach sinks to think of how insecure and helpless I felt in their presence.  At the time, I didn’t give much thought as to why they would be treating me the way they did.  I took the burden of blame on myself.  I was an unusual looking kid with a funny little voice, so I accepted that they had reasons to make fun of me.  Of course I wished they would find some other way to pass the time, but I just assumed they were wholly mean and bad kids.

Now that I’m an adult I am aware that oftentimes bullies are bullies because they’ve learned this behavior as a way of raising their social rank, to make up for their own shortcomings and insecurities.  They bully to establish dominance and control. They’ve often been bullied themselves. So I wonder, if a bully’s victim commits suicide, does the bully feel vindicated because it proves (to them) that the person was weak and worthless? Or do they suddenly realize that the kid they were always picking on was actually a whole person, with feelings and potential, and had a family that loved him?

I tried being a bully once. At recess one day I noticed that a chubby Italian boy was wearing a football jersey with the name Meatball across the back instead of his last name. I poked him and jeered “Ha-ha, it says Meatball because you’re fat!” totally failing to grasp that that was the joke. He raised his eyebrows before rolling his eyes and walking away. While I’d initially felt an adrenaline rush for having stepped out of my comfort zone, I was left feeling like a jerk and definitely did not gain any power from the interaction.

Whenever I hear of a bullying-induced suicide, I think back to my own experiences and how, no matter how much crap was dealt, I never felt compelled to kill myself. I certainly did have days of feeling worthless and despicable. There were a lot of times where I would feign illness in order to stay home from school so I wouldn’t have to deal with another day of being told I was hideous, freakish and unlikable. I was fortunate to have a stable home life and siblings who loved me for who I was and who never looked at me with disgust because of my physical appearance. I was also lucky to have friends outside of school who were able to see past my outer appearance and who appreciated my wild imagination and sense of humor.  And while I was at school, my wild imagination kept me company even in the worst of times.

So if you are reading this and you are a victim of bullying, please hang in there. You can grow up to be so much stronger than your peers because you have put up with this. Don’t let other people determine your worth. Remember your strengths and keep pushing ahead with them, whether it be academics or art or music or sports. Do what makes you happy, and be yourself. There is so much more to life than what happens in school. It’s hard to realize it now, when it seems all that matters is who you sit with at lunch, or that your clothes have the right label. It may seem like an eternity before you will be out of school, but one day it will come and life will open up to you. In the real world there is a place for everyone, and thanks to the internet, you can find people all over the world who are “just like you” in one way or another.