So far I’ve been feeling pretty overwhelmed in 2016. This is my own fault. I am a procrastinator. I make piles of things to do tomorrow. Laundry to put away, magazine articles and books to read stack up until I don’t know where to start. I’m not proud of this, but there it is. I’ve come to realize that this leads me to nothing but regret, particularly about those things I just never do. I do know I can’t think of anything I’ve ever done that I truly regret. So I should just do it, right? But what is the opposite of procrastinate?
Online sources aren’t helpful. Forge, forward, and expedite are all listed, as is proactive. Each one of these is fine as a stance, but none appeal to me as a word to live by.
This morning, even though I was without a word, I decided not to procrastinate any longer and forged ahead with the vacuuming I’d been putting off. Sure enough, as I pushed the beater bar back and forth across the living room rug, the word present popped into my head.
Present. The more I considered this word, the more it appealed to me. It has so many meanings, but two immediately came to mind: The here and now and a gift. It seems to me these are really the same thing. To be present right here, right now, is a gift. To be able to sit in my warm kitchen and write these words is a gift. To look out the window and watch the rain drip off the maple tree’s bare branches is a gift.
I’m not under any illusion that it will be easy to give up my habit of procrastinating, although as I get older, putting things off makes less sense. What am I waiting for, after all? Or, more to the point, what am I afraid of? My yoga teacher always tell us that when we find our mind has wandered, return to the breath. This seems an appropriate response to procrastination as well. When I find myself stewing over where to start, I’ll remember to just breathe, and return to the present. Who knows what gifts I’ll find waiting there.
Margaret Simon has invited bloggers to share their OLWs on her DigiLit Sunday Roundup today. Please be sure to visit her there to see her students’ Canva creations.