Procrastinate. Webster's Universal College Dictionary (1997 edition) defines it thusly:
"to defer action; delay: to procrastinate until an opportunity is lost"
I find it interesting that, since I've decided to FINALLY get off my butt (or, more precisely, back on my butt in front of the computer) and write another article; procrastination is the only topic to really leap into my head.
I find it even more interesting that, as I've decided to write about my own issues with procrastination, and as I've further decided to begin with the definition of the word, I find it immediately preceded in the dictionary by the word "proclivity" (natural or habitual inclination or tendency; propensity; predisposition).
For those of you that know me, you know that I have two fairly pronounced proclivities; one is to procrastinate, and the other is to notice completely meaningless things like the fact that "proclivity" comes right before "procrastinate" in the dictionary! (I also noticed that "procrastinate" is only two entries away from "proctology" but I don't want to explore that avenue right now! I'll save that for another time!)
So let's talk about procrastination for a bit. Why does one do it? Here's a great example:
Just as I wrote the words "Why does one do it?" above, I got a little *bing* to tell me that I've received an e-mail. I flipped over to my inbox and saw that the e-mail contained a .pdf file. I opened it up and, as I was reading it, I was notified that my Adobe Acrobat Reader software was out of date and would I like to update it? Naturally, I want the latest and greatest software to read .pdf's so I clicked on the "yes" button. This led me to a new browser window with instructions on downloading the files I need to upgrade the software I need to read the .pdf I need to tell me how to participate in the short-story contest I'm entering because I'm so tired of procrastinating on my writing! You see what I mean? Holy cow!
So anyway, I'm a procrastinator. Come to think of it, I come from a long line of procrastinators. My Mother spent years procrastinating over a book she wrote. The rest of the family hounded and cajoled her more or less constantly until she FINALLY finished the dang thing and got to work on having it published. Now, about a year later, she has a published novel and is hard at work procrastinating over another one!
My Dad is at least as bad. Somewhere out there is an old 1976 Chevy Malibu station wagon, lime green; the unfortunate victim of a car fire, with the charred remains of either a letter or a package that he swore to my Mom that he mailed the week before!
Note: This story about my Dad is a conglomeration of many memories and may not be strictly true. What IS strictly true is that the last two increases in the first-class postage rates are a DIRECT result of revenue shortfalls the US Postal Service suffered because of mail my Dad swore he sent the week before but really hasn't gotten around to yet!
As far as I know, all this procrastination started with my folks. After all, neither one of them has ever told me a story about THEIR parents being procrastinators. But then again, they may simply have not gotten around to telling me those stories yet.
Um. Where was I? Let me go back and look, hold on...
Oh yeah! Procrastination - why does one do it?
Well, despair.com has this to say about procrastination:
"Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now." You can even look at the amusing picture that goes with this pearl of wisdom by clicking HERE.
I dunno. I think we procrastinate because we're scared. Scared to fail, scared to succeed, scared to find out if we'll fail or succeed, whatever. Just scared. In all honesty, I have no idea why I procrastinate, or why you may procrastinate or why anyone would procrastinate. It's not even an aversion to hard work. When I get going on something, I'll work my tail off. It's the "getting going" that has me stumped sometimes.
So how does this relate to this blog? Well, I've been putting off writing here for over a month! It's not that I have nothing to say, I'm just stuck for that little spark that gets me started.
But now, 700-odd words later, I'm finally started! So let me end this bit of drivel and get on to something else. After all, I just got an idea for what to write next and I don't have the patience to wait until this article is properly finished before I start on that one! Finally, the opposite of procrastination!
If this seems to be an abrupt and dissatisfying ending to this post, allow me to direct you to my very first post HERE. File this one under "Random Thoughts".