Challenge Day 3: Fear Disguised as Procrastination

I observe myself procrastinating things that I love doing all the time. I do it because I don’t want to have to face the new thing that I have to face that will bring changes in my life. For instance, I have three books that I am currently editing for publication.

procrastination flowchartOne of them is the still unnamed book of poems that my Dad R Leonard Swanson when he was alive that I am adding memories that relate to those poems. Another is my book Simply Vegetable Gardening.

Dad’s book I have been procrastinating because I really don’t want to call his life’s work finished. Yesterday I was thinking about something that my Dad had told me about. I had some questions about it, but then I realized that I had no way of asking him because he is no longer with us. I have no doubt in my mind that this procrastination is my fear of letting go of him. Coupled with that is the fact that six weeks later, my eldest brother died. He was my first playmate. Finishing Dad’s book means saying good-bye. It also represents the idea that by having finished that chapter in my life brings me that much closer to “putting nails into my own coffin”. The fear of death keeps me stuck so that I am not finishing this project.

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Here’s the cover of my new book Simply Vegetable Gardening. What do you think?

My book Simply Vegetable Garden is my first nonfiction book and it is already a month later in publication than I had first intended for it to be. Part of the fear in that book is that I am afraid that no one will buy it. This is one fear that I am plunging through this week. By this weekend, I will have the Kindle version available online and will have the print version ready for review. The sales campaign to my friends and family will begin next week.

Another area that I have been procrastinating in is in finishing my class assignments for school. I am not saying that I am not getting them done on time, because I am. What I am saying is that I have been putting things off until the last minute and then rushing to finish on time. The fear behind this procrastination isn’t really about the school work at all. My fear is related to the fact that I am into my last four classes before I finish my degree. July 30th marks the completion of my last class. Once I finish my degree, I will be facing the challenge of transitioning from student to someone who needs to find meaningful work. I am afraid of this change, but if I intend to reach the goals that I am striving to reach, I must move forward. I must press on.

To combat the temptation to procrastinate because of the fears that I am facing, I must meet this temptation head on. To do this, beginning today, I am going to plow through these projects. Before looking at my e-mails or social media, before working on any other projects, I intend to work on each of these projects at least for fifteen minutes each.

Have you been procrastinating? Have you been putting things off because of some sort of fear? If you have, determine that you will stop procrastinating in those areas today. Do the projects that you have been procrastinating first rather than last. Break through the fear and see what victories lie beyond the veil of procrastination.

 

What’s Your Hurry?

Have you ever stopped to think about the reason that we Americans are in so much of a hurry? me_on_the_laptopWhy is it that we are always in a rush to get wherever we are going? A few days ago I watched someone pass me seven times while I was on my way home from dropping my husband off at his truck. The person was stopped by the same stop lights that I was stopped at, the person definitely seemed to be in a hurry, but the hurrying wasn’t getting that person to where he or she wanted to go any more quickly than I was going. In addition, the constant passing and cutting bumper riding that the person was doing was not only endangering that individual’s health by the stress he or she was creating for him or herself, it was putting other people in the cars around that person as well. I contrasted this with myself who was in no hurry to get to where I felt no stress getting where I wanted to go, yet, I was getting there as quickly as the stressed out person was getting to wherever he or she was going.

Sometimes you just need to stop fighting the current and simply enjoy the ride.

Sometimes you just need to stop fighting the current and simply enjoy the ride.

How does this relate to either of my resolutions, to finish what I start or loving more?  It relates to how I finish what I start because it reminds me that it is important for me to plan my time properly so that I do not procrastinate and wait until the last minute to finish whatever I want to finish. In addition, it reminds me that I need to allot myself enough time to finish those items. I will get to where I want to go just as quickly and with a lot less pain if I stop to enjoy the journey as I will if I try to rush toward my next goal. It is not that important that I rush to where I want to go. It is more important that I learn to be mindful of where I am and where I want to go. This is why having decided to designate Monday, Wednesday and Friday to post blogs here on The Ugly Duckling, post hubs on Hubpages on Tuesday and Thursdays, why I am limiting my novel writing to 2800 words per week as well as why I am making simple changes in habits related to my health rather than dieting.

      One of the main habits that I want to focus on is being mindful of what I eat and drink. We Americans are so obsessed with rushing around, that we don’t take the time to enjoy what we eat or what we drink. I want to learn to stop and really enjoy the food that I am putting into my mouth. Did you ever notice that the first bite always tastes the best? Part of that has to do with the fact that we salivate in the anticipation of eating and our taste buds and our brain is prepared to set out and enjoy whatever it is that we put into our mouths. I want to be able to take the time actually  to  look at my food. I want to see the symmetry of an apple, the colors of a salad. I want to see all the bright colors of my salad, the green of the lettuce, cucumber and green onion, the creamy whiteness  of the meat, nuts, or dried beans, the redness of the tomatoes , the purpleness of cabbage the orange of carrots, and the bright colors of the fruit that I eat after the salad. I want to listen to the crunch of the vegetables as I chew, feel the tingle of the vinegar in the vinaigrette on my tongue, smell the mixture of smells from the salad, as I load each item onto my fork and put it up under my nose to put it into my mouth. Contrast this wolfing down without really tasting a bland dry fast food hamburger and bun, the same mass produced bun, pickle, catsup, onion, and mustard, and the salty cardboard fries that we have had every other time that we drove up to the drive-through window. Imagine then drinking the overly sweet drink so that we can wash the colorless, flavorless food-replacing substance that would have absolutely no flavor if it were not for the salt and sugar content.

I do not want to miss out on the simple pleasures in life. I want to enjoy the journey every step of the way and I certainly can’t do that if I am in too much of a hurry. Life is meant to enjoy, not hurry through.