The Habit of Procrastination

I am a bundle of feelings right now. I have not written in this blog for quite some time. My interests and desires have been elsewhere. Work. The worries of life. Self. Many of us either have been there or are there now.

But this has helped me to examine the motive for our actions if we have this habit. This habit, that I speak of can be explained like this. You have strayed away from something you know you need to do. You are procrastinating from doing it because you do not want the feeling of guilt about inaction. It is easier to not do it and say that you just stopped rather than deal with that feeling when you do start.

You can actually turn it backwards and look at quitting a habit or addiction like smoking (some of us can talk about this because we have faced it). Quitting smoking involves changing a character trait or modifying it. It is easier sometimes to start up again, say “I failed” and not have the struggle than to keep the struggle going. We get relief from starting up again. Yes, relief. Relief from the battle. Relief from everyone asking about our struggle. Relief from wondering what we actually can do with our hands since we are not smoking. It is easier than changing ourselves.pablo (1)

Turning it back around, though, what about things we are supposed to do, should do or are “expected” to do.

Some are simple.

Some are hard.

Simple things like writing in the blog. You know that you feel more complete and whole when you do. It allows you to “empty” your soul or rant or whatever but it is beneficial to you. If you do not type that much normally, it helps to improve this skill at least. But it takes the effort to do so.

Hard things like saying goodbye to a friend or loved one, whether they have died or just gone away for a while. Having to suffer the emotion, knowing that tears may be involved, we shy away because it is easier. It is easier because we can deal with others temporarily thinking about why we didn’t say goodbye or visit the surviving family rather than suffering through personal heartache and transparency. We would rather choose the road that is easy; the freeway; the road more traveled, so to speak.

Well, then there is this saying that I put together. It goes like this.

Restriction: I can’t do it
Procrastination: I’ll get around to it
Inspiration: I’ll do it when I feel like it
Perspiration: I will do it no matter what

Some people say “Man Up!” (or “Woman Up!”). Some say “Get some balls already!”. I say “The only way to get it done is to figure out how to do it and get after it!”. Why? Because the habit of procrastination kills. A part of you dies every time you procrastinate. I have heard so many stories of people who died shortly after retiring because they didn’t plan on what to do, had nothing to do and lost purpose. When we procrastinate, we lose purpose. In fact, it carves away at our very lives. It provides us a way to lose our lives and purpose rather than enrich them.

In previous writings, we have looked at failure and the circumstances we cannot change; things that happened that are in the past or did not happen because of something we did. Those are things that cannot change.

This is something we can. We can change the way we do things. We have the ability to change how we do things. You may say “I don’t know how”. Find out how. Try something different. If you find yourself doing something that keeps you away from the purpose that you desire to do, look at what you did that led you to doing that (this is common for computer troubleshooters). Examine what you did previous to the action that happened and do something different. Do something that you see leading yourself towards a better result.

You can change the way you do things…but you can’t and won’t, if you don’t.

Attack mode – 2.1

This is good stuff.  You need to watch this.  The ability to make yourself vulnerable is tough for many…watch.

If you have seen it, watch it again and I guarantee that you will hear something you didn’t the first time.  Besides, repetition is conducive to learning.

 

Losing My Friend

This is probably one of the hardest posts I have written to date.  I started writing it just hours after the event so it is forthcoming and raw.  I had to capture my feelings while they were fresh so it cemented more in my heart about the importance of journaling…because we as humans, forget.

“Last Friday (6/14/13), I lost a wonderful and faithful friend.  My dog, who was approximately 14 years old, fell ill suddenly and had to be humanely euthanized.  I write about it because I have never lost a friend like him that was so close to me.  I am not going to write about all the wonderful things that he did but rather I am needing to write about the effect that his passing has had upon me.

I called the vet on that Friday afternoon fully expecting to be told that my dog was coming home that day.  Unfortunately, the vet said that it would be a good idea if I came in because he had taken a downturn in the last 24 hours.  Since I was picking up my 14 year-old son after work, he would be with me.

We walked into the vet’s office and were taken to where he was.  He laid with his head between his front legs motionless, eyes bright but that was all.  I felt that he was mad at me until I realized that he could not wag his tail because he was too weak to move anything.  He could not even lift his head.  My son and I sat on the cold concrete floor and pet him and cried.

When I was told what needed to be done, a myriad of emotional questions came to mind.  “Can’t he live just one more day?”, “Can I take him home to die there?”, “Should I be here for the procedure or should I just leave?”. “With it being my decision, how do I live with it?”.  With my 14 year old son at my side and after calling my wife on the phone, I decided to go ahead and end his suffering.  “What would my sons think of me?”, “Is this one of the rites of passage to becoming a man?”.

We slid him on a blanket to an examination room and he was so weak that the sliding motion winded him.  He could not do anything but look at me…and I wondered, “Do you want me to do this?”, “Do you know what is happening?”, “Can you ever forgive me?”.

We comforted him and talked to him calmly, reminisced about old memories and made amends.  I apologized more than once for the times that I was harsh with him and asked for forgiveness.  The vet came in to give him a sedative shot and told that it may take a few tries because his blood pressure was so low that some veins had already collapsed.

When the sedative started to take effect, I said “we love you” and “goodbye, old friend” while he could still hear me. His poor worn body relaxed and then settled to slow, deep breath.  She gave the second injection and I asked how long it would take.  She said it may take a couple of minutes, maybe longer depending on his circulation.

He took a few more breaths and then it stopped…

I let out a short yelp that came from holding my emotions back for so long and my son and I cried together while we pet his lifeless body.  I was truly heartbroken for the first time in years.

As time has gone by, the pain has gotten easier.  I still think that I see him in the corner of my eye, on the porch, in the hallway.  I find myself waiting for him to come to the kitchen after dinner for a leftover bone or piece of meat but there is emptiness where there was a subtle joy.”

It has taken me a month to actually post it but I felt that it was necessary so that some of my posts would have this as a point of reference.  I do not know what you may glean from this post but possibly you will.

Faithful and unconditional friend
Faithful and unconditional friend

Do Over: Humility

Sometimes, days happen where you lose your self control. Pride gets in the way and you end up wondering if you deserve to be a dad. Today, unfortunately, was one of those days.

But this is actually where humility steps in. When you crash and burn. When you see how much of a rearend you can be. Your job is to suck it up and man up to your mistake, especially if it is towards your wife and/or kids.

Why is it when we as men screw up concerning our family, it is so hard to own up to our mistakes? Pride rears its ugly head again. Pride is good when expressing that a job is well done…not when your own attitude actually causes your child to lose it.

The “giant” stands before me and says “What are you gonna do then?” Decision time…I retreat to my room, compose myself and man up to my child that I can apologize for my unreasonable attitude. I pray that he does not act this way to his kids, but if he does I want him to see how to humble himself.

We stand on giant’s shoulders, so that we may become one.

TS

Humility

My wife went to a parents support group meeting tonight as an observer for one of her college courses and her major.  She told me of the parents who were having trouble with their kids and that some of the kids showed up as well to work on their problems too.  As she was telling me about this, I wondered why my mom never went to any of these types of meetings or were there any when I was growing up.

The incredible humility that it took the members of each family to seek out help and the kids that were considered the problem, realizing that for their family to survive, they needed to show up too.

You know, really, once a kid gets a certain age, you cannot really make them do anything.  Consider this:  I have a 12 year old son that out weighs me by 20 pounds.  If I say to do the dishes and he says “I don’t want to”, I can’t physically pick him up and move him to the sink and make him move his arms.  If I beat his butt to a pulp, I would be tired and the dishes would still not be done.

It is important as a man to be able to humble yourself and think ahead like a chess match.  It is not the same circumstance for every family but consider your humility before handing out consequences.  Take a minute and think before you act.  It’s ok.  The world will not end as you know it.  Just make your decision well and stick with it.  If you make a mistake, admit it and correct it.  It just means that you are human.  But your kids will see you as superhuman for your humility.

Who knows…your wife might too.