Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Procrastination is willfulness

My son had to write a paper on procrastination lately as one of his school assignments. The teacher said his was one of the best, so my son sent it on to me to read. Here's a great paragraph from it:

Loving the right has been a big part of my life recently[.] … I’ve always been thinking that fearing the consequence and not doing the wrong because you fear it is ok, but I’ve learned just this year that I should be loving the right, and hating the wrong. It’s not about being afraid of the consequence, it’s about be[ing] committed and agreeing with the right, and despising the evil. So I want to fight iniquity, procrastination, and laziness with nobility, getting things done early, and alertness. This is my Christian Science goal, and it coincides with character building and the things that come up in Study Tech.

You can imagine my jumping up and down at reading this.

And actually, the entire paper was a message directly to me. One of the things I noticed quickly about having the house to myself is that I could pretty much do whatever I wanted with my days. Seriously, I could sit around eating bon-bons if I wanted, no one would know. But I also found myself becoming rapidly unproductive with no structure. What was the problem?

My son's paper on procrastination gave me some answers. Procrastination seems like it's doing nothing, like nothing's happening. But it actually is a proactive choice the same way doing something is. I realized I was choosing to do nothing—that was what I was doing. Nothing. And it left me often just feeling empty, not relaxed and carefree as I thought it would.

The specific inspiration came one day during prayer when the phrase that titles this entry popped into thought. Procrastination is willfulness. And I realized I'd slipped away from how I was a year ago, when I had so many balls in the air that I couldn't stop juggling for a minute. At that time, I relied heavily on divine Mind, Spirit, to direct my every moment so nothing would crash to the ground. Ideas would come to me and I would move on them instantly, rather than scheduling them in for next week sometime. That was a time when the divine will orchestrated my days. Not surprisingly, I was very productive.

Last month, after the kids were gone, I guess I was trying to see how far I could get on my own steam. And I tell ya, each day just got more languid and paceless. It was like I was waiting for somebody to tell me what I was supposed to be doing. Finally, my son's paper and my own prayers gave me the kick I needed and got me to stop waiting.

My answer now is to do today's task today. It may only be today's task, and if I wait until tomorrow, the opportunity might be gone. I also began to use intelligently the tools at hand, like re-writable to-do lists and the Outlook task function to avoid forgetting things. That's been very helpful.

Now, I'm again seeing the ideas that come as a gift from the Divine. When the Divine sends you a gift, would you wait to open it? Thanks for that gift, Lord, I'll open it next week. I don't think so. Open it now, act on it now, say thanks now.

Replacing my own will with listening to the Divine is bringing me the satisfaction I craved. No more need for bon-bons.

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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At 10/17/2006 09:34:00 AM, Anonymous Emily said...

I love that you chose today, of all days, to write this. Your timing is perfect!

I've been swamped and have, for several months, been putting off a project I really wanted to do -- carving out a comfortable, quiet little space in my house for prayer and study -- because it involved a project I really didn't want to mess with: overhauling the way my home is organized.

To put my study materials next to my papasan chair in the living room, I needed a shelf. The pretty little shelf I wanted to use was full of other books that needed to be in my husband's office. To put them in my husband's office and get some of his things organized, I needed another shelf, which was in a disorderly closet, buried under old tax records and clutter. To get that closet in order, I had to empty it and a second closet and switch their contents. And then, to complete my peaceful study area, I needed to clean the living room so it would not distract me as I read -- and of course I needed to clean my office, which somehow looked even more cluttered in the absence of the little shelf that had lately occupied the corner.

Oh, how I'd dreaded that project! And yet, I got all of it done except the office in just a few hours last night, and somehow the office doesn't seem so overwhelming now.

The key? A simple prayer for help reflecting divine energy and strength.

At 10/17/2006 04:27:00 PM, Blogger reuben said...

as Christ said..."now is the time for salvation....", and another c.s. blogger said procrastination is willfullness(animal magnetism-mbe),
am grateful i found your blog and your help and inspiration -god bless

At 10/17/2006 05:31:00 PM, Blogger Laura said...

thank you reuben! so glad you're here!



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