Wednesday, November 29, 2006

At the Library

This is a shot from the second floor landing at the Sac State library. Or is this a mezzanine? No matter. I am here to work on a research paper that is due tomorrow morning. It is not the last minute – but it’s damn close. If I had to guess, I’d say I’m about half way done with it, maybe a little less. That estimate is a little deceiving, however, because there are parts (like the citations) that are only about 10 percent done.

And I don’t like citing sources. Not because I think I should somehow be exempt or because it’s not necessary, but because I’m not good at it. It’s not familiar and I therefore resist. And I know how to attribute – I’m a journalist. It’s just that research citation is so impersonal. It’s not like journalism where I talk to some guy and then write, “he said.”

I suppose it goes deeper than that as well. What I am doing (or supposed to be doing) is just reassembling known information. I’m compiling others’ research and expertise into a new angle… and honestly, it isn’t all that new. I know; it’s about the digging, the assembling and the recompiling. It’s practice in putting together a well-supported and well thought out argument. I get that.

I just don’t like it.

Is that the only reason I procrastinate? This is an area to which I have given much thought of late, as I am in the midst of yet another procrastinatorial (it’s a word – Google it!) battle. I know that I will finish this thing today; I have to. I know that I will be relatively happy with it when it’s done and I am equally sure I’ll receive high marks for it.

And I think I know that the pretense of doing it before the last minute was simply self-deception. It wasn’t going to happen. It never does, yet I almost always get these things done and done well, in time. Why do I wait? I think I have to. I have planned and planned some more to do this, or at least bits of it on many, many occasions. I meant it, really. But almost nothing ever happened until time got so tight I had no choice.

And that is why I know it will get done – I have no choice. It’s do or die and I won’t die, it’s that simple. It’s the stress of the approaching deadline that gets me so wound up. But an interesting thing happened a day or two ago. I let go. I knew today would be the day and I knew (know) I would have the time. It’s still true and I am not worried. What's interesting is that as soon as I accepted this reality, I was ok. Yesterday and Monday were productive and, at least as far as this assignment is concerned, relatively stress-free.

So what am I doing now? Well, I'm not working on my paper. Why am I nattering away to my fellow warriors in the blogosphere? Because I only have 15 minutes left on my laptop's battery and then it’s time to go. Because if I were to finish this thing now, I won’t have pushed it to the limit.


I don’t know… because I’m built that way and it’s time I accept it and work with it. We’ll see how well that plan works, I’m not expecting much sleep tonight!

*** UPDATE***
It's done, it's good and it's not even 1 a.m. yet!!


mckay said...


i am the queen of all things procrastinatorial.

not my best quality, but hey, it's me. i went to a 'dealing with difficult people' seminar a few weeks ago and was catagorized as a 'relator'- i relate well with people, empathize and want to help people out, etc. procrastination is one of the relator's challenges.

nice library. i miss being on college campuses, the old buildings (i loved SDSU's old buildings) and libraries.

time for me to go home..time for you to stop reading this and go finish your paper.

Snaggle Tooth said...

Deadlines bring out the best in some folks. That didn't take long - You even have time to sleep.... just wake up in time!
Some procrastination can be a needed break before putting the pressure back on yourself n performing better=
Plus it gave me something to read... life has been slow in blog-ville this week!

Helene said...

hehehe... so did ya go out and party til 3 just for the heck of it? lol

Ellen said...

I think we all hop on board the train to procrastination station... it must be in the human gene or something. Most of my tasks start with good intentions, and plenty of time to finish.... yet I will tweak, play or edit it to death right up to the last minute. I blame that on my OCD tendencies.

Glad to hear you have it under control, the paper got done, and you were satisfied with the results. I would expect no less, my friend.

awareness said...

Procrastinatorial...........oooo I love that word. It sounds so proper and uppity. gives procrastination validation.

Glad you beat the clock. Funny how "surrendering" to the knowledge that the paper wouldn't get done until the very last minute allowed you to get on with other stuff...... yeah.... I'm gonna try that with my Christmas shopping.

Belizegial said...

Hello Mike,

It sounds like you are keeping up with your studies, despite everything going on (in and around you) at this time. Self acceptance is half of the battle, eh? I like the view of the library from the 2nd floor.

In the true spirit of Christmas, I have decided to lend my support to a very worthy cause - the upcoming Rick Springfield benefit concert being held on Dec. 8th in Cape Girardeau, Missouri to assist cancer victim Sahara Aldridge.

For more information, see my most recent blog issue of Saturday, Dec. 1st.

Have a great week!

Lady Prism said...

LOL!!!..oh' gawd'..hee!hee!..I was having dinner wondering if you've got it done..LOL!..congratulations!..shuuuckss..I've got materials to place in by Thursday and I haven't even started out yet....Now I will...just after I post this comment he!he!..

PS: This comment box is acting strange so I dunno' how this will publish when I hit enter..