Friday, October 12, 2007


It’s official. I am dragging my ass. I have a bunch of writing to do and this isn’t it. There is a story, two columns, a PR bio and an essay all due by next Tuesday or sooner. I know that in total it will only take several hours to do the work. My problem, however, is that I have more than enough time to do it. In other words… it’s not the last minute yet, what’s the rush?

This time, there is no particular harm in procrastinating. I’ll get to it, none of it is too difficult and I have an idea of where each piece will go. Some are better crystallized than others, but all in all there is nothing holding me back other than time. I like it that way. The down side is, and I’ve written about it before, the unexpected. If a surprise rears its unwelcome head, do I have the flexibility to deal with it? So far I have been able to roll with the punches and this time at least, I am sure the time is available.

Life for me is about moments. Not the planned events, the coming milestones or my view of what the future holds, but the moments. Those future events will come and in time provide moments of their own, but they are not what life is all about. It is about now. Not every now - honestly, most moments are entirely forgettable… and promptly forgotten. Some are indelibly etched into my mind for eternity, some predictably so (weddings, births, deaths, etc.) and some not some much. The point of all this is not what this perspective is, but what it means.

Today and for a little while now, I am present for those moments; those slices of time that could be as fleeting as a shooting star, as temporary as a spectacular sunset or as poignant as a tender kiss on the cheek. I never know when one will come and if I am so preoccupied by what is coming, it has been my experience that I will miss what’s there. I have put off things that have caused me discomfort (I have a load of laundry going right now) and I have waited until the discomfort was the ultimate motivating factor. But even then, the moments can materialize out of nowhere.

I received a phone call from my 23 year-old son yesterday evening. He had some stuff on his mind that he didn’t necessarily need answers to, just someone to listen. I was able to suspend what I was doing for that moment and be there for him. Will I remember it for the rest of my life? I might. Will he? Maybe. Regardless of the permanence of the memory, the moment was alive and the latent effects of being present for it will live on forever even if the specific memory fades.

In my rush to achieve the ends and my inability to stay in the present, I missed many of these moments in years gone by. Not all, that would be nearly impossible, but some of the richness granted from life was overlooked in a quest to reach the end - and win. Life is not a game and for me to live it that way only allows one outcome - I lose. It’s a loss of the moments and the memories that I carry with me. Life today is a series of one moment after another. Some are huge but all are unique and will never occur again.


BreadBox said...

Sometimes procrastination is just procrastination: but sometimes it really is putting off the predictable for the exciting, the mundane for the special, the work for the children.
And that is important! Always remember that!

Michele sent me to remind you to remember!

kenju said...

Breadbox is right, Mike. Sounds like you, as I, work better under pressure.

purplefugue said...

I read that first paragraph and nodded in agreement. That sounds like me too. I'll have MORE than enough time to complete projects but procrastinate till it comes down to a last minute crunch. But you know what? That's when I find things flow easily, from my pen, my computer, my thoughts. Then, I complain about the stress! Haha!!

Here from Michele - have a good weekend!

A Army Of (Cl)One said...

My problem is that when I procrastinate, it is more for just wasting time than anything else.

and the fact that most of what I do is not time sensitive unless someone make it so. Over the years Ihave learned just how much I can not do anything and still do more then all the busy bees around me.

Bobkat said...

Yep, I'm a procrastinator too. Unless the deadline is there then I will find other things to do.

Life is for living and each moment should be cherished as it happens, just as you say :)

flleenie said...

Life is not a game but a series of one moment after another...and another...and know!

Carli N. Wendell said...

From Sondheim:
Any moment, big or small, is a moment, after all.

Snaggle Tooth said...

Taking moments just to live without dancing about to the deadline whips is enjoyable- and earned, in your case!
No one wotks harder than a single parent-

awareness said...

Like you, I have a tendancy to allow the level of discomfort to rise to a crescendo....and then the motivation kicks in. Reading this post tonight hits home...I too have a list of to dos in my head....

I love your last thoughts here Mike....the moments are all unique. It is truly what matters.

I've missed catching up!