When I say that I am a terrific procrastinator, I mean that I could earn a living as a procrastinator trainer if there were such a thing.
I have always loved the movie “Gone with the Wind” for many reasons. I was fascinated by this epic drama and the fact that it could keep my attention for 3 hours and 58 minutes. I was in love with Rhett Butler and that, of course, morphed into love for Clark Gable. I couldn’t watch the burning of Atlanta without seeing the wall from King Kong go down. I was horrified and perplexed by the whole concept of living in petticoats and corsets. And I am a true natural at Resting Bitch Face and can call it up at a moment’s notice like a champ. However, when I was younger, my mother would call me Scarlett because, in true procrastinator fashion, I would frequently say, “I will think about that tomorrow.”
I have also always thought of myself as a dreamer. I think big. And a lot. I work through scenarios in my head. Sometimes over and over. I dream about how things could be…
But, I also really struggle with making decisions. I struggle with fear of making the wrong decision and then having to live with it. Fear of what others will think and how I will be seen. And, I have been this way for as long as I can remember. So, the way this has worked in my life is that on many occasions, I just wait, pro/con it to death, and hope that good luck will strike and everything will magically work out. This approach allows me to coast by and to be free of all responsibility. This way of living allows me to sit back, grumble about where I am, and put all of the responsibility on fate. You know, the whole, “If it’s meant to be, then it will happen…” motto.
I can think of times when I have even wished that something would happen to force things to go one way or the other, and then I would be able to say that I didn’t have a choice- life intervened and this is the direction I had to go in. As I write this, I can see that this is the extreme of daydreaming about procrastination and avoiding making decisions.
The problem here is that this passive way of living keeps me stuck right where I am. Don’t get me wrong, where I am in my life is not bad. At all. In fact, in a lot of ways, it couldn’t be better. But, I’m also not living my dream. Time’s a-tickin’ and I ain’t gettin’ any younger. I am getting to a point in my life where I am starting to feel more afraid to wait and sit back than to jump out there and take a chance.
And then, the other morning during meditation, the Universe intervened and told me that waiting on good luck impedes living. Boom. When the universe says something so plainly, I listen. The message literally could not have been clearer.
Change doesn’t come from Luck. Change comes from Intention.
I have to assume that signs and messages were probably sent before this, but I have to say that I love it when the Universe is so undeniably direct in pointing the way ahead. This was a call to action. As of late, I had been going back and forth in my head about a proposal for my boss regarding my work schedule. I had been going back and forth about several creative endeavors. I had been allowing fear to be in charge by scaring me with the possibility of rejection and ‘no‘. So, I was doing the passive thing of sitting back and expecting that things would wondrously occur and I wouldn’t even have to take action toward what I want.
But, that’s just silly. No more sitting around in fear. I walked in to my boss’s office and made my proposal. And I felt good about it. And about myself. I have begun brainstorming my creative ideas, making notes, starting outlines. Not everyone will love what I do, but, as long as I do, that’s what matters.
In her new book, Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes states, “Happiness comes from living as you need to, as you want to, as your inner voice tells you to. Happiness comes from being who you actually are instead of who you think you are supposed to be. Don’t apologize, don’t explain, don’t ever feel less than. When you feel the need to apologize or explain who you are, it means the voice in your head is telling you the wrong story. Wipe the slate clean and rewrite it.”
No more excuses, no more waiting, no more hiding, no more shirking responsibility. You are the only one who can live your life. You are the author of your story. This week, find 1 thing you can do to take action toward what you want and who you want to be. Keep on dreaming, but then do something to work toward that dream. It’s OK if you are scared; I am too. But we will do it together. And we will be great.