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Tag Archives: procrastination

Self-eulogy

Eulogies are a tricky thing. Obviously, you have to know the person you’re writing/speaking about, so that’s a big hurdle all in itself. Then you have to make it sound like it wasn’t scribbled on a stained bar napkin the night before, while you were “consoling the family” and easing their pain through tasty, tasty distractions. If you can get past that step, you should also at least try to make it sound somewhat-remotely-not-so-negative. Trying to stay reverently positive is one of those instructions that didn’t come in the manual of life, along with the fine art of deciding who goes at the stop sign, or knowing which way to turn the TV antenna (yeah, remember those? damn kids these days don’t know how good they have it.)

It also adds a level of difficulty to write a eulogy if it’s about yourself.

No, I’m not dead yet. Or at least, I’m fairly certain I’m pretty much alive. After staring at Census data and regression models since the summer, it’s pretty hard to discern the difference these days.

In a moment of self reflection, I decided to write a rough draft for whatever poor sop has to speak at my funeral. I’m picturing fireworks, tetris music, and a military enforced ban on annoying crying, with the thousands lined up waiting to rub my polished onyx tombstone for good luck and tabloid photographers snapping up pictures of my closed lacquered casket, since by that time I will be a mythical legend known throughout the land, like Big Foot, or Elvis.

A single stranger will be led via helper dinosaur robot to the glass podium (I refuse to die until helper dinosaur robots are a reality) and all of a sudden, cherry blossoms will start falling around the teary eyed masses. Because damn, nothing sets the mood like falling pink fluff.

So, stranger, whoever you are, here’s how I imagine your eulogy of me will sound like. Feel free to improvise and credit all awesome edits to myself.

“Here lies- well, no, she actually requested that her body be cremated and the ashes placed in the fireworks exploding above you, so please utilize your facility provided umbrellas and beware of fallout. Erm, so yes, there goes Chibichunsa, daughter, sister, friend, enemy, classmate, mild acquaintance  and the creepy Asian girl who watches people on the lightrail.

She didn’t do anything all too spectacular in her life. She attended a couple colleges she didn’t particularly like or dislike. Life sort of swirled around her like the neighborhood jacuzzi; not quite hot enough to hurt but not quite cold enough to cause hypothermia. A word to describe her would be “moderate”: moderate effort, moderate gains, moderate consciousness and moderate amount of cares given. Well, that last piece is debatable.

She enjoyed… well, she spent her time doing things. Lots of things. Like, breathing. Or playing video games. Or eating. Or reading books. Or napping. Or petting her dog. She was a woman of many interests, you see, and with many interests comes a sort of responsibility to be interesting. She always did say she’d get around to that part eventually.

Ah, eventually. Her favorite mental phrase. Chibichunsa took her precious time doing things that didn’t involve chocolate, sometimes not even finishing them at all. Procrastination ran deep in her soul, which her parents lovingly noted with stern looks of disapproval when she stopped doing homework in the third grade. I mean, look at how long it took for her to croak. Silly, lazy girl.

Here’s to you, Chibichunsa. May you be napping peacefully somewhere with a bowl full of matcha chocolate pudding. And you still owe me twenty bucks.”

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Posted by on October 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Recycle Bin Empty

Those blissful days when everything is going. Not going well, not going badly, but simply going. Where the day moves by faster than nostalgia and somehow, in some fashion, you keep up. A glorious combination of physical exertion, mental wracking, philosophical theorizing, and bits and pieces of satisfaction for a job well done.

This is one of those days. A day where running on two hours of sleep is the most amazing high in the world, and everything falls into place last minute after hours of buzzing and preparation. The basic bodily needs of sleep, food, hydration, all of it flies out of the mind as the world goes by in a blur of jet stream to the outsider. But you, oh you, are inside the global jet. Neither tiring nor hungering, a steady and productive flow of outputs continues to spew out of the system until the sun is long gone and the day is still burned into the back of the eyes.

But, alas, slowly but surely tasks are being completed at a faster pace than can be replaced. Like emptying the trash every other day, eventually you’re so busy cleaning the bin that items get compartmentalized and thrown out even before they hit the bottom. Weariness sinks in, eyelids move on their own as a strange blurriness fills the vision. Muscles that didn’t exist before now begin their long and spiteful protest, and a strange coldness begins to creep into the fingertips. What used to take one minute now takes five, and what used to take five minutes now takes twenty. Productivity decreases at an alarming, exponential rate while you suddenly feel colder, hungrier, and more tired than you have ever felt in your life. Walking the ten steps to the door knocks the wind out of your very bones and the breath becomes shallow, the heart getting softer. Going to bed almost feels like a death sentence, as there is no guarantee that you will awake the next day from this coma. Literally every ounce of energy has been spent from this shell and it almost seems as if the surrounding colors fade, to perhaps lend some of their precious energy to this dragging corpse.

Today, was an amazing day.

— Another sleep-deprived excerpt from my journal. Mm.. yeah…. I don’t even know.

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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I’ll do it later

Remember those little instances in life where you try so hard to avoid spending energy/time on something that you put just as much energy/time into avoiding it? Like the project that’s due in a day; instead of buckling down and just getting the damn thing over with, you spend hours trying to concoct an elaborate scheme to give you one more day to finish the project. Not only is this mathematically unsound (one day of thinking = one extra day past deadline) but it adds a level of stress to your life that was unnecessary to begin with (if said plan fails, then what? etc…).

Stupid, right? And yet here we are, a world riddled with procrastinators (up to 20% of people in a study in America claimed to be chronic procrastinators) and last minute-miracle workers that toil nights away and stress through the day doing everything OTHER THAN the one thing we should be doing. There are a huge collection of studies done about this plague of procrastination, and they all conclude on different causes, blaming lack of self-confidence, perfectionism, impulsive behavior, lack of intrinsic motivation, . One study showed that people who did procrastinate, though, worked at a pace of up to 11 times faster than that of normal people when they actually sat down and got their shit together.

I can personally attest to this phenomenon: in college I would put projects that usually took half a semester to finish and crammed it all into two days of working off nothing but my own panic and large cups of black tea. I would wait to study for a final until the absolute last minute, and then sit down and read through the ENTIRE textbook within 18 straight hours, taking notes and creating outlines at the same time. Not only did I get the job done on both accounts, I got it done well, receiving high scores that should not be allowed to exist. Of course this caused me to go through a hilarious bout of sleep deprivation, which I might post about… later.

Now imagine that we procrastinators worked at that pace consistently. Think about it, 11 times more than average. We would get so much shit done in our lives. But no, the drive to do things doesn’t kick in until we absolutely have to, or we run out of things to do on our to-do list (apparently a lot of procrastinators have meticulous to-do lists…)

At least we know how to have fun, right?

Um, no. We even procrastinate having fun. Really now? Really? It’s like people in Colorado who have never gone skiing in their lives (that is one thing I have never procrastinated in.. oh wait. I still haven’t bought a 4-pass. >.<) or never take advantage of our awesome mountains for summer hiking. So now not only can we not get our jobs done in a timely manner, but we even put off our vacations? What sort of twisted world is this?

Notice I write about this topic because I procrastinated writing a post for almost a week. I actually like writing. What does this say about the status of my grad school and job applications? =.=

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Songbirds

Looking through my journal I find an entry dated back in  April at 4 in the morning. Apparently I had been procrastinating all night and just recently started working on what was due that day. Behold, a glimpse into the madness that is my mind:

 

One of the most frightening sounds ever carried through the air is the chirp chirp chirping of birds in the morning. That early morning bugle, the war cry of the sky, as menacing fluffs of blue, brown and yellow fill the world with their malicious intent to call upon the morning. The curtains are still drawn and light is still hours away, and yet as if possessed by some unholy demon these colorful minions begin their dawn assault all at once on some psychic cue. Fear shudders through my strained caffeinated heart as I realize that these hell-spawn are drawing out master Helios, bringing my deadline that much closer to fruition. All night, like many nights before, I dawdled through the ticking hours with hardly any notice and skipped along the internet highway, so now like some blaring prison watchtower the birds slam the reality in my face: that I have yet again wasted another potential night of sleep. Cruel, cruel fiends. My task incomplete, my cup empty of tea, and the slow painful truth sinking in with every high pitched tweet. Game well played, my nemeses, game well played.

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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