Thursday, July 1, 2010


Carpe Manana
The mechanic, a middle-aged man wearing clean but oil stained clothes, continued singing off key, accompanying the mariachi song on the radio as he sat, engrossed in fixing a little metal thingamajig - an indispensable car part. I finally caught his attention and explained my problem - a flat tire, which I had acquired in a supermarket parking lot. I was in a hurry, I was already late for my next appointment. After an infinite pause, he finally responded, "Well, Miss. I can have it for you tomorrow. Manana."

Yes, I live in New Mexico, officially the land of enchantment and unofficially the land of manana. The poor man could not understand my haste, though clearly I made him understand, 'cause he fixed it for me immediately.

I have since then gotten more used to some people's lay back attitude. I might even say, I've learned something from it. It is a welcome and sharp contrast to the constant rush I was used to in New York. Comparatively, here life happens in slow motion.


Yet, I can't help but wonder if this aspect of my environment suites me. It is oh so easy to slip from being lay back into condoning my long lasting and chronic ailment - procrastination.

Some, to assuage the guilt feelings of people like me, console us by saying that procrastination has its up side. They explain that it can be a nudge from your inner being, telling you that you really don't want to be doing what you have to do. (Duh!) For example, you may not be in the job that you really like and it's time for change. So, go ahead change your job. Be homeless and happy.
If things were that easy, maybe I should have listened to that inner voice when I was in college cramming for exams. "No, you're not happy here. That's why you put off studying. This is a message from Me, your intuition, telling you that it's time to switch schools, or maybe you don't need to go to school at all."
No, I don't think procrastination has too much wisdom to shed on our soul.


As I examine my malady, I come up with some theories as to the causes of procrastination, at least for me. I think its a crazy way of lying to myself and wasting time. I convince myself that whatever I must do is unpleasant, horrible, I must avoid it as long as possible. Meantime, whatever I chose to do loses its enjoyment because I'm ruminating about the dread of doing whatever - making that phone call, writing that email, shaping my mother's eyebrows (which I hate), cleaning the toilet, yuk. Meantime, I lose the precious present moment. I live in dread of the future.
"The greatest loss of time is delay and expectations, which depend upon the future. We let go the present, which we have in our power, and look forward to that which depends upon chance, and so relinquish a certainty for an uncertainty."

Other times, the cause is not that there's anything necessarily better to do, it's just inertia, better known as laziness.

Thus far, the causes give me little insight as to the cure, so I'll desist from the self analysis.

Mysterious Mind

There seems to be an inner force that combats procrastination silently, unconsciously and often (not always) wins out, surprising us with a sudden burst of energy or determination to take action.
Have you ever procrastinated on starting a diet, or exercising and then one day you just decide to do it, without engaging in any inner discussion? Or, like it happened to me, I toyed with the idea of starting a blog for about a year, then one day I came back from food shopping and ten minutes later I announced to my husband, "Guess what? I just started a blog!"
Hum, our subconscious mind has many mysteries, which for now I'll chose to describe as grace. Grace kicks our butts into action.
"You may delay, but time will not, and lost time is never found again."
Benjamin Franklin


I know though, that grace doesn't always just work subliminally. Sometimes we have to seek it out and speed it along. Here are some suggestions:
  • I know it's obvious, but I'm going to say it anyway. Do the undesirables first. The author M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Travelled) counseled us to "Don't eat the icing first." Our sense of freedom will be enhanced because our enjoyment of something will be free of worries. We won't be rerunning the "movie" of our unpleasant expectations in our minds and guilt about not doing what we're supposed to cannot haunt us.

  • Break down the parts of a task and focus on doing one at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed. In social work, we used to call this partializing.

  • As phsyics points out to us, "A body in motion tends to remain in motion. A body still tends to..." Need I say anything about the benefits of physical activity to motivate us? Let's start, even five minutes makes us feel better and stimulates our brains. Trust me.

  • Have to tackle a difficult, huge chore? Don't do it all at once. Challenge and time yourself. See how much you can do in 10 minutes, 20, an hour. You'll win each time.

  • Have you ever noticed that some people seem to do 48 hours of activities in 24 hours? Time is relative. Maybe energy is too. I know that the more you have to do, the more you do. Time seems to miraculously appear, and energy seems to grow. Planning your day helps here. Make appointments with difficult tasks, then cross them off your list. It feels great.

  • That being said, consider that balance is essential. Refrain from going overboard to the other extreme and becoming an action robot. Always take time out from doing and reflect on just being. You are after all a human...being.

Most Important!

I have a friend who is actually a great spiritual role model for me. Nothing is more important to her than her spiritual welfare. Her latest focus of awareness is how she uses her time. She pays little attention now to old time management techniques, or formal ways of discipline. What she relies on mostly is her conviction that even when we just intend to do something we exert energy. When we don't do what we intended, even if a minor thing, our energy is left there lingering with no fulfillment. I interpret this to mean that what may be most important is to be true to ourselves. When we commit to something, or if life commits us to something we must do, it is best for our mental, physical and spiritual well being to act now.

I've always loved the old Nike slogan - "JUST DO IT!"


  1. Thank you for the follow. You will enjoy yoga. Take the advice of your favorite quote " Just do it"

  2. ooooooh, Myrna-
    You caught me! I frequently have SUCH a hard time with this! Great suggestions!!
    I Have a "little" award/pat-on-the-back for you over at my site! Have an AWESOME 4th!

  3. My hubby sometimes calls himself "Inertia Boy" LOL Enjoyed this post.

    New follower, glad I found your blog.

    Michele Chastain

  4. nice interesting post