Procrastination

“We must be diligent today. To wait until tomorrow is too late. Death comes unexpectedly. How can we bargain with it?” Buddha

And yet, I seem to be all too willing to procrastinate. It has been months since I’ve even looked at the memoir I’m meant to be writing. Sure, in that time, I’ve written a couple of short stories, blogged and entered a writing competition. I’ve read other peoples’ memoirs and books and articles on memoir writing. I’ve opened my memoir on my computer and read through it, again. But I haven’t managed to rewrite a single sentence.

How would I feel about that if tomorrow I found myself on my death bed?

“Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.” Pope Paul VI

But, I argue with myself, what if the things I want to do cost more money than I have? What if I want to travel, living in various countries for months on end, perhaps never returning home? How would I support myself? What if what I want to do is learn more? How would I pay the bills, eat or clothe myself while I am studying history, philosophy and literature? Or rather, what if they prevent me from earning money? What if I am never able to make a living by writing?

These questions pose another – if I am asking myself how I can possibly afford doing what I want, do I really want to do the things I say I want to do?

I guess I’m not an adventurer. I want to do more with my life than work from 9 to 5, five days a week, but I also want to feel financially secure. I want my cake and eat it too, as long as it’s gluten free, dairy free and fructose free. And by the way, these dietary restrictions mean my cake will cost a whole lot more!

So, where do I go from here?

Well, as soon as I post this blog I’m going to open my memoir and begin the rewrite. I have no more excuses. The house is clean, the laundry is washed, I have food in the fridge and it’s raining outside. Actually, I’m going to open it now. Before I post this blog.

“The most pernicious aspect of procrastination is that it can become a habit. We don’t just put off our lives today; we put them off till our deathbed. Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. This second we can turn the tables on Resistance. This second, we can sit down and do our work.” Steven Pressfield

Alex

Alex de Fircks is a writer of memoir and short fiction. She blogs about family, moments in time, memories and travel. Alex is passionate about history, genealogy and family stories.

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