Thursday, January 9, 2014

Are you a procrastinator?

Are you a procrastinator?  This week has been very busy at the college because classes for the new semester begins on Saturday. As a result, my calendar has been filled to overflowing with students who have procrastinated and waited to schedule their classes. They arrive at my office somewhat stressed, and often leave disappointed because many of the classes they wanted have already filled. Some haven’t applied for their Financial Aid yet and are upset because they do not have the funds to pay their tuition and will need to wait until next semester to begin college. Most of this stress could have been alleviated by scheduling an appointment a few months ago when registration opened, but nonetheless, I do my best to help them, because like them, I too, sometimes “put things off.”

For the most part, I’m a responsible person, but there are many times when my procrastination has caused me undue anxiety. Like most procrastinators, I can come up with a number of excuses and rationalizations ranging from “I forgot” to “I’m just so busy” and everything in between. Nonetheless, there is always a consequence to procrastination.  Procrastination can result in a “late fee” if we fail to pay a bill on time. Sometimes it leads to unnecessary and very costly repair bills if we ignore a small problem that later grows into a bigger problem. Sometimes it can be physically dangerous if we ignore a warning sign or symptom in our bodies and fail to seek medical help.  It is especially devastating if we put off calling a friend, visiting an elderly relative, saying “I’m sorry” or “I love you”, and one day we discover that it is too late because the person has passed.  The “would have, could have, should have’s” in life often leave us sad and depressed.

In a recent interview, I was asked:  “So Theresa, if you could, what would you change about your journey?” My response was simple: I would have started it years ago. I wasted a lot of my life being trapped in that body, hiding behind the weight.  Most of the time I tend to “overthink” things, and this time it was no exception because after the interview I began to ponder my answer.  Certainly, I wish that I would have lost this weight in my younger years. Certainly, I wish I could go back and get a “do-over’ on those years of pain and compulsive eating. Certainly, I wish my 40’s would have been different, and yet, I wonder, “Isn’t this the way God wanted it?”  I don’t think God ever wants us to be unhappy, nor do I believe He wants us to be sick, sad, depressed, etc.., but I do believe that He has a plan for each of us and going through those 10 years of struggles has made me into the woman I am today and certainly helped prepare me for this incredible journey I am now on. There is no doubt that God was then…and is now…in control and is paving the way.  I am just grateful that I have been blessed with this new life, period, and I don’t have time to wonder if I could have, would have, should have started this long ago. Today is all we have; no point worrying about yesterday, or putting off until tomorrow. 

My mother always told me that “What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger” and “Struggles build character.” I wonder….would my life be the way it is today had I NOT endured those years of obesity, pain, struggles, unemployment? Would I be as patient and helpful to students had I not known what it was like to go back to school in my 40’s?   Would I be the compassionate, caring person I strive to be today had I not “walked that walk?”  Would I have these wonderful opportunities to help others and share my story?  Would I have even tried to lose weight in the first place had I not hit rock bottom, physically and emotionally?  I don’t know, but I certainly doubt it.  Like many of you, I tried to lose weight in the past but didn’t have much success and I didn’t stick with it long enough to reach my goal?  Why?  Why THIS time and not then, I wonder?

 My faith tells me that God makes all things beautiful in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11) and God is always on-time. Apparently, this was His time for me and I think it is His Time for YOU, too! Otherwise, why would you be reading this?  Why would you be seeking a change?  Why would you have found this group?  Hmmm…..  If you are ready for a change….don’t be a procrastinator, start today. Don’t put it off until tomorrow, because tomorrow may never come.  IF you are not ready, then stick around….share in our journey, tag along for the ride, and ask God to help get you ready; just don’t leave us or put it off.  Trust that your miracle will happen IN HIS TIME!

One last thought…If you are going to continue to be a procrastinator, in my opinion it is ok to do procrastinate on these things:  Put off speaking words in anger: count to 10, take a walk, get some air. Put off spreading gossip. Put off impulse shopping. Wait 15 minutes before making that snack or smoking that cigarette; chances are the urge will pass.  Put off pettiness, jealousy, bitterness.

Don’t put off loving….forgiving….caring….saying “Thank You”….apologizing….sharing……helping others……taking care of yourself…..and trying to be a better person. Do those things today, starting right….this….very….minute!

Make it a good day today my friends….and trust that God has a plan for you and He is always on time. Just don’t put off  doing your part if you feel that now is your time.  Life is too short to waste.