Tag Archives: life

A Shorter Tale of the Tape (Nonfiction Version?)

Here is another variation on how procrastination can be manifested. Remember yesterday when I wrote about a practical joke played at work to provide some levity to lighten up the air a bit? Now, let me turn that on its head and be absolutely serious.

In my idealistic, almost romantic version, I obviously left a lot of important details out. Is that another danger of procrastination? We write and purposely put off describing the difficult aspects? We do everything, elaborate ad nauseum, within the comfort zone, and stop right before we get to truth?

I don’t mean to say that what I described yesterday wasn’t truthful. It just wasn’t the whole story. To refresh our memories of what happened yesterday, a quick summary of my ‘easy’ story goes like this: Someone asked to borrow the tape; I told them to look it up in the computer and search the online catalogue; those who played along searched for a book I referenced, and found the tape I placed beside the book; I then asked a staff member to please put the roll of tape in the catalogue, so people can search for it directly. All who played along got some laughs out of this.

I guess, in yesterday’s more vivid and fuller description of the story, I may have gone overboard with the potential health benefits for all. I also conveniently left out parts of the story that involved those people who didn’t play along too kindly. What about them?

While most customers played along with polite amusement, there was one patron who just shook his head. There were others who, even though silent, I can read from their faces and body language these messages: “I just want the tape! How hard could that be?” And “Stop wasting my time.”  Actually, you can kind of tell as a patron approaches who is in a rush, who is in a mood to play, and who just wants no nonsense.

The games we play in the process of procrastination, even though the delay was intended to instill a sense of mystery and curiosity rather than always providing the same old same old dry answers right away, these games can pop someone’ blood vessels if used inappropriately.

The tape is over there, beside the photocopier.

-Pat

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Silence Does Not Mean Assumed ‘Procrastination’

I am sorry. Since starting this “Procrastination Post” blog, in its current form, this has been the longest lag in between writings. I guess with the up front, obvious title of the blog, it already contains a ready made excuse for the gaps. Maybe it sets up the dismal expectation to expect many intervals of stunted growth, regression, stops and starts, and in inordinate number of apologies.

Sorry, I am not going to apologize, and I cannot accept our ‘Procrastination’ title as a motive to provide a convenient reason and acceptance of failure that is inevitable. I cannot. It’s as if we purposely put this label in bold font right out front, carrying placards to set the bar real low in order to minimize the impact from the fall when we trip.

No. I must insist that it is to the contrary of all these assumptions. It is to show, explore, consider what value can come out of digging ourselves out of the hideous hole we started with. And that we refuse to accept our predicament and struggle even more desperately to fight and climb. And that we will write to reflect light on another side of our world underneath. Our label is not something to trip over, step on, nor to foreshadow a message of upcoming weakness and disappointment.

And if I am, in fact, simply incriminating myself in this latest post and providing more evidence to fuel previous assumptions, then at least we can still be the prosecutors of our own guilt.

Thanks for your patience over past couple of weeks, knowing that even while we are silent, we are still writing and digging even more profusely than what can be sighted here.

-pat

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Library Perks

While working at the library may not have the traditional big business perks of golf club memberships, concerts, sporting events, free dinners, stock options, it does have its intrinsically unique set of perks.

Some perks for library staff:

If you’re fortunate enough to be in close vicinity or have access to what materials are being processed, you are one of the first to know what new items on going to be on the shelves soon. And if you are in any department relating to ordering materials, then this is even one step more ahead in the assembly line, and you have knowledge months ahead of time what is coming.

What kind of shopper are you? Do you like to get in and out by finding your predetermined item directly and leaving as fast as you can, or do you like to browse around? If you are of the latter variety, then the library is probably a dream haven for you. If you have access to books that are being returned, right at your desk is a browsing session each time an item is being checked in. You can consider for each one, would you borrow that book? Would you read it? What might it be about? I never knew something could be written from that perspective? There has to be some kind of communion going on every time a title passes by. Is it knowledge you would like to acquire?

Another perk is being right at the front line on the information needs and knowledge cravings of the public. What books are being taken out and circulated? What books are repeatedly being used and in demand? Where is the pulse of the community at? Which authors have firm grasps of our collective imaginations? What does the public need to take in again and again? What are students studying? What possible dissertations are being considered at this moment? What is important in our lives!

Knowledge of what books patrons are interested in can make it easier for future communication and establishing relationships. It’s a convenient ice-breaker, and also a way to select who you want to start conversation with. And, if feeling extra ambitious, and if it fits your particular circumstances, you can even get a head start on match making. One can argue that meeting potential partners based on books may have more validity and a higher success rate than using those expensive dating agencies?

As you can notice, there are more perks in a library than can be used in one career, so consider twice next time you read the formal benefits package, contracts, because you probably will not see any of the perks written there. You just have to think what perks there could be…

-Patrick Law

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Telling Lies in the Hope that They’ll Soon Be True…

Lies. After hearing this word, or being a victim of them, or having them come out of your own mouth, how do you feel? What feelings are associated with not telling the exact truth? Chances are, just naturally, they tend to lean towards the negative end of the spectrum. Even without knowing the complete story, we usually do not take kindly to lies and have an unflattering impression of the person doing the lying. These reactions don’t allow us to consider potential underlying reasons that the person has for stretching the truth. This information could prove valuable to better understand the other person and may even be turned into positive use.

That’s why I found refreshing the Globe and Mail article that offered another perspective and interpretation on reasons why people may lie or exaggerate. I particularly found enlightening one suggestion about how “lies” could actually reflect what the person is trying to achieve, or a goal to be obtained.

The article helped remind me not to jump on somebody, and too quickly form a negative impression of someone, when they lie. It gave me insight on how lying can be seen as part of the process towards something and that we should think of ways on how it can motivate.

With this in mind, would you be willing to forgive and understand some of the lies and exaggerations I’ve provided on various sections of this blog? Heheheh…..

-Patrick Law

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Illusion of Flexibility?

The cat just doesn’t complain. She doesn’t look depressed. Year after year, the time spent by the humans in the home with the cat diminishes, yet you’ll never notice this slight if you ask the cat. As time increasingly becomes tight, and more and more things get put off, quality time with the cat seems to be always a top candidate for something that can be done tomorrow, or the next day, or the next next day, or whenever.

Litter not done nightly; her teeth not brushed daily; Felaxin not given frequently enough; brushing not regular; and research on the psychology of cats has not been consistent or up-to-date with the latest literature.

Yet, after all this, the cat has yet to ignore me, or conduct revenge, or dig her claws into my back and twist. Instead, she’s more enthusiastic and joyful around me than ever. Though I’ve reduced my physical contact time with her, I can hear her loud acrobatics in the basement while I’m working upstairs.

While I believe that my procrastination habits have led me to cut short cat time, the cat seems to have interpreted it differently, at least from what I could read from her behavior. It’s as if the cat thinks I’m purposely reducing our play time in order to benefit her. Instead of not spending enough time, she sees it as focusing our time together and making it more intense. Do you notice how cats think that every change around the home is made with them in mind? You move a location of a chair, and the cat will sit on it thinking that was your intention.

In my case, the cat thinks this time change means she has to put more value into the resulting minimal time that is chosen, and she shows this in her attitude, play, and purposeful strides.

It would be easy, a bit sappy, to just conclude with how I can learn so much from the cat and that I should be more like my cat. But, I can’t help but think, with my cat’s unequivocal forgiveness and flexibility, does this actually make me more complacent as I continue to lie in the tanning bed of procrastination procuring potential benefits?

At the other extreme, I could try making it all up to her, rather absurdly, by going jogging with the cat tomorrow morning.

-pat

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The ‘Sort of’ Method of Cooking (Cheating a little…)

Short on time? But still want to eat semi-healthy? Don’t want to eat out? Feels better to make an effort to cook and eat at home? But cannot do the full preparation?

Maybe there is a short cut for this in-between scenario. We don’t have time to prepare dishes from scratch, yet we don’t want to eat out, and we also don’t want to do take out. And what if guests are coming? Just doing a frozen dinner thing may not look too good. Is there any way to sort of half cheat?

Take a look at the picture below:

Cheating a little with my cooking!

Cheating a little with my cooking!

Guests are arriving any minute. My plain pasta needs to accelerate. Grab a Lean Cuisine frozen pasta dish, and just mix it in. Would they know? It’s sort of like cooking, isn’t it? It’s not eating out and it’s not take out. It saves the effort to prepare sauces and spices and, out of all the frozen varieties, is Lean Cuisine not one of the most healthy brands? Even if the frozen portion lacks authentic health, most of it is covered, blended, camouflaged with my original whole wheat (not enriched) brown pasta.

Is this similar to how some people add Campbell’s soup to their original soup stock to give it that little extra?

Maybe this in-between style can be called the ‘Sort Of’ method of cooking. A kind of intermediary step for people to take before graduating into full out food preparation. It’s sort of healthy, is it not?

-Patrick Law

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Dishwater Soup

We welcome back Sheri as she makes her 4th entry in her procrastination diaries. In this post, she talks about what gets left behind when other urgent matters pull us away from finishing even the simplest of tasks. Isn’t it interesting that the tasks we put off often tend to be hygiene related? Do you think procrastinators may have more issues with cleanliness than others? 

Despite this, especially after reading Sheri’s post below, sometimes it may be not so much procrastination but having priorities you need to take care of. And if you travel miles upon miles to get what you need done, then even dishwater soup can not put a damper on your accomplishments.

Enjoy Sheri’s writing below and read more of it at:
http://disorganizedorganizer.wordpress.com/

I think I’ll make a little dishwater soup.  Dishwater soup is the end result of way too much procrastination.  The recipe is simple.  Take a pan…oh, let’s say the slow cooker I made a roast in a few nights ago.  Add a dash of crazy life…how about a phone call and finding out that you get to make an impromptu 900 mile dash the next morning.  So this info causes a chain reaction which leads to dishwater soup.  Grab the pan.  Crud.  There’s crud on the bottom.  The kind of crud that kind of gets stuck to the bottom of the pan and needs to be scraped out.  Don’t have time now.  Employ secret ingredients…fill pan with water, add a squirt of dish soap and set the concoction in the sink.  

This is the tricky part.  Step away from the sink and allow soup to ferment.  This is accomplished by leaving the house early the next morning, driving 900 miles, a round trip with a few stops thrown in during an 18 hour span, and arriving home at 2:30 in morning.  Then, the creme de la creme…husband pops in at 6:30 to say, “Hey, can you take the pickup down to get that part put in?  You have work to do down there anyway, don’t you?”  Down there is 40 miles away.  He adds, “I told him we’d have the pickup down there by 8:00 and I can’t go.”  Down there is still 40 miles away.  

At this point, I pass by the dishwater soup with my eyes crusted shut as I walk toward the garage. My car is relieved when I get in the pickup…I think the poor thing’s engine is still warm.  By the time I arrive home twelve hours later the soup is done…it helps to add heat and it was 90 degrees by two this afternoon.  There it is…a masterpiece of dishwater soup bubbling in my sink.  It only took two days to create.  A distinctive aroma greets me at the door.  It smells.  It seems to have taken on a devilish tone…a bit of an arrogant attitude.  “Yeah, lady, go ahead, dump me…I’m slimy and you’re a wimp.”  Dishwater soup…procrastination at its finest.  A true example of what we can accomplish by putting a relatively simple task off for a couple of days. 

-Sheri

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