A Procrastinator

Remember Hurricane Sandy eight and half years ago? It happened at the end of October. As a typical procrastinator, I’m usually very busy in the last several days of the month. A lot of things were due and I was in half panic mode. Guess what, Sandy hit us hard and our electricity was knocked out for a week. And the night was so cold, but the heating cannot be activated since the monitor couldn’t be turned on. Wrapping under a blanket with my winter jacket on, my mind was not on the weather or my bodily temperature, but rather it’s on those unfinished things and all those missing deadlines.

You would think I’ve since learned my lesson and stay on top of everything, but no, I haven’t. I am still my old self. I just cannot be improved, I guess. I am just as much a sloth as I have always been. I have tried different ways to motivate myself, but the effect has not been satisfactory. Also I’ver always been unsatisfied with myself. Telling myself that I’m not satisfactory has no use to me. An old song repeating itself, the ears stop listening long ago.

Procrastination is quite a modern concept. Actually in many languages, (at least many Asian languages) there’s originally no word for procrastination. When the word was introduced, it was translated into something like “delay”, which cannot explain the word procrastination in all its meanings and implications. With the introduction of procrastination, the concept of time also changed–it becomes more important and somehow has to be managed.

It is said Leonardo da Vinci is a procrastinator. The problem is that he just cannot concentrate. He does one thing for a short while and then another. Being so easily distracted, it took him 16 years to finish Mona Lisa.

Another big procrastinator is Cao Xueqin, the author of “Dream Of The Red Chamber”. He’s obviously not very diligent or prompt with his writing. He only wrote one book and he only finished two thirds of it. Several different authors stepped in to finish the rest, but it is obvious that the first 80 chapters are completely different in style from the last 40 chapters. Come on. Just one book and you can’t finish?

I wish there’s a prescription drug that can cure procrastination. Once taken, no deadline will be missed and no unwillingness to finish things will ever appear.

14 thoughts on “A Procrastinator

  1. So, I have read a post of my friend on procrastination in which he was facing procrastination repeatedly.

    He visited nearby places and found a different perspective to write. He says if you want to fight procrastination you have to be a good procrastinator.

    The reality is that we are careless and lazy. We should have good and strong reasons to leave work incomplete. If you can’t end your story, you have to start it with the end.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Every time I try to read “Dream of the Red Chamber”, I always find myself distracted into doing other things to a point that I have read the first chapter more times than I can remember.

    I don’t feel so bad anymore now that I know Cao Xueqin had as much as hard time writing the novel as much as I reading it.

    I still love reading the first chapter, though.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I agree with you. The first chapter is not very interesting. It starts slowly and only gets better after chapter 5. Still if you love modern novels, you might not love this since it really doesn’t have a prominent central theme, but rather scattered details of everyday life.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks. I will keep that in mind. The one part of the first chapter I liked is about how the Daoist priest and Buddhist monk were gallivanting around Heaven and Earth. The part when Cao describes the genealogy of Lin Daiyu and Jia Baoyu has been hard for me to get through.

        Besides, I do plan do read all of China’s great novels. So far, I only finished 水浒传.

        Liked by 2 people

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