Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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03/06/2008: "A Word on Procrastination"

"If and When were planted,
and Nothing grew." -- Proverb

Starting with the back/rib injury in August, things started to pile up behind me at an increasingly alarming rate. An unpaid bill for 14 dollars that will go to collections if left unpaid, the painting I hadn't packaged or shipped 6 months after it sold, the car insurance policy on the verge of cancellation, the long-overdue appointment at the dentists, the unreturned library books, etc.

None of these things are difficult or time consuming on their own, and yet the cumulative result of so much neglect has become overwhelming.

Last week I decided that everyday for the next couple of weeks, I am going to tackle one thing on my list. Pay one bill, ship one painting, return the call of one neglected friend, etc. I have been doing this for 5 days now and I have accomplished a surprising amount.

My goal today was to make a follow-up appointment with the naturopath who is working on my food allergy problem. Monday I'm going to start a rather intense food elimination regime...I'm nervous but excited about feeling really healthy again. I have to give up wheat, dairy, corn, soy, strawberries, shellfish, alcohol, coffee, tea, sugar, (and a whole bunch more).

The only things I'll have a really hard time giving up are the wheat, dairy, and coffee.

I've decided that in addition to picking one item a day to accomplish from my "procrastination" list, I will also spend at least 20 minutes a day working on my show for July. 20 minutes doesn't seem like very much time, but I think a lot of times, just getting started is the hard part. If I really have no clue what to do, I can put in only 20 minutes but when things are going well, I can work a lot longer. Tonight I will spend my 20 mintues in PhotoShop, working on thumbnail sketches for a new painting.

Anyway, I just wanted to write about this because there is something really liberating about facing the things you've tried to ignore or forget but that won't go away. It doesn't take as much effort to get it done, as it does to put it off.

Replies: 4 Comments

on Friday, March 7th, Joan said

Congratulations on your renewed effort. I think your last senctence may be great for you mission statement! Seems to encompass quite a bit. CONTINUE!

on Saturday, March 8th, Elise said

Good idea Joan. btw, will you be able to make it up here for the wedding?

on Sunday, March 9th, Phillip Tobias said

I'm so bad at procrastination. I always say "I'll do it tomorrow" which turns out to be a year. I don't think its my fault because as I get closer to being old(30) time seems to move faster, you know?

on Wednesday, March 12th, Joan said

Phillip Tobias, sush please, if 30 is old, I haven't been informed. I looking closely at 40 and don't feel a whole lot different than you (I assume). Time rushes by and stands still at the same time. My best advice is to choose your perspective wisely.

Elise, in regards to your wedding....I've checked flights and driving time/miles. I'll either have to sell a kidney or get an oil change on the way up and back. You are a long ways away, my friend! I'm not sending my best regards in my absence, but honestly, it doesn't look promising at this point. On the other hand, a quick trip sounds very attractive. I'll let you know more when I know more.