Coming to the end of summer can be depressing, especially if you take stock of what you’ve accomplished during those anticipated summer months. For me, summer carries the hope of not only time for relaxation, but also doing things I enjoy like: 1. Planting flowers around the house – near the end of August and still not completed; 2. Writing more chapters of my memoir – a few more sentences, but little more; 3. Taking short day trips to places like the Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford – still hoping to do. So I admit, I procrastinated – big time!
But the word “procrastinate” is confusing. Usually words starting with “pro” have positive connotations – procreate, proactive, proclaim, prodigious. And the origin of “procrastinate,” according to Webster, is pro, or forward plus cras, or tomorrow – both positive words, but actually meaning, “to postpone or defer taking action.” Putting off or delaying an action or decision often happens when one is lazy or distracted or depressed.
Was I lazy? Well, I took over farm chores when my husband had knee surgery and finished a major grant writing project as well as taught a twelve-hour course on contemplative prayer. But was I distracted or depressed? These past months, I have become increasingly concerned about our State of the Union – signs that our democracy is under attack and our global leadership reputation is tarnished. I can’t put all the blame for my procrastination on our government. But in order to move pro-actively toward personal goals and civic responsibilities, I need to move forward in the direction of tomorrow, but do it today!