The Price of Procrastination? Usually More
“You know the saying: he who doesn’t understand history is doomed to repeat it. And when it’s repeated, the stakes are doubled.”― Pittacus Lore, I Am Number Four
My mentor used to say, “How do you want the Universe to teach you?” My first response was, “The easiest way possible to learn the lesson.” He laughed and said, “Then why don’t you pay attention to the lessons when they first appear; you know they’ll only return.”
He then cautioned me that the Universe wants me to be mindful, learn vicariously if possible, and solve a problem when it’s little – not ‘get around tuit’ when it’s convenient, or the problem can’t be ignored any longer.
Eventually, I’ll Get Around Tuit
That made me think about all the times that there was a small problem that I ignored – the flickering overhead light at work or the notice that the toner ink was low, or seeing that my paper supply was on the last ream.
None of these problems prevented me from completing my tasks, at the time, so I ignored them and relegated them to the “to do” list. I then tackled what I perceived as the “big problems.”
Grey Hawk asked me one day if the problem started out as a trivial thing that I ignored or put on the to-do list. Unfortunately, his assumption was correct.
Several weeks before the problem was small and easily rectified. However, I had other pressing things to do, so I didn’t do anything about it. Avoiding the issue was simply procrastinating. I knew it needed attention; I chose not to deal with it then, though, and procrastination was going to cost me in that case.
Just What Time is Around Tuit?
My Dad used to carry a wooden circle in his pocket. It was his Around Tuit. Each night when he emptied his pockets, he’d see it and then ask himself if there was anything he should do that he might have forgotten, or avoided.
As a traveling salesman in the fifties and sixties, he didn’t have the luxury of voice to text memos, so he spent a lot of time in solitary quiet. If something came to him, he’d mentally add it to his list.
When he stopped for a sales call or food, he’d make a paper reminder, but he always said that seeing that round TUIT reinforced that there was probably something else he needed to do.
We’re fortunate today with all of our electronic reminders and to-dos and alerts. But there are things we take for granted and ignore.
How many of us with long-term recovery put meetings, helping a newcomer, or sponsor time into the I’ll get to it later, it’s no big deal, or I’ll get around to it columns?
Around Tuit in Long-term Recovery
In 30 years, I‘ve seen too many people relapse. I realize now that it’s often the little things that weren’t dealt with promptly that preceded their relapses.
Instead of getting around Tuit and dealing with their minor issues, they:
- Got easily irritated
- Started having negative feelings about a person or a situation
- Skipped meetings for a week or so
- Didn’t talk to anyone about their feelings and attitudes
- Forgot what their addiction was like
- Didn’t find gratitude for the blessings of recovery
Medallions and the Around Tuit Reinforce the Lessons
Like my Dad, I carry his Around Tuit, but I also carry my newest medallion in my purse. One keeps me focused on my everyday life, and the other keeps me mindful of my recovery and the lessons I’ve learned.
At some point during each day, I see both, and unlike my Dad, I can quickly remind myself on an electronic device. This way, I can deal with the pesky little problem before it becomes a significant problem, or I relapse.
Lessons will come; problems will crop up, we’ll not be paying attention when they are small, and yet, when we become mindful, we can take care of things promptly.
I’m glad I’ve got a choice today to listen to the quiet, gentler reminder and not have to have the Universe yelling at me for not paying attention earlier. And from a perhaps unlikely source,
“The simple act of paying attention can take you a long way.” ― Keanu Reeves
I’ll add to that; perhaps the simple act of paying attention will help you get and maintain your long-term recovery as well. Lesson learned.
Writing, and recovery heals the heart.
Don’t get around tuit – write that guest post today for From Addict 2 Advocate. Someone needs your words of wisdom that ‘recovery works.’