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October 2015

On Procrastination – part 1

Hi Society!

I’d like to share that I’m a huge procrastinator. When I was in school I would admire those who could keep up tidy notes and split their workload other the entire sessions. I sooo wasn’t that person. I was definitely the less-than-24-hours-before-a-deadline all-night puller type. I felt bad. To me, it seemed I couldn’t manage my time properly.

Turns out there was a lot of positive to learn from that season of life: I work well under tight deadlines, I can prioritize when I really have to, and, best of all, I can quickly produce something I’m proud of because of the quantity of time I spent avoiding the task. My subconscious was stewing over what to do or write from the beginning and at the last moment I’d simply make magic.

I try not to spend too much time analyzing my self-defined shortcomings. However, I recently started reading Wait: The Art and Science of Delay by Frank Partnoy and I’m deep into questioning and analyzing at the moment. I had that book for a while and never got to reading it. That’s right, I was procrastinating on reading a book about procrastination. Except I didn’t know it talked about procrastination.

I talked about my desire of slowing down the pace of my life in my previous post. My house and my mind are filled with a gazillion projects that I started in a slightly more distant past. Since realizing that I want to slow down, I’ve been trying not to start many more projects. This book about delays is extremely fitting. Thank you, Universe, for continuing to time everything I do and think perfectly. It makes me smile!

Anyways, back to the book and my projects. Partnoy wrote ”where there may be some small amount of work that we have to do right away such as get a small repair job done on our car […] we’re likely in many cases to procrastinate and in the end we are paying three or four times as much for a bigger repair job on the car”. We want to avoid unpleasant tasks at all cost. I’m super guilty of this! I’m facing my pile of projects and I understand how I made it hard on myself. But realizing that there’s a problem is the first step, right?

I now know some projects I’ve been meaning to finish are simply not going to get done because they don’t bring me joy. Reparing that beautiful 4 year-old gown I’ve never worn because the seamstress didn’t quite get my vision is not going to happen because thinking about or seeing it makes me sad. I’m donating it! That kitchen table that has been sitting in my basement for 2 years which I’ve been meaning to restore? Nope! In the end, the time I have to invest is not worth what I would bring me. I already have another table. I should just make peace with it and let it go. And the list goes on….

However, there are some tasks that I’ve been avoiding which actually need to get done like renewing my passport or writing and sending my wedding thank you cards. Procrastination occurs when we’re not working on something. It doesn’t mean we aren’t doing anything, just not what we should/could be working on.

I’m actually a productive procrastinator. Instead of printing and filling out my passport application, I clean the dishes, fold laundry, etc. Those tasks are less ”important”, therefore I choose to do them over more important ones. Partnoy writes about John Perry, philosophy professor known in the procrastination field, who suggests that when making to-do lists, we should start with a few important tasks, and then add some not as important tasks that still need to get done. It’s the most efficient procrastination! I love it 🙂

If you personally struggle with procrastination, like me, try to see the positive in it. Procrastination is not necessarily a bad thing. I’ll get back to this in a later post. But again, since I’m a procrastinator and because I’m working on not adding too much on my plate, let’s all have very low expectations about the when.

Have a fabulous weekend! Enjoy being a procrastinator at some point over the next few days.

Sharing My Fortune With You

Hi Society!

Here’s the message I got after reading my fortune cookie last week:

Do not rush through life,

pause and enjoy it.

I thought it was very appropriate as I’d been consciously slowing down in different aspects of my life. The most obvious sign is that I’ve literally slowed down my pace. I used to powerwalk everywhere, trying to squeeze a few minutes out of everything in my life. Looking back, I’m not really sure if that practice brought anything other than blisters and sweat. For the last several weeks, I’ve been leisurely walking to work while listening to podcasts, carefully embracing nature and my thoughts. It’s been refreshing and soothing. I think I might be adding only a handful of minutes to my regular walking commute and it really doesn’t matter to me. I prep for work mentally, while getting there. No need to spend extra time at work.

I think I can attribute my physical slowing down to my cerebral trigger: The Slow Home podcast. I just love these Australians! The interviews that take place on that podcast are intertwined with my journey in many ways. I usually find that talking helps me figure things out more easily and I find that with this podcast, I get the same liberating effect simply by listening to others’ journey. I highly recommand it.

To get back to my fortune, I no longer physically rush through life. I’m also actively working on removing the rest of the rush people usually add to their life. I try to steer clear from multitasking unless it couples a physical activity (walking, cleaning, eating breakfast) to a knowledge increasing activity (listening to a podcast or a periscope). If I’m waiting somewhere for something (a line at the grocery store), I just pause and enjoy that wait. I think of all the things I’m grateful for, what I no longer take for granted, I see what’s there to see.

I touched on simplifying life in another post of mine, and I’m still working on that. I’m known for saying yes to too many opportunities and I now have to revisit the ones I have (over)committed to and only keep the ones that matter to me now and likely still will in the future. It’s hard because I have the fear of disappointing others. I hate that feeling. But I have to remember that I have to live for ME. In 5 years from now, I doubt my current problems will still affect me. For example, I haven’t been blogging as much as in the beginning, a mere two months ago or so. I’m fairly confident it’s not going to upset too many people. We all have lives. I simply forget about bloggers from whom I don’t receive regular updates; I don’t (usually) miss them. Thank you for understanding 😉

On that note, it’s time for me to get back to reality: my house needs a bit of TLC before I slowly walk to work as I purposely set house chores aside this weekend to enjoy that life I’m writing about.

Have an enjoyable day!

Making Hand Pies

Hi Society!

Last week I mentioned briefly that I was making chicken pot pies using the vegetables from my garden. I said I was going to make them without shells or pans because it was going to save some green. Here’s a bit more about hand pies.

I feel a little silly because I actually didn’t know making pies without something to bake them in was a thing. The thought just never occurred to me. My mom always used aluminium pie shells. It’s only when I ran out of small shells and was preparing to make a huge amount of pies that I realized that maybe something could be done differently. Here’s the thing about freestyle hand pies: they’re awesome! You can make them the exact size you want, the shape you want, you don’t have to get pay for resources that you’ll need to store somewhere or trash, and the best of all: not as many dishes (that is, if you were going to reuse or recycle that shell or pan).

The keys to success are:

  • keep the dough thick enough so that your creation doesn’t fall apart;
  • seal your pie properly using a fork, liquid, etc.; and
  • bake at a lower temperature for longer.

I made my chicken pot pies in half-moon shape (calzone style) and it turned out really well. I’m looking forward to try this again soon with some peach pies, using my home-canned peach pie filling that looks so delicious in the basement!

Happy baking!

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