Freedom in the Delay

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Vancouver Seawall Winter 2019

Whenever anyone brings up the subject of procrastination, they invariably give a nod to Mark Twain who stated with his usual clarity and generous humour:

“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” …

Those poor frogs!

Procrastination is simply the action of delaying or postponing.

We know how not to procrastinate.  In fact, there are books written to help us through the trials and tribulations of avoidance.  I have read books on de-cluttering, time management, setting priorities – all are filled with marvelous vignettes and stories that give that exuberant promise that once I make a list, and dramatically cross off completed tasks, I will be liberated.

Living a productive life is a noble goal with great outcomes. Lists allow us to measure our performance, and perhaps stave off the dread of procrastination.

What if we looked at procrastination a different way?

What if we stopped the tasks, took a moment to simply be in the moment, and allow our mind to gather strength and resilience?  Perhaps what we consider urgent, may not be important. Perhaps a delay or postponement is the best course of action.

Maybe those frogs should be allowed freedom.

And with that thought, I invite you to share a walk along the Vancouver Seawall, just as the sun is setting.  Take a deep breath and leave your lists to another day.

 

Winter Sunset from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

41 thoughts on “Freedom in the Delay

  1. Dear Rebecca,
    thank you very much for giving us an idea of the skyline of Vancouver.
    We love your ideas about procrastination. If we look around it seems to us that a lot of trouble is produced by instant action without taking enough time to think it over.
    We send you lots of love ❤️❤️❤️ and hugs across the big waters, and, oh dear, there is a landmass between our places as well. But it feels near.
    All the best from the sunny coast of North Norfolk
    The Fab Four of Cley
    xxxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • I felt the Fab Four of Cley with me on my walk. Do you remember the time that we walked through the field of sunflowers in full colour on our visit to Cley? That memory is embedded in me and it is a place that I “go to” when I feel the need for reflection. As a society, we live in the time of instant which has created many long-term challenges. I am learning that we must be “outliers” and chose a different way so that we be more in tune with what is important, not urgent. We may be a separated by an ocean and landmass, but my dear friends, the Fab Four of Cley, are ever near. Sending hugs and love!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Post Scriptum:
    I just remember that the great German philosopher Immanuel Kant once wrote on the door of the place where he used to lecture:
    “Have to postpone lecture. Haven’t finished thinking yet”
    I love it!
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend
    Klausbernd 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you for your support and encouragement – and for joining me on the Vancouver Seawall! You may have noticed the crows – sunset is the time when they go home. I call it homecoming. Every night, between 3,000 – 6,000 crows return to their roost in a block-and-a-half area around Still Creek, Burnaby. They have been congregating in this place since the 1970’s. I have learned a great deal about crows by following their journey. They are a community that has loud conversations but, even after all the apparent squabbling, they always come together for the betterment of all. Many thanks for your visit and comments.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Such beautiful words of wisdom. I’m so guilty of beating myself up for putting things off. But every time I give myself permission to “slack off” the motivation returns. So funny how that happens. It’s good to have a balance of organization and rest.

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    • I love that word “balance” because it reminds me of all the fun I had as a child when I played on a seesaw. The idea of going up and down, trying for that perfect balance was always a challenge. By the way, you have a marvelous way of being in the moment – loved that ride through the Michigan winter on Instagram! Lists have been my constant companion since I was a child – they have been both friend and foe. A few years ago I found one of those lists that had “important” marked on several tasks. In retrospect, I found that the importance loses its power. So, I’m going back to the seesaw!!! Thank you for your comments – very much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I agree wholeheartedly, Cindy!! When I was researching the idea of procrastination, I came across an article that named famous procrastinators. So Cheers to Victor Hugo, Herman Melville, Saint Augustine, Frank Lloyd Wright. Leonardo da Vinci & Marcus Aurelius. We are in good company! Hugs!!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Beautiful video, Rebecca. Walking along the sea wall with you gave me time to think and relax.
    There are very few things that are so important or urgent that they can’t wait for a day or two. I have discovered, as I have worked through my father’s will/estate, that lawyers know this to be true and act accordingly. 🙂 The quote Klausbernd gave from Kant is wonderful.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I will thinking of you going through your father’s will/estate. Enjoy the process. It has been over eight years since my father passed and I’m still going through his photos. What a profound journey it has been for me. It is meeting my father again, seeing him as a young man in photos, the future in front of him – my parents wedding portrait with all the adventures yet to be – and the one of my father holding me as a baby. These were important moments captured via a camera’s lens. They meant something to my father; and in turn, they mean something to me. Our conversations via blogging have reminded me that our stories give breath to those who will follow us, just as my father’s memories sustain me on the path forward. I love the quote by Klausbernd – already on my computer screen!!! Hugs coming your way.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Yes, we are all important vehicles for our story. And there is no need to take our journey too quickly. On Instagram, #robineleyartist (Miss Marzipan’s brother) says that when he is painting he is only painting half the time. ‘The other half is spent observing, translating and mixing.’ He says ‘ People ask me how I paint, what they should really ask is how I think.’ Almost as good as Kant, don’t you think?

        Liked by 3 people

  5. Thank you for your insightful comments about procrastination. Instead of working on a program review report for work, I took a walk along the Vancouver Seawall with you and your other readers. No regrets here!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am delighted that you and I have connected. Thank you for joining me on the Vancouver Seawall and meeting up with my “crow” friends. Life is indeed serendipitous! I recently clicked on your “From the Crow’s Nests” link. I am looking forward to our ongoing dialogue in the area of poetry, literature, and experiential learning. Your post on “Remembering Etaples” was the first time I had every heard about ekphrastic poetry. I continue to learn, which is always, always an adventure. Your visit and comments were much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

      • As am I, Rebecca! I, too, noted the crows on the Vancouver Seawall walk. I look forward to our continuing dialog as well. I am in awe of how much I’m learning from the bloggers I read and how this has opened up new avenues of creativity I didn’t know I had.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Your “wordless Wednesday’s posts always provide a moment of reflection. You have the best neighbours and vibrant community. Your visits bring joy to my day.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I adore this post and the wonderful conversations with blogging friends that it inspired. I especially love the idea of setting all the frogs free. The concept of eating one’s frogs first thing each day has long been an established mechanism for getting things done. But how interesting and satisfying to turn and take a different path. Thank you for turning these norms on their heads – vive la procrastination!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I often wonder what Mark Twain would think if he knew that his words would become the mantra for productivity. I smile at the thought. He also said: “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.” I never read that quote in a productivity manual!! I once attended a weeklong seminar on the use of a daytimer, which was quite helpful. Priorities were to be listed in terms of “A” “B” “C”, with “C” being the least important. What I found was that I liked to complete the“C” column first. It was an epiphany. Thank you for joining the conversation – the frogs sent their best regards.

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  7. Freedom of the delay, nice handle for what describes our world of procrastination, thus a complicated and difficult, tho arguably of pro and con necessary ‘pare-chocs’. Held ever more so in these frightening and unsettling times. So here is my hot off the press, so to speak, inspired reflection by your Freedom of the delay and Twain’s frogs . But then again, how much can an aging child the likes me get to know…? Maybe the following will help;

    “ Procrastination ”
    – be of indulgent conspire –

    To have kept a view
    On held deferment,
    Tho shan’t be new
    Nor surely current,
    To omit the askew
    Of an adverse lent,
    Case tallyman’s hue
    Whose raison meant,
    Akins procrastinate
    Has need of aspire,
    To wilful fixed bate
    What certain aspire,
    Would have you believe
    Has indulgent conspire,
    Wants but turn your back
    To a world’s muck and mire,
    Where resolve failed diplomats,
    Toil procrastination to ne’er so expires!

    © Jean-Jacques Fournier

    ode to friend Rebecca
    whose subjects and writing
    will forever inspire…

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love your thoughts on procrastination. Like you, I want to be called an aging child, who is open to the breath of possibilities. In our haste to be productive, we have narrowed our scope of exploration. Our reward systems validate quantifiable results, – which is necessary – but there is a time to re-evaluate our definition of results. “What certain aspire, Would have you believe Has indulgent conspire.” I believe that creative effort and mindfulness allow us to identify the “results” that will give meaning to our lives. We do not have a standard benchmark to measure the process of thinking and allowing ideas to percolate, (which may, in turn, lead to generating new thought). There are times to “turn your back To a world’s muck and mire,”. In so doing, we open the doors, windows, floodgates to serendipitous outcomes. With warmest gratitude for your comments. Always a joy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I particularly appreciate your comment, “We do not have a standard benchmark to measure the process of thinking and allowing ideas to percolate, (which may, in turn, lead to generating new thought).” Higher education is all about measurable outcomes, which is appropriate for the sake of accountability, but at the same time, it does wear on one to be told that “understand” is not an appropriate verb for a learning outcome. I respond tongue-in-cheek that you can’t measure an epiphany, but I still believe in epiphanies of learning; I truly do.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Well said!!! I share your beliefs in epiphanies of learning. How dull life would be without them. You just reminded me of the quote from William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest : “Now I will believe that there are unicorns…” I love your tongue in cheek.

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  8. How interesting this journey’s reach, from procrastination to freedom of delay to epiphanies. in a way and in part, most educational, save you all kind of somewhat lost me at epiphany. But then again getting lost now and then, does offer time to procrastinate, divinely manifested or in my case humanly so, as inspired by the notable reflections of both, Rebecca, a.k.a. Clanmother, and Liz Gauffreau. Thank you ladies!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Ah yes, those endless lists!! You’re right, we do need to take lots of deep breaths and breaks from lists in order to have the right mindset to get back to the lists! 😀 I have a habit of writing lists, then just not seeing them, even when they’re right in front of me… I obviously like taking way too many breaks! 😉

    I love the photography Rebecca, kind of artistic those trees against the sky. There’s something about trees and silhouettes I really love, they work so well with photography. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your heartwarming comments. I have heard that many wonderful ideas come to us when we take breaks. So I’ll be joining you on taking way to many breaks. I agree – there is something about trees with bare branches against a blue sky. As Khalil Gibran said “Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.” And speaking of photography – I enjoy your photos of books that accompany your poetry. A marvelous duo – Books & Poetry,

      Liked by 2 people

      • I love the quote!! Yes, I love trees and sky too! Thank you for the compliment, I really enjoy photographing old books, they’re fascinating to see up close! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. This is great! I really needed a mental break from my to-do list today — thank you for providing it, along with some much-needed perspective.

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    • I am so glad you joined me on my mission to delay and find freedom by simply being in the present. We may be on opposite sides of the continent, but we are on the same path.

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  11. Lovely positive post! Vancouver is so pretty, it’s no wonder you live in awe of beauty.
    Well, the eating of the frogs is a bit gory, uuccchhhh, ribbit.
    Yeah let them live!

    Liked by 2 people

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