Procrastination – According to Wikipedia, Procrastination is is the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, and thus putting off impending tasks to a later time, sometimes to the “last minute” before a deadline. If you are going to ask me, I would prefer the first definition of Procrastination. It gives me a sense of justification why I procrastinate.
But, as all of us, I am also trying to kill it, stop it, do something about it (I might do it tomorrow, just kidding) As a normal human being, a woman of 26 years old, I am faced with a lot of to do list, not just for work but also for other areas of my life, like my health, my finances, lovelife. Well, most of us would like to be more productive right? So how can I write a chapter of a book, write atleast two blog posts, do my job (though I am working as a homebased accounts specialist), do my exercise, read a book, call up clients, talk to some men (I am searching you know), and take care of my personal needs? Here’s the three things I tell myself every time procrastination knocks on my door.
1. What is my purpose? I know this might sound corny or something but when you really ask yourself why you do things you do, you will get a clear reason to do it.
Yes, there are cases where I even justify my actions even though I know my purpose. Like, when I am supposed to write a chapter for my book, I would tell myself that I can do it some other time, besides my deadline is on November this year. I still have plenty of time. Just like my old excuse when I was in college. Though I would cram before the deadline and promise myself not to postpone my tasks, I still do it. I never thought that I would still have it now that I am already working.
See how powerful habits are. Now, I am creating a new habit in writing. Yes, I am still struggling to make it work but I am confident that as I continue to follow through it will be a lot easier.
2. Do it Now – With my type of work, I have plenty of time to use to whatever I wanted to do. I am working as a homebased accounts specialist for a company. I am working at the comfort of my home and I don’t need to go to the office. Imagine that freedom! I can just sleep, eat, watch TV anytime I want. I remember the first month that I began working homebased, I asked myself what should I do now? You see, before this job, I am a regular school teacher. I am accustomed to waking up around 5am, be in school before 7am, teach until 4pm and go home by 5pm. I had this routine, now that I can just use my time to anything I want! Wow, that’s freedom!
Though there are downside of it. Remember the habit thing I told you earlier? It eats me. But because I don’t teach on times, I am teaching before, I have to fill in that time with something. Can you guess what that something is? Well, I am bigger now than I am before, so you can tell what it is. My resolution to my problem? Write my To Do List. What’s interesting fact I learned about To Do List is this, you can still choose to ignore your To Do List. The list will not complain, though i finished some of them.
So now, what I am doing? I do the task NOW. If I remember I have to do something, I immediately write it down on my virtual sticky note. Because I am always working with my computer, this is very helpful to me. I would include my deadline on the note. And start doing it.
3. Rewards – I identify the rewards I will get once the task is done. Some of these rewards are: the sense of accomplishment every time I delete the task, the peace of mind I had every night knowing that I finished a lot of things that day, the free time to do other fun things like meeting up with friends, play badminton, jog and play some FB games. My rewards sometimes came from outside sources but I learned to give rewards to myself every time I do things now. This makes my day a lot more exciting, productive and fun.
Again, when I am tempted to procrastinate, your put the things I have to do now for later, I told myself these three things: What is my purpose of doing this task? Why would I do it? Do It Now because I don’t know what will happen later. I might have other important things I have to do later. And lastly, I asked myself, what will I get in doing this task. Sometimes, I have to trick myself with doing that. It might be weird but I have been doing it for the wrong reasons why should I not use it on my own advantage.
Now, I still delay things. But I delay gratification. I now look on the kind of future I want to have. A future that will not be possible if I don’t stop procrastination.
Lately, I learned the art of taking selfies. I guess this change on my perspective of taking my own picture changed after I took the trilogy signature leadership program given by OCCI few months ago. During my Leap journey, I am part of the Leap 61: Wholehearted, I learned the fact that I am physically beautiful. You might find this something funny and shallow but for a person who believes for the longest time that being physically beautiful is bad and unattractive this discovery is huge.
I found myself enjoying when I took pictures of some events in my life. Last December 15, 2014, I went to watch a movie with a friend. This is unplanned and this is the first time I watched a movie with Rona Bartolini. I met Rona during our Truly Rich Club events, as I am a staff and she is a volunteer. Somehow me and Rona clicked instantly. We would talk like some old friends and I enjoy her company.
We watched the movie “The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies”. We met at SM Megamall in the afternoon of Dec. 15, to get the book that I borrowed from her. While sitting I just shared with her that I like to watch a movie but I don’t want to do it if I’ll watch alone. To my delight, she said she also wanted to watch a movie. So we decided that I’ll wait for her at Starbucks as I do some work while she go to her meeting. By 4 in the afternoon we watched the movie at Edsa Shangrila Cinema 2.
This is my latest favorite. I took this selfie last November 30, 2014 at St. Paul University in Quezon City when I attended the Sayawit 2014, a celebration of song and dance prepared by the high school students from Manila, Quezon City, Rizal, Marikina and Laguna who are the members of the Salikana Bayan, a religious school organization headed by the religious congregation of the Alagad Ni Maria Seminary.
I can say that during this time, I feel depressed and weighed down by different concerns of life. But I guess looking at this picture, no one can say that I am experiencing such difficulties. I guess what i have in this photo is the genuine joy I have inside. Besides being with the SLK Family made my love tank full of love and acceptance.
I recently had a date and though the date ended well, my date asked me if we can have picture together. I politely refused. I saw the confusion on his face when I said it so I immediately explained to him. “Hey, don’t be hurt. I really don’t take pictures in a romantic date. I prefer to have the memories in my head than on a picture.” I guess, he understood because he smiled.
I guess, creating memories is still more important than capturing a moment in a photo. Yes, you will have a tangible evidence of the event but sometimes the beautiful things don’t need to be put in a frame. I learned this truth from the movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”.
Credit to the owner of the picture used in the beginning: http://folkfoto.co.uk/taiking-photos-22.jpg
December 12, 2014
For the past few days, I always find myself waking up around 4am. I don’t know why but it always happens. I remember some friends who were doing meditation (I am part of the WCCM here in the Philippines) that they would meditate during this hour. They said that there is something about this time. I told myself it might be the silence during this time of the day where most people in the city are still asleep. Some of them would look out from their windows and see the beautiful sky outside. On my case, I just don’t know why I would wake up during that time.
Last night I arrived home around 11;30 in the evening. I came from our office in Ortigas and I went straight to Benpres Building for the meditation session. I am blessed to be surrounded by people who just wanted to be silent and be connected to the source. The group is ecumenical so faith and religion is not an issue. Everyone respects everybody but come together to meditate. We are reminded by Argel (the leader of the group) to be faithful to the practice of meditation. We are encouraged to meditate in the morning and in the evening. Before leaving the group, I told myself I will try do it everyday.
And then opportunity came this morning. I woke up around 4am. I tried to go back to sleep because it is still early but I can’t. Then, I remember to meditate. I set my alarm for 20 mins. I will do the laying meditation (there’s a lot of way of doing meditation). As always, the first few minutes my mind is going wild with the things I have to do today. There even come to a point when I asked myself why the alarm is not ringing. I might set it wrongly. Then, I remember the reading we had last night from the teaching of John Main. When distractions came, just IGNORE them. That’s what I did, I ignore the distractions without punishing myself for having them. When I am distracted, all I have to do is to go back in saying the mantra. After 20 minutes, my senses are wide awake. I am energized. I am excited to start my day. This are fruits are some fruits of meditation but I don’t meditate to receive these kinds of rewards. I just want to spend some time connecting to God. Allowing Him to speak to me through the silence.
After meditating, I get my Bible and my Daily Bible Reading Book. I looked up for the Bible Readings for today. I am blessed by this line taken in the Gospel for today.
And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.”
I’ve been struggling for the past few weeks and recently I realized the reason why I am so depressed. I forgot to rejoice in God. I forgot to be grateful to all the blessings He unselfishly shower upon me. I forgot to have a grateful heart despite of what is happening in my life. I forgot to trust in Him. I am so blessed to have friends who reminded me of God’s love. Through them I know that whatever mistake I might have done, whatever bad decision I might have, He still loves me. Mother Mary is a true symbol of God’s faithful servant. In this regard, I always find consolation every time I pray the rosary because I know Mother Mary is with me, interceding for me.
Then, by five in the morning, I decided to jog at Marikina Sports Center. At first, I felt some resistance inside of me. There is a small voice telling me what’s the point of going out early just to jog. Good thing I didn’t listen to that voice, by 6 in morning I am jogging in the oval of Marikina Sports Center looking at the clear sky, breathing the cool wind. I even saw the sun rising this morning. What a gift.
By 7am, I arrived home. While waiting for the breakfast that my mom is preparing I watched my favorite Asean Novela Queen Seon Deok. The Tagalog Version of it is being shown in Channel 12 of Signal Cable. Though I was able to watched it before (like years ago) I still find myself interested in watching it. Aside from my fascination with Kings and Queens and how their dress are delicately made, I am learning a lot from this kind of show.
After eating breakfast, fried rice with daing and fried eggplant, I went home to have a refreshing shower. By 9am, I am ready to start doing my work. I am fortunate to have a job that doesn’t require me to go to the office. I can work at the comfort of my home.
I love having my freedom of time. I can do what I love to do while earning. Gifts are really everywhere, all I have to do is to look and receive them.
Disclaimer: This conversation is based on my reflections and on how God would talk to me. I don’t claim any supernatural occurrences throughout these exchange of dialogue.
I believe that God always tries to talk to us. He always wanted to tell us something, to reassure us, to remind us, to guide us. But because of the things we have to do everyday, we failed to listen to Him, we failed to recognize His voice. As I went back to meditation, I gave myself the gift of silence. And in those moments, I hear God’s voice clearly. Who can say that it is the truth. Who can say it is not just a product of my creative imagination. But these things doesn’t matter anymore. I am here to prove myself. I am not here to please anybody. I am not here to save the world. I am here to experience LIFE. The gift that God willingly and happily gave me. – Den, Nov. 06, 2014 6:03pm
November 06, 2014
God: Den, you are so busy again today.
God uses everything to slow her down. She went to different places to finish her requirements for her second job. If you think that God is upset with Den for being so busy today and ignoring Him, well, He is. You know God is all. All emotions came from him. No one can blame him for being upset, He misses her precious daughter.
Den: Lord, are you there? Can you hear the celebration outside?
She is now inside the St. Therese of the Child Jesus Adoration Chapel. After a tiring day, she decided to go there to find peace. She’s been busy for the past two days now and she needs more energy and enthusiasm to continue doing what she has to do.
God: Yes, I am here. I am always here. Yeah, I can hear the happy music inside the church. A couple just got married.
Den: Lord, may they have a great marriage. I know you created it to be a wonderful thing.
God: (smiled) Yes, they will have a wonderful marriage. I’m happy you started praying for other people again.
Den: (she had a teary eyes when a thought came to her)
God: Not again Den. (He just read her thoughts and his heart felt the pain she is feeling right now). Remember, I promised you that you’ll have a great relationship. Ofcourse you will have someone who will bring you in the altar.
Den: Lord, why can’t I have that kind of relationship? (still she’s doubting)
God: You are not listening again my child. (He embraced her)
Den: (now crying) Thank You Lord. Thank You for your unconditional love. (She looks at the host in front of her). Thank You. I know he will come. (Her heart now is full of hope)
God: There you go. You know I will always be here for you. I will not give you the man that you want but the man that you need.
Den: (remembers what she learned from the LEAP Program that she took) The man that I need not the man that I want. Hahaha Lord! You are really funny. (sighed) But thank You. I feel more at peace now.
God: I have an idea! Why not create a conversation with me. That way we can talk more often! (God is the master of excitement)
Den: (feel something inside of her heart) A blog post. Ah no, a category in my blog. Conversation with God. (but she remembers the book “Conversation with God”) No, I cannot do that.
God: Why not? Or if you want Conversation with Den. My conversation with you. How I tried every time to talk to you. I will show you how I did them. Please say yes to this idea. I longed to be with you. I wanted to talk to you always.
Den: (took a deep breath) Okay Lord, I will make that “Conversation with Den”. But Lord, it can be controversial or something, I might be judged.
God: (smiled) So what?
Den: (laugh to herself) What am I thinking? controversial? It will not be. (took a deep breath again) Okay Lord let’s do it! 🙂
God: That’s my child. Now, come on let’s pass those papers so we can start my conversation with you.
As a person who likes to rationalized and find logic in everything I do, being spontaneous is really challenging for me. I would battle with my mind if I’ll do certain things that I just thought of at that moment. My mind would ask me questions like “Why do you want to do it? It has no future benefit for you.” “That would be a waste of time. Focus on the things you have to accomplish today.” “That’s nonsense. Forget it.” I thanked God I was able to learn how to listen to my heart now. 🙂
Here are some activities I did last October 31, 2014. Remember that these activities are not planned but the joy and happiness I got is worth it. 🙂
1. Taking selfies while waiting. Before, I hate taking my pictures. It all came from my negative view of myself. I tend to tell others before that I am an ugly duckling. Though I love the drama inside of this story, the magnificent ending wherein the ugly duckling turned into a beautiful swan, I am stuck in being the ugly duckling. I never thought that I am capable of actually being the beautiful swan. I thanked God because of His persistence of telling me how beautiful I am, I finally embraced this truth and now, indeed I can say I am beautiful.
2. Take pictures of the things I love. If you will meet me last year and ask me to take a picture with a big masscot of the movie that I told you I love to watch, I will tell you with irritation in my voice “I don’t want to do it.” Why? because for me that would be humiliating! Who would like to take their picture beside a masscot of some movie? That would be insane! Well, that was me before. And now, I am proud to say, Yes I am crazy!!! I went crazy when I saw this big masscot of the hero in the movie Big Hero 6. After dragging my friend to take our pictures together some onlookers did the same thing! 🙂
3. Try new things once in a while. When my friend Joan and I were on our way out of SM Manila, I remember that I like to try the Korean Ice Cream that I’ve been dreaming of trying since I saw the store 3 weeks ago. I just blurted out to my friend that I like to try it, and she totally agree!!! After buying, we took our picture to remind us of what it tastes like to eat some foreign ice cream! I thanked God I am not confined with the things that I am familiar. And I love the thrill of discovering the unknown! 🙂
4. If you want to sing, just sing! I am amazed by the power of thought in this event. While I’m staying at Max’s eating my lunch and doing some work, the resto is playing some music. I just found myself singing along. Then, I thought I want to sing in a videoke. I’m not sure if my friend will agree with my idea, I dismissed it. After attending the Feast Manila, I shared to my friend how I found myself singing at Max’s earlier, and to my surprise she told me that she loves singing in a videoke. She even suggested this beautiful videoke place, Music 21 at Timog. We sing our heart out for 2 hours! Believe me, I enjoy it! Why? I haven’t sung holding the microphone that long in a videoke because most of the time my friends would always sing and I’m just singing along. This is a great advantage when you just go with a friend, with only the two of you laughing and screaming while singing! 🙂
5. Spending time with friends. I met my friend Joan 2 years ago as both of us serves at UP Campus Feast, UP Diliman Campus. We haven’t met for a couple of months this year when she graduated and started working. But the months of no communication didn’t matter because we just spend most of our time together sharing and updating each other on what happened to us since the last time we saw each other. Joan, is a loving and kind woman. I am grateful for the friendship I had with her. I know we will have more adventures together.
Creating moments means doing the things you always wanted to do but have a difficult time deciding when to do it. Remember that life is short so enjoy it! I remember what I learned from the audiobook I am listening to the other day, “When we die, we will leave this physical body that we have, the money we earn, the material things we accumulated, all that is left are the memories we created when we are still alive.” So, go on! create moments that you will treasure forever even after you die. 🙂
I consider my life an “Okay Life”. I have friends, I live with my family, I have my job. I thought I am okay.
As I realized how empty my life is, I decided I wanted to change.
After thinking about what I really wanted to be, an answer came. I took a trilogy program given by OCCI where I recognize the possibility of me, living my life 100%.
So I look back to where I started.
I went back to the hospital where I was born 26 years ago.
I met these hardworking, loving and passionate nurses of Sorsogon Provincial Hospital. Yes, they are not the same people who took care of my mom and I but they have the same love and passion as those nurses had before.
I also went back to the Mayon Elementary School in Mayon, Daraga Albay where I studied during my 2nd grade. Also, I went to Bogna Integrated School in Bonga Bacon Sorsogon where I studied during my 4th grade.
I met these wonderful people along my way. I saw my Grade 2 teacher again, which by the way, she still teaching Grade 2 in the same school where I studied before.
I learned new things, like taking selfie!!! 🙂
But ultimately, I met the most important person in the world. The person whom I took in every place I’ve been through. The person whom I longed to be with. The person whom I love to see the smiles that brightens my whole world.
Her name is Den. I am glad to meet her again…
They said that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder but to be surrounded with these lovely ladies I told myself I am indeed beautiful. Believing for the longest time that I am an ugly duckling made me forget that the ugly duckling turned into a beautiful swan later on. In my case, I am blessed to have people in my life right now (thanked God to my LEAP 61 Wholehearted Family especially my Champions of Light Council) that showered me with affirmation that I am indeed beautiful inside out.
Beauty is not just having a pure heart it is also manifested physically where the rest of the world will see that real beauty do exist especially to those who unashamedly accepted it.