Procrastination may not be a virtue after all.

And the rains descended on the town. Photograph: Marilyn-Christine Abigt
And the rains descended on the town. Photograph: Marilyn-Christine Abigt

I CANNOT COUNT the times that I have said “I work better under pressure.” Recently, I learned that procrastination is linked to some kind of childhood trauma. A child develops the need for urgency because of the environment in which he/she was reared. Procrastination creates the same “under pressure” skills that were necessary in childhood to survive. By procrastinating, one will be able to perform at the same heighten state of urgency that was needed in childhood to survive; therefore, creating for the person a sense of feeling “normal.”

I purchased a used car about four weeks ago. Since it was a used car, I only received one set of keys. I kept putting off going to have a key made; however, this morning that delay has now caused me to write my first blog.

Deitra Pope
Deitra Pope

Imagine a nice, cool rainy morning. The kind of morning that one would want to just sit outside under the protection of a covered patio and drink a warm cup of coffee. Nice isn’t it? Well, that’s what I wanted to do this morning; however, my patio is not covered. No problem.

My parents live just down the road and their patio is covered. Plus, they are out of town and I need to go check on the house anyway. Problem solved. But hey, why not take my three dogs along? So, I loaded up my three dogs into my new car, start it, but then realize I forgot my devotional. So into park the car went, I jumped out, shut the door, ran inside the house, grabbed my devotional, get back to the car, and find that my littlest dog had stepped on the lock button and locked me out of the car.

Now, imagine this. My locked car is running, my cell phone is in the car, my three dogs are in the car, and I am now standing in the rain trying to get my dog to step on the button again to unlock the car door.

He did not understand my tactics. And I am pretty sure my neighbors think I am crazy.

Right about now is when the “I work better under pressure” state of urgency behavioral skills I developed in childhood kicked in. Yep, I got this. I go call the locksmith (don’t judge, he is on speed dial and knows me by name but that is a different blog altogether) It takes him about twenty minutes, usually, to get here, but he got here in sixteen minutes and forty-five seconds! Now, this is when the real fun starts. He is on one side of the car prying open the door just enough to push through this device so that he can roll down the window.

Smart, huh? Just wait. I am on the other side of the car trying to entertain the littlest dog and keep him away from the locksmith working so diligently to open my car. Suddenly, the window in front of me starts to roll down, so I urgently go to unlock the door, but then the window starts to roll back up and catches my hand. Now, I am stuck with my hand in the car window.

The locksmith cannot hear my pleas of help due to the barking of all three dogs (because of course they think he is breaking into mommy’s car and he must be killed) so he continues to think he is trying to roll down the window when in fact he is rolling it up with my hand getting more crushed by the second. Not to mention, it is still raining.

Finally, all comes to an end. The window rolls down, my hand is released, the door gets unlocked, the dogs jump out, the locksmith is running for his life and it starts to rain even harder.

Right then, in that moment, I realized that all of this happened because I procrastinated. I just started laughing. God teaches us something every day. Today, I learned that although I do work better under pressure, procrastination is not really a virtue I want to keep. Or maybe, I just needed to learn to laugh in the rain.

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