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Barbara Walking in the Valley
A bi-weekly column, featuring one Christian's (a)musings on life's journey

by Barbara Dahlgren

Do It Now – You’ve Got to Be Kidding
Column for the weeks of April 1-15, 2008

Procrastination is the name of the game and I’m very good at it. I have a myriad of excuses for not doing what I know I need to do, and they have served me well. Some say excuses; some say lies. Tomato (toh-mah-toh) / tomato (t'may-toh); potato (poh-tah-toh) / potato (p'tay-toh) – the result is the same. Here is what I tell myself:

“I’ll wait until I’m in the mood.” Being “genderly” prone to mood swings, I use this for my advantage. Of course, I’m never really in the mood, so I rarely get things done.

“I’ll do it tomorrow.” Known as the “mañana syndrome,” I believe in never doing today what I can put off until tomorrow.

“I’ll do it tomorrow if….” Known as the “contingent mañana syndrome,” this allows me to put a stipulation on whether or not I actually will do it tomorrow. For example: “I’ll do it tomorrow if the sun is shining” or “I’ll do it tomorrow if it is raining” or “I’ll do it tomorrow if half my street has sunshine and the other half has rain.”

“I work better under pressure.” This really is a half truth. I will work under pressure, but I won’t work better under pressure.

“I don’t know where to begin.” I get overwhelmed if the project is big. This could lead to depression, so the easiest thing is not to start at all.

“It’s too hard.” Not being one who likes a challenge, I prefer to take the easy route, especially if I would have to get out of my comfort zone. When the going gets tough, I take a nap.

“It takes a special kind of knowledge and know-how that I don’t have.” Sure I could actually learn something new, but my motto is: I’m ignorant and proud of it.

“It’s too time-consuming.” My time is so valuable that I don’t want to waste it doing anything too profitable. It might keep me from the more important things like surfing the net, playing video games, or watching mindless TV.

“I might mess it up.” If I don’t succeed at this, everyone will consider me a failure. My logic is simple: How can I fail, if I never do anything?

“I need to have some fun.” A little escapism never hurt anyone. I deserve a break today. It will help me clear my head so I can start fresh.

“I need to relax.” I’m so tense! Perhaps I’ll read a little or listen to some music first. Then I’ll get started.

“I’m lazy.” I know this kind of negative self-talk is unhealthy, but there’s no arguing with the truth. Actually, I love being lazy. Some people get bored easily, but I never tire of doing nothing.

“A lion might kill me.” I rely on this excuse heavily because it’s biblical. Proverbs 22:13 (NLT) says the lazy person is full of excuses, saying, “If I go outside, I might meet a lion in the street and be killed!” Well, I know I’m lazy, so I’d better lay low.

Yes, yes, yes! I know the key to finishing something is getting started and I promise I will finish this article tomorrow – if I’m in the mood and there isn’t a lion in my half rainy/half sunshiny street. All this talk of work has made me tense and tired. Maybe I’ll watch a little TV or listen to some music before I take a nap.


Be sure to visit this page often to read the next edition of Walking in the Valley. You can write to the author at



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