The Constipated Sloth: on the equal failings of procrastination and the busy life

Ladies, gentlemen and members in between, hello.

In my last instalment, I discussed the humble nature of the sloth upon taking a shit. Really this was a call to entertain the possible wisdom present in the aristocratic tendency to boast about how easy one has it. There is merit in not constantly talking about how busy one is, even though we are, or how stressed one feels, even though it may be true. This is simply because repetition of the same facts with no real desire to alter them tends to lead to boastful behaviour. Really, when it comes down to it, a casual “I’ve just been so busy lately”, is merely an implication of “Isn’t it cool how I barely have time to think, feel and gain reflection from life?”

The rush gained from… well, rushing is a temporary distraction throughout which one feels the creeping suspicion that something was missed. Of course, this is not to say all who are busy are secretly miserable; rather that such behaviour may be the starting point of a lengthy term of self-distraction from crucial areas of comfort, control and calm required in life. And I don’t mean a relaxing “switch your brain off” flick or lukewarm bubble bath in the evening.

Procrastination: Society learns a buzzy word and chews on it until the sugar has coated the social tongue and the original source been spat out. Simply put, Procrastination is a lack of prioritising that the brain subconsciously performs to put off the one thing you should be doing. This could be booking your first driving lesson, finalising your Master’s applications or…you know… whatever might be going on in your life, reader. Reversing priorities to tackle the comforting idea first is the essence of procrastination. Match this with the image of acting more aristocratic and you’re in for a dangerous mix…right?

Well, yes you are since that’s a recipe for a proud sloth who’s putting off taking a shit. It is dangerous (also yuck), but with the human mind, more negotiable on its impact. You see, my last post is actually tainted with the dull, purple stench of hypocrisy. I am forced to entertain bouts of panic whenever confronted with a very real possibility of my life becoming aimless, career becoming dead-end and happiness becoming negotiable at every turn. Much like many others in my generation, panic and woe do circle one another in my mind, taking turns to trigger self-doubt, anger and croissant dependence. The Constipated Sloth discussion is an encouragement not to take those flaws too seriously and to work with them. Because a reliance on what you were taught and how it should give you a job is what is truly dead end in the real world. Safety nets are psychological bubbles that should be popped to truly recognise both your potential and what you can offer the world. Don’t crave the student days where it all made sense. Ultimately, procrastination and busyness are disastrous recipes and overused buzzwords.

I’m all for nostalgia, but when the blankness of your days shifts the blame inwards, it’s helpful not to crave some past life – some prettily reformed hindsight concocted in the miserable present leaving you apprehensive towards the future. But rather, it is essential to lay your focus on a certain trust; the trust of your future self. Future you will get there and if not then they’ll end up somewhere good. Trust they will make the right choices and live in the present with contemplation, confidence and creativity, knowing that priorities constantly shift whether a product of procrastination or not. Learn to relax because being productive can look effortless.

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