The stench of failure filled her nostrils and she threw the saucepan into the sink, its still-steaming gelatinous contents slopping out and spattering the stainless steel. It had been six weeks and Fiona was no closer to finding the solution than she had been at the start of all this. For years she had pondered the concept of finding a natural way to battle procrastination, an affliction she especially suffered from. After years of feeling like she had put life on hold Fiona had had enough. She would find a way to kick her nasty habit and science would be her answer. It had all seemed so simple then but over the weeks the complexity of finding a ‘cure’ had grown exponentially. As had her frustrations. Her last attempt, a combination of ginger root and Peruvian purple potatoes boiled to a slimy gel, had produced the same result as her last 23 tries- a mess.
“If chocolate can counteract the body’s reaction to fear, then there has to be a similar substance out there for procrastination,” Fiona said to herself for probably the fiftieth time. Leaving the mess in the kitchen, Fiona went into the living room and booted up her laptop. “Back to the drawing board,” she said as she began yet another search for medicinal, homeopathic, nutritional or ancient ideas for curing procrastination. She read into the wee hours of the night before finally falling asleep curled up on the couch, her face lit by an obscure forum conversation referencing the benefits of something called bartlenut.
“Fiona. Fiona wake up. Fiona!”
Fiona started awake and looked around in a moment of confusion before her sleep-blurred eyes focused on her friend Tara leaning over her. “What, What’s going on,” she managed to say before slumping back on the couch, a sizable crick in her neck causing her to wince as she did.
Tara folder her arms in obvious annoyance. “You were supposed to pick me up this morning to go see that movie we were talking about. What the heck happened here last night?” Tara said as she looked at the upside down laptop on the floor and the disaster in the kitchen Fiona hadn’t bothered to clean up the previous night.
“Oh, I was eh… I was working on that project I was telling you about. Sorry Tara, we can still make the matinee, just give me 10 minutes and I’ll get dressed and we’ll go,” Fiona jumped up off the couch and ran to her bedroom to throw on some fresh clothes and brush her teeth.
On the way to the theater, Fiona absently rubbed her neck, still quite stiff thanks to her night spent on the couch, and considered where she might find bartlenut locally.
“You’re doing it again,” Tara said matter-of-factly.
“What?” Fiona looked over to Tara in the passenger seat and wondered what she was referring to.
“You’re thinking about that damned science experiment. You’re thinking about your crazy cure for procrastination, aren’t you?” Tara took Fiona’s silence as confirmation and continued. “I’ve been giving this a lot of thought, since you started on the obsession and can I give you my perspective?”
Fiona wasn’t sure what Tara could possibly have to say on the subject but her curiosity was perked. “Sure, I’d love to hear it” she said before returning her attention to the road.
“So the whole point of your experiments has been to find a ‘cure’ for procrastination, right?” Fiona nodded and Tara continued, “Well, it seems to me that you’ve found it”.
Fiona almost swerved into a curb. “What?!? What do you mean, I’ve found it? I’m no closer to an answer now as I was two months ago!” she almost shouted in exacerbation.
“Hear me out before you drive us into a ditch, will ya?” Tara almost laughed at poor Fiona’s histrionic reaction. She always did love a bit of drama. “So you want to cure procrastination, so you’ve been slaving away at finding this ‘cure’. Since you’re started on your ‘search’ have you put it off, even once?”
Fiona thought for a second but she knew the answer, she had lived and breathed for this project since starting it. “I guess not,” she admitted.
“Right, so in this humble ‘lay person’s’ opinion, the cure to procrastination seems to be passion. Pure and simple,” Tara said, quite pleased with herself.
Fiona gave this some thought. Could it really be that simple, and that complicated? The next few minutes were heady with contemplation. Tara was just beginning to feel a bit nervous, perhaps she had hurt Fiona’s feelings with her bold statement, when Fiona cracked a wide smile said fancifully, “If only I could figure out a way to capsulate this ‘passion’ thing you speak of. Now that would be something!”
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: I broke one of my most sacred rules tonight. DON’T WATCH SCARY MOVIES WHEN YOU ARE HOME ALONE. After watching a show all about hauntings and things that live under beds, I was legitimately creeped out. To make matters worse, our wolfdog Zorro was holed up somewhere in the dark backyard and I needed to close the back door so the demon-zombie-alien that was lurking just beyond the porch light could not come in. So, armed only with a leash I launched into the darkness in search for Zorro. Several things all happened at once in that next moment- a distant scream from somewhere in the darkness, the wind kicked up and menacingly rustled the treetops and the lights flickered in my neighbor’s house for a split second. I freaked. Running back towards the house I screamed for Zorro to come and bolted inside. Thankfully he followed a few seconds later and I promptly dead-bolted the door. Heart hammering in my throat, I could barely swallow thanks to the choking effect of full-on the fear. Without thinking, I mechanically began to make hot chocolate. Two minutes later as I was sipping the velvety goodness from my bright red ‘Sam’ mug and I was revived. I learned later tonight that chocolate is a natural combatant of the chemicals our body releases when we sense fear and is one of the best ways to alleviate that sense of dread. I thought that was pretty neat, especially since I had just experienced it’s calming effects only minutes ago. Wonder what else chocolate cures?
Love & Squirrels.