Thursday, April 10, 2008

Wasting Time

I had a massive procrastination attack yesterday. It seems that I am physically incapable of being both organized and creative at the same time. When my brain is in the early stages of gestating a story, I can't seem to manage to do much of anything else, so I ended up pretty much frittering away the whole day and barely got done the things that absolutely had to be done (though I think some ideas for the new story were generated in the subconscious).

And then in the evening, I got a huge smack in the face. I turned on the TV early before the late news because there were all kinds of storm watches and warnings and I wanted to see what the situation was before I went to bed. You know, it's good to know if there's a tornado heading your way before you go to bed. And I caught the end of Prime Time (I think -- one of those news magazine programs). It was about that professor who is dying of cancer and whose "last lecture" became a huge Internet sensation, and now there's a book coming out, too. Before long, I was bawling, but it also made me think about the way I spend my time, thinking I have so much of it, but really, you never know because there are no guarantees. I look back at the way I spent yesterday, for instance, and though I did accomplish some things, most of the way I spent the day was utterly pointless. It didn't bring me much joy, it didn't help me achieve any of my goals. It was just something I did to put off doing something else.

Today, I looked up his actual lecture. Here it is. It's more than an hour long, and I've only watched part of it, but the lecture itself (at least up to about the halfway point) isn't really about dying. I suspect there will be some tearjerking stuff toward the end. But mostly it's about going after the things you want and then helping others get what they want in life and how that comes back to help you. It's all very cool and inspiring (and often funny), and this guy is so incredibly, delightfully geeky.

Now I think it would be interesting to write a character who knows he's dying and is okay with that but just wants to do something with the rest of his life.

The real question will be, will this keep me from wasting the day checking to see if someone has added a new post to a Television Without Pity forum? Or will I make the day count?

I think I will need to take a walk today, as apparently there were gusts of 92 mph winds overnight (according to the weather reporting station at the school two blocks from my house), and I've seen at least four city trucks loaded with tree branches go by. I'm curious about what level of damage there was. It does seem like they've fixed the traffic signals, which were blinking red all morning (that made for some entertainment). And, somehow, I slept through the whole storm.

Oh, and new episode of The Office tonight! Finally! Yay!

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