Is it procrastination or something else?

by Irwin Lengel

Ever ask yourself the question - Why am I putting off that which I say I want to do and probably can do but never really take the initiative to start? I do quite often.

One of the reasons I started blogging was because I felt I had things I needed to say and share with others in similar situations at this point in our lives. By situations I mean situations that we as retirees find ourselves in.

At this point in our lives I am making reference to the fact that – OK – now that I am retired and no longer have to get up and go to work five or six days a week, what is it I am supposed to be doing? By adding to this blog daily, weekly, or monthly (that too has yet to be decided), my objective was to share with others in similar positions that which I am doing in my twilight years. Things I do to keep my mind mentally challenged (writing and teaching). Types of exercise (in our case line dancing and walking) to keep my body physically challenged.

In return to these little snip-its about my life, I am hoping to receive, in the form of feedback, stories relating to what you, my fellow retirees are doing along these lines as well.

While I do not have a huge following at this point, I am happy to say that a few readers have contributed comments regarding my writing style. I in turn have returned the favor by reading and commenting on your contributions as well. To be quite frank here, I am very pleased with the responses I have received to date on my blogging.

One important thing I have learned throughout this process though is that if I spend a lot of time thinking about a specific project I would like to do (i.e., looking up facts and figures or reading about how others may have done it) I will never start anything of my own. Why, because the subject matter which I read leads me to believe that it is too daunting a project to even undertake or better yet, I am finding that the time spent reading what others are doing or not doing is and can be exhausting. Bottom line - I never find the time to actually begin a project.

What is the better plan? A better plan would be to sit down and prepare my own facts and figures. Decide what it is I would like to do, list the obstacles that may come up but also list solutions for coping with those obstacles. Unless the list of problems is so overwhelming that it is quite evident the goal of this project is unreachable, the next step would be to make it happen.

It is never too late to start something new, especially if it is something you have had the desire to do for a long time but for whatever reason, never allowed yourself the time to get past the thinking about it stage.

All one has to do is “Google” a combination of the word “achiever” with the words “advanced age” and you will see what people much older than we have accomplished by thinking positively about getting it done.

At 100, Grandma Moses was painting, at 84 Somerset Maugham wrote Points of View, at 82 Winston Churchill wrote A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, and at 80, one of my favorite comedians George Burns won an Academy Award for his performance in The Sunshine Boys.

We should not be looking at our age as a reason not to do something. To the contrary, we should be saying to ourselves:

I have to power to change my life no matter what age I am.

There are opportunities and possibilities all around us. All we need do is open our eyes and see them. Once we realize that we are the true masters of our own destiny, we just have to make the decision and do it. I intend to!

Allow me to end this posting by quoting yet another favorite comedian of mine, namely Larry the Cable Guy,

“Git R Done!”

Irwin Lengel

Comments for Is it procrastination or something else?

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Cardio exercise helps to achieve clearer thinking
by: Jack

I've been retired for quite a while and have found that cardio exercise (walking, jogging, biking or treadmill,for example), done in moderation, usually relaxes my mind and helps me sort through my thoughts and deal with stressful or otherwise pressing matters in a more logical and organized manner.

I have discovered that physical relaxation-attained from working out-helps me distance my mind from the "what do I do first?" conundrums and other mind challenging situations, and then approach these issues more calmly and with greater distance and objectivity.

Also,I have noticed that no matter how "down" I felt before the cardio exercise, I always feel more positive afterwards. Coincidentally,there is also a physical health benefit.

I would like to hear what other folks have to say about this...... JACK
(penpal_talk at

I haven't found a name for it either
by: Irwin Lengel

Dear Anonymous:

Irwin here:

Glad to see someone else has those types of days.

As I said in previous posts, lately, if I don't write it down, it doesn't get done. But, hey, as long as we are doing what we want and the items we aren't getting done are not major - must definitely do it type projects - what is the problem?

Fact of the matter is - we are enjoying our retirement years doing what makes us happy.

And if we are happy and on the right side of the sod, "hey, I am a happy camper!"

Thanks for sharing.

I haven't found the name for it either
by: Anonymous

I too went into to retirement shock, for just a second or two, when I realized I've got too much to accomplish during the rest of my life.

I had begun to collect those precious projects I'd planned to finish when I retired. Well, they are still sitting in their spot where they've always been and seems every day or so, I get the notion to get up and start that project, but I am so easily distracted from my projects as the flowers need weeding; my friends calling; I need to do the washing; or just sit down to drink that extra cup of coffee.

Well, tomorrow I'll begin that project and the several, several other projects I've got all lined out in my mind.

When I finally decide to start the project, I go to the stack it's in and then WHAM, I'm drawn to look at another project I've had stacked up and then another. By the time my mind goes back to the first project at hand, it's time to get back to the washing, ironing, cooking, cleaning.

Oops another project day shot out the window, but I can start it tomorrow........... I haven't figured out the appropriate terminology for this either: procrastination

I haven't completed failed at my projects as I found when my first grandchild was born a spiral bound journal that takes me through my life asking me personal questions about memories of my life and my family. It's a book about grandmother's memories.

Luckily, I've found two of them, which I am not sure are still printed, one for each grandchild, so Hooray for one accomplishment. I told you I'm not too far gone.

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