On Procrastination and Following Your Dreams

Here’s a quick video on YouTube to go along with this blog: https://youtu.be/ZpNDaLuvDco

I wrote some essays about my cancer experience……eight years ago. In a few days I’m going to start posting them to my blog. But first, I wanted to let you know why, eight years after treatment and in remission, I decided to finally share them.

I’ve actually shared some of them already in one way or another but let me give you some background first. Sometimes you have a creative project, you work on it, realize it’s not going anywhere and you’re okay to let it go. Other times you have a project that you’ve put on hold for any number of reasons (we’ve all got a million excuses as to why something isn’t getting done and I’m no exception). And even though you may have put this project off for months (or years, ahem) you think about it all of the time and you know you have to finally do it. Or you can live with regret, which will also haunt you, so why not just do the thing you’ve been putting off? We all know the cliches about regret and they’re true.

I want to inspire anyone who has been procrastinating about something that they’ve been wanting to do. It doesn’t have to be a major project, it can be anything, a class that you’ve been wanting to take, meeting a friend for dinner that you keep putting off because you “don’t have the time”, taking some much needed time for yourself, anything! There’s only one rule, as long as it’s not hurting anyone else, do the things you’ve been putting off!

Most people take baby steps. For me it was fetus steps, okay maybe even zygote steps. Regardless, my blog has gone through many transformations. First it started out as a journal about how I was feeling during cancer treatment. As time went on and I continued writing I thought maybe it could be a book. Maybe it was a play, a one woman show? At one point I was sending it to publishers and I have some very nice rejection letters in a folder somewhere. Then part of it did become a one-act play which I performed in a play festival in my hometown. And then, I let it sit as I thought about it day after day. About a year ago I was determined once again to turn it into a book and I was going to self-publish it. I even had my close, very patient friend Michele edit some chapters for me. After a few chapters were done, once again I put everything on hold as I went back and forth in my mind wondering if I was taking the right creative direction.

In one aspect, yes you should make sure that the work you put out is as polished as it can be. But in another aspect that can be the thing that holds you back, some sense of perfection (which doesn’t exist) or not good enough yet, etc. So while part of me still wants to wait, I know that I’ve waited long enough and it’s time to put my project out there.

I didn’t write this because I think I have all of the answers now, or any of the answers. I love to learn new things and read books on self-improvement. What I’ve learned is that the best teachers/leaders are those that share what they know and then leave it up to you to decide how to use that information or not use it in your life. They encourage you to question things. They’ll tell you that they don’t have all of the answers, because no one person does. The best teachers know that no one ever gets to a point where they can’t learn something from someone else. I wrote this because having a disease reminds you of all of the important things in life, the things that we take for granted (like our health) because we’re so caught up in the busyness of everyday life. I’m not saying that to give you a guilt trip, I think we’re all doing the best we can. But I think that those of us who have gone through any kind of trial are in a unique position to remind others of what we’ve been reminded of during the course of what we’ve been through.

All of the blogs are a sarcastic and hopeful look at what I went through, because humor is one of my coping mechanisms. I hope it helps anyone going through a tough time. I also hope it helps people who aren’t going through a tough time, to learn from my experiences and really make the most of your life.

– Jenn G.D.

 

 

Random Hair

(This is an excerpt from a book I’m writing called “Cancer, With a Twist”)

Random Hair. You ladies know what I’m talking about. You don’t have to admit that you get them, it will be our secret, but you know what I’m talking about. Men have them too, but for them it’s another hair they’re proud to have. For us ladies the random hair is slightly traumatic. You know the one, where you look in the mirror and the light hits it just right. It catches your eye and all of a sudden you see a hair that has to be at least half an inch long sticking out of your neck! (or pick another embarrassing point on your face that people can see). You do the double take in the mirror and as you look closer to inspect the offending hair your first thought is “Holy crap, where did that thing come from? It’s huge!” Then you think “Holy crap, how do these things grow so fast overnight?” and finally you think “Holy crap, who else saw it before I did???” Now here’s how I know that God (or whatever you believe in or don’t believe in for that matter) has a sense of humor. When I went through chemotherapy and my left eyebrow was half gone (or half there in keeping with the glass half full theory), my eyelashes were falling out and the hair on my head was jumping ship, that friggin random hair would still rear its ugly little head! No joke. I was like “really God, seriously???” All I have left to say is…I love my tweezers.

(Find me on Twitter @JennGDonohue)