The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Putting off creates missed opportunities

By Gary Collins/reporter

In my desk buried under a couple hundred used sheets of paper, I have a small copy of The Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

On page 584, 12 words down, I came across a word—procrastinate.

Procrastinate, by its definition, is to put off habitually doing something that needs to be done. I have a very bad habit of doing just that.

Procrastinating, putting off things that one needs or wants to do, can leave regrets.

I felt those regrets two times in the past five years.

The first was in December 2002 around Christmas in St. Louis. My father and I were driving through the streets when something came up about Bob, my great-grandfather. He was 90 years old, and I’d never seen him before.

I wanted to see him in person, but I let myself get talked out of it .

“ He’s grumpy, cranky and not very friendly,” my dad said.

I let it go. Oh well, maybe I will see him later, I thought.

I didn’t see him that day, and there wasn’t very much I could do about it. I moved on. Maybe I should have been more forceful, but I wasn’t, though I was still curious to know something about him. I wanted to know his life story.

He died in August 2005.

The second regret happened that same year. My grandmother finally went on-line, and she got an e-mail address. So for awhile, we sent e-mails back and forth.

One day I asked some questions about her maternal great-grandparents. She said that she couldn’t really tell me anything about them because she was too young when they died.

She suggested that I call or e-mail her sister, Miltonia, who is oldest of the five and might know something about them.

Well, I’m a chronic procrastinator, and again I pushed it aside.

I never got around to calling my great-aunt. I procrastinated.

I got too busy, I let work and school get in the way.

She died that April. I remember meeting her only once.

I missed another opportunity. I barely knew either of them. Although I didn’t feel a great loss, I regret not taking the time I should have to get to know my relatives.

But as was the case with my great-grandfather, he didn’t really take the time to get to know too many of his younger relatives either.

The lesson learned here is don’t put off things that need to be done. I kept procrastinating; in the end, I missed out.

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