Brenda Ballantine, tired of dealing with her old sewing machine, bought a new one. Then she "spent hundreds of dollars for beautiful new material to make a king-sized quilt. ... I spent a lot of time and energy cutting up all the fabric, and I was ready to start. 'Oh, wait. Tomorrow I can start sewing; I need to do an errand first.' Days went by. Soon all the material was put out of the way. Spring came along, with work, school, and planting a garden." Then came a serious motorcycle accident and a long recovery time. And she forgot how she wanted to sew the pattern. Ever have one of those lives?
Ballantine, who has a degree in counseling psychology and who helps burn victims in the Redding area through the Fountain Gate Burn Foundation, found herself making notes on procrastination on "paper napkins, scratch papers, the back of an envelope--yet they all have to be gathered together and put into a format that everyone can enjoy."
This "procrastination quilt" is called "Pitfalls From Put-Offs: Memoirs Of A Procrastinator" ($10.99 in paperback from Xulon Press; also available in Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook e-book formats). An interview with Brenda Ballantine, conducted by Nancy Wiegman of Nancy's Bookshelf on KCHO (Northstate Public Radio, 91.7 FM), can be found at http://goo.gl/3I7GU.
The author's little book is really not about "how to stop procrastinating," but is more like "notes to myself" about the many pitfalls she's encountered over the years. She realizes more is at stake than simply completing a project. It's about embracing life in a way that's impossible if one is always waiting to begin. "I believe that God is the only one who never changes," she writes, "and that is the only security I can depend on. The future has ... many twists, turns, and turmoil." The key is learning how to "grow old with grace."
She focuses on what happens when we put off tending to our health, our diet ("does 'celebrate' eventually end up really being spelled 'cellulite'?"), our loved ones. She deals with the problem of self-deception ("I must stop sabotaging myself!") and how procrastination affects others ("I can pack in the morning!"). And she finished the book.