Saturday, October 8, 2011


Why is procrastination so tempting? I will have to elaborate my thesis on that later. For 4 months I knew about by upcoming trip to Nairobi; and I looked forward to the experience—a fully funded opportunity to travel and work in a different part of the world. So why did the thought of packing for the trip only dawn on me 36 hours before leaving. I bought my ticket several weeks in advance. I had also being preparing my mind for the trip in a variety of ways. But packing my bags, placing an ad to sublet my apartment, placing my phone and Netflix accounts on hold, filling my prescriptions for malaria prophylaxis, tidying up my clinic-related message box; the long to-do list goes on of things I attempted to squeeze into 12 hours prior to my departure.

There were sundry, not-surprising, consequences of my procrastination. I always marvel at my inability to ‘travel light.’ I clearly do not need 5 pairs of shoes or 3 pairs of jeans for a 6-week trip; but in the frantic multi-tasking craze of last-minute packing, such decision are only allowed fleeting microseconds of brain time. Hence, I end-up with 2 bags to check-in, a weighty carry-on, and a ‘personal item’. Other sequela: my Zip-car was 2.5 minutes late; I missed my 11:45am train and paid an additional 120% to reschedule the train; my point-and-shoot camera was unwittingly left on my side-table; I still had a list of over 10 people I felt I should have called/emailed; and I felt incredibly worn after getting only 2.5hrs of sleep the night before.

Everything ended up all right in the end. The Acela was on-time and efficient; the train to Jamaica Plains arrived less than 15 minutes after getting to Penn station; I successfully hobbled my luggage up and down escalators and squeezed out of the super crowded Air-train to JFK; and Turkish Airlines was Terminal 1. All together door-to-luggage check in under 2 hours and 45 minutes!

I probably should not wait for a catastrophic consequence before I rein in my procrastination tendencies.

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