"I'm sorry, Myla, but your tumor is now the size of a grapefruit. My best recommendation is surgery."
These are words that you usually hear in movies but never really imagine could happen to you in real life.
But there I was, sitting in my doctor’s clinic, having to process these words and the fact that my twelve-year-old uterine tumor has grown over the years.
The tumor started out as a small fibroid and back in 2005, when I first found out about it, my doctor then told me that it could still be treated by some anti-hormonal pills that would shrink the fibroid. Now, after twelve years, that tiny fibroid has grown bigger — way too big for drugs to fix. It had to be surgically removed.
As embarrassing as it is to admit, yes, that’s over a decade of neglect.
But in all honesty, to be completely neglectful of my health was never my intention. What I would admit to knowingly doing was choosing to put my treatment off for a later time.
Twelve years ago, the cost of the pills that were prescribed to me was unbelievable. In addition to that, the treatment required frequent visits to my doctor for monitoring my progress. The financial challenges that my family was already going through at that time made it even more difficult for me to commit to the treatment.
SO I PROCRASTINATED.
I decided to postpone my treatment until my financial circumstances improved.
You must be wondering how I could have procrastinated on something like this. Well, back then, it didn’t look so serious. Even my doctor assured me that it wasn’t something I should be all worried about. So I thought waiting a few more weeks wouldn’t hurt.
There were other matters too that I decided were more deserving of my urgent attention and whatever limited funds we had such as my children’s needs, business expenses, and helping other family members whom I thought were in a more desperate situation than I was at the time. So I decided that my health could wait — and a few weeks wouldn’t make any difference.
Until those few weeks turned into months, and months turned into years.
Late last year, I underwent surgery to completely remove the tumor. There was no other option. The tumor had gotten so big and heavy and at the rate that it was growing, it could have been twice its size by now, had I waited yet another year. My experience taught me a valuable lesson:
You don’t win by procrastinating!
This is the harsh truth about procrastination and what it could lead to. What we often disregard or brush off as merely delaying or postponing until a much better time can lead to a much bigger problem in the end.
You may justify procrastinating on small tasks and, like some people I personally know, you might even believe that procrastinating makes you more efficient and productive because when pressed against a deadline that’s only a couple of days away, you somehow get this feeling of being in a more energized focused and in the zone.
Or you may also reason that you’re practicing self-compassion by refusing to be overwhelmed by the weight of the responsibility or the intricacy of the process.
I get it. I’ve also felt the same way at times.
Procrastination has a way of convincing you that something else is a much more sensible, more practical, more reasonable, or even more enjoyable alternative.
But behind procrastination is a flawed mindset, and unless the habit of procrastinating is nipped in the bud, this same flawed mindset will permeate and contaminate all aspects of your life.
If you continue to justify procrastinating over smaller tasks, before you realize what’s happening, you’ll also be justifying procrastinating over bigger responsibilities. The habit of procrastination is more detrimental than you think.
My hope is that my experience would help you realize the truth that we end up paying a much bigger price for constantly delaying and putting tasks off. Please don’t make the same mistake I did. Don’t wait until your procrastination costs you your own health, or your relationships, or your job.
Stop wasting precious time.
English actor, Christopher Parker once said,
“Procrastination is like a credit card: it’s a lot of fun until you get the bill.”
What are you guilty of procrastinating on in your life right now? What excuses have you been giving yourself for why you can’t get it done just yet?
Now I challenge you to focus on the reasons why you should take action and make it happen now.
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