Captain’s Log – If it weren’t for the last minute

  • 2022-05-20, 05:00 AM (update 2022-05-23, 10:36 AM)
  • Rachel Dahl
Captain’s Log – If it weren’t for the last minute

Where did this idea ever come from and why can’t I shake it. My whole life is lived by this philosophy, and no matter what I do, here I am. I chalk it up to an 11th grade term paper.

Sammi and I of course did not do our homework in the weeks leading up to the final paper. You know all those steps Mrs. Arciniega taught us to make the process more manageable. Research, bibliography, rough draft. Nope, nothing. We must have been too busy reading trashy romance novels or something, but the night before our final term paper was due, we began our task.

We got ourselves all set up on the table, for some reason I remember this pool hall chandelier above us (maybe because I spent a lot of time that night lying on the floor in anguish looking up at it) and we went to work. Her mom got us pizza and there was homemade chocolate chip cookies and coke. Lots of Coca-Cola in those days.

Of course, we pulled it off. Not gracefully. I remember it was pretty much the worst thing I’ve ever written. But there were ten pages and all the requirements, and we got passing grades. That was some really bad adrenaline junky training, and man, it stuck.

Honestly, I’ve thought a lot about this character flaw, and been accused often of procrastinating. The real problem however is biting off more than I can chew. Being way too optimistic about what I think I can pull off and ending up living by triage. What needs to be done first to meet what impossible deadline.

And there definitely is a dopamine hit of some sort.

The solution of course is to learn to say “No.” A dear friend of mine used to stand in front of me, instructing, “Just say, ‘No. Not today. No thank you. That doesn’t really work for me. No.’ practice Rachel, you can learn to say No.” Like that was ever going to happen.

So here I am – the girls are proofing and we’re ready to print and they are wondering why there’s no Captain’s Log yet. Geez. The expectations. Why can’t they just be happy with all the stories we did get done.

While I sit pounding this out, term paper style, I’ll be right here for you…

…Keeping you Posted.


Rachel Dahl



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