Thursday, June 4, 2009

50 - 427: Do you know what your Sin is?

In the movie Serenity, the Parliamentary Operative, a government assassin and a moral monster if ever there was one, asks this question of two people he is about to kill. The first victim, a research scientist whose overconfidence upset a weapons project, never answers, as it's rather difficult to formulate a coherent answer to any question when you're dying around a sword that's been thrust through your chest. The second victim, the rogue hero of the story, is still standing and still fighting.

The Operative answers for the first victim, "It's Pride." The second answers for himself, "Ah Hell, I'm a fan of all seven. But right now, I'd have to go with Wrath."

Like Malcolm Reynolds, I know what my Sin is. Unlike him, I won't claim to be a fan of any or all of the Deadly Sins. However, I must claim ownership of an aspect of Sloth. I'm a procrastinator.

After all, I've been thinking about this post for at least a month.

Procrastination...where did it enter my life? My parents do not suffer from this affliction. My brother doesn't. I'm not following any negative examples there.

On the other hand, I enjoy solitude and a different quality of the life of the mind than anyone else in my family. Call it introspection.

In my career as an IT professional, I have a different rhythm to my programming than my peers. I have always spent a great deal of time contemplating before I write any code, imagining the ways that what I'm about to set down won't work, and then figuring out how to get around it. I'd like to think that there's something rather Zen about this approach.

On the other hand, I also make myself prone to "analysis paralysis" by overthinking what should be simple and easy.

In my personal life, well, procrastination hasn't caused me much but difficulties and heartache. There have been too many instances where I didn't get the girl or the job because I waited too long, where an important decision was taken out of my hands and decided in favor of the other guy because I hesitated too long.

On the other hand, I've been learning how to wrestle this demon, and I can't regret the "not getting the girl" part, because I didn't wait, didn't hesitate when it came to Lisa, and I won the heart of the fair maid.

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