One Writer's Life Lessons - The Scourge of Procrastination & Int'l Potluck BlogFest

Monday, August 11, 2014



Picture Source - Taking St0ck
I'm sure you've heard it said that you should 'never put off for tomorrow what you can do today'. My mother used this adage many times during my childhood. I haven't paid a whole lot of attention to those words, but was recently caught in a situation of my own making due to procrastination

I made some changes in my life in 2014 and among the things I decided to do was spend more time on writing and editing. I've been writing mainly non-fiction, but in that time I also did a refresher course in editing. Thing is, this course had a six-month completion deadline.

I did 13 lessons, 13 exams and 15 assignments. The final exam was the only thing left for me to complete at the end of June. For some reason I do not understand now, I didn't do the final exam after the 13th assignment and course test. I told myself that with a six-month window, I could come back and do the finals some time in July. Who knew six months would go by in a jiffy? Certainly not me.

Less than a week ago, I decided to sit down and do that final test. Took out my folder, went over all the course material and then opened up the website. What did I find? I missed the six-month window by a few days. End result? I had to shell out $US59.00 (in addition to what I paid to do the course) to cover the test and certificate. In Jamaican dollars, that's $6,550.00.

Being a cheapskate, I cut my losses and took the 'free' option, which is to accept a certificate with accreditation for Proofreading & Copy Editing based on the classes/tests I had already done, with a final grade of 92%.

Lesson learned? Do it today! 

Faced with the same situation, what would you do?

The experience shared today is part of One Writer's Life Lessons.








I signed up for the International Potluck Blogfest hosted by Lexa Cain, Beth Fred and  Medeia Sharif and since I won't be posting again until Wedneday, here goes. Participating is this Blogfest is simple:

~ Put the bloghop badge on your post.
~ Post the cover of a book you love (it can be your own) with a food and/or recipe from the book, or a food from the MC's region, or any food you just like!
~ Link back to Beth, Media, and Lexa.
~ A copy of Beth's Finding Hope, Medeia's Snip, Snip, Revenge, and Lexa's Soul Cutter, plus a $10 Amazon gift card will be given away via Rafflecopter!

I've used a copy of a book I own, The Real Taste of Jamaica by a renowned Jamiacan cook, Enid Donaldson. The book contains the recipe for the National Dish, Ackee & Saltfish, which is a favourite of mine. Ackee is a vegetable that grows on a tree and when cooked, it kinda looks like scrambled eggs. It's good with bacon, corned pork, ham, sausage. Some people even prepare it with flaked red herring.

1 lb saltfish (codfish)
2 dozen Ackee
1 onion
Diced cooking tomatoes
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 tbsp. Oil


1. Soak saltfish overnight or alternately, boil to get rid of the salt. Flake saltfish.
2.  Fry additional items you may use - bacon, corned pork, etc.
3. Clean ackee by removing seed and pink lining (which is poisonous).
4. Boil for 20 minutes (or less, depending on the ackee) in salt water and then drain.
5. Saute onion and tomatoes.
6. Add saltfish / bacon / corned pork.
7. Add black pepper and salt (if necessary).
8. Saute briefly to blend flavours.
9. Serve hot with Johnny cakes (fried dumplings) or boiled green bananas.
  
There you have it A Taste of Jamaica. 
Ackee & Saltfish
 

53 comments:

  1. Crap, I'm sorry Joy!
    I am a natural procrastinator. I've learned to just do it right away or I'll find myself missing the deadline.

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    1. Alex, I know you tend to get stuff done real quickly.
      I need to pay more attention to due dues way earlier than I do.

      Delete
  2. Oh my... that's A LOT of money! I would probably have done what you did. I procrastinate, but not quite like that. When it comes to deadlines being placed on me, particularly from the outside by someone or something else, I do great and get things done. But when it comes to putting a deadline on myself... well I let thing slide.

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    1. Hi, Bish,
      Somehow, when it's a personal deadline, it doesn't seem as urgent. I know I need to get out of that mindset though as it can put me in terrible trouble with other people.

      Delete
  3. Oh no! How terrible. I hate missing deadlines.

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    Replies
    1. I learned a big lesson from this one, Diane.

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  4. Ugh, that stinks. At least there was another option to choose. You rocked those tests! I noticed the older I get, the faster deadlines seem to approach.

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    1. Thanks, Elsie. Like you, I just do not know where the time goes.

      Delete
  5. I'm sorry that happened to you! I've always been a procrastinator, but without deadlines it makes it hard to get anything done at all. I think at least when I was in school I still got things done, just at the last minute.

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    Replies
    1. Sarah, as strange as this may sound, I believe that it's my job that has gotten me used to doing everything last minutes. Over the years, I've seeming adopted that approach. Things that depend on other people get done at their leisure. :(

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  6. It hurt to actually read how much that cost. Ouch. At least you got your certification. But still...

    I think a psychologist could write several books about why we procrastinate...

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    Replies
    1. So true, Jay. Sometimes, I know the deadlines are just ahead but get pressured to act at the 11th hour. Not good. Yeah, that's a lotta money I'm not prepared to spend right now.

      Delete
  7. Ouch. Yes, I learned a long time ago that procrastination never pays. I'm happy for you that you are happy with the outcome. But Joy, yikes, it could have been so much better.

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    1. Yes, Mike. This has been a really painful lesson for me. Not one I'll forget for a while.

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  8. Looks like a very tasty recipe. And your story is one that resonates with me. Sometimes, we just put things off, no realizing too late has come and gone. But I think you chose a pretty good compromise. I might have chosen the same thing.

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    1. Yup, love my ackee 7 days a week and twice on Sundays. :) Scheduling, I need to get on a proper one to keep myself on my toes.

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  9. I hate that when I miss a deadline and it costs me money! So sorry. However, you got a certificate and that's something to be proud of. As to the fish recipe, I'm on it. Sounds amazing.

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    1. Lee, the mistakes that cost money hurt plenty. I've learned my lesson.
      We export ackee to your part of the world in cans. Can't be good as right off the tree, but still ... :)

      Delete
  10. Oh that's sucky - and by a few day. I feel you heartbreak.

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    Replies
    1. Yup, but I have nobody to blame but myself. That mistake, I won't make again.

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  11. I don't really have a problem with procrastination, I have a problem with my memory. I'll agree to do something and two minutes later forget I've agreed to something and down the road someone will remind me I had something (like a blogpost) due and I forgot to do it. Which reminds me....

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    1. Clarissa, this is why I try to get stuff written down. If I don't do that, I forget stuff. I promised myself I was going to put my whiteboard in use, but haven't as yet. Speaking of which, I need to print a calendar from now until October because I've been signing up for things willy-nilly.

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  12. Hey Joy. Love the taste of Jamaica. Yum. I think I signed up for this but didn't think it was until October. Maybe I'm getting my 'fests mixed up like Clarissa!

    Now I would have gone with your option...but being more anal, I probably would have completed everything like the good girl I am...:)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Denise, it's easy to forget what's what if we don't have a system. :)

      I think it's the cheapskate in me that revolted at the thought of shelling out more money for something I'd paid for already.

      Delete
  13. I used to procrastinate a lot, but over the course of the past few years I've really tried to stay on top of things :)

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    Replies
    1. I'm trying not to ever get this far behind again.

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  14. Since we don't have ackee here, I don't think I'll ever make it. But I'd certainly eat it if I was in Jamaica!

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    Replies
    1. We export it, so it's in the U.S. in that form. If you ever visit, make sure to try it.

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  15. I forgot to mention, I have never had ackee. I had to look it up. It's a strange looking fruit on the inside.

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    Replies
    1. Holly, it tastes a lot better than it looks. :)

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  16. Crap! Don't you just hate it when that happens? It truly is a lesson learned. Sometimes I put things off for no darn good reason only to pay some type of silly penalty later. And why? Anyway, this is a good lesson to us all. And that Ackee & Saltfish recipe looks sooo good!

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    1. Quanie,

      I think the most painful lessons are the ones that naturally teach us the most.
      Ackee is always delish! :)

      Delete
  17. Congrats on the classes and the certificate! You're a real Editor now! The recipe sounds marvelous, and I love the term "Johnny cakes." Thanks for participating in the bloghop!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lexa. I've been at it a while, but want to branch our locally and here, a certificate means everything.

      Not even sure where that reference to Johnny cakes came from, but it has stuck with us.

      Delete
  18. Oh no Joy! That's a lot of money! Sorry about that...
    I'm usually 'on the ball' but noticed that I'm guilty of a bit of procrastination in recent weeks... *sighs*
    I love saltfish. Not familiar with ackee...
    (Anyway, back to my time-out...)

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    Replies
    1. Hi, MIchelle,
      I need a time out myself. Woke up way too early today and feel drained.
      Enjoy your time away.

      Delete
  19. Ooh, that's quite the frustrating tale about the missed deadline!!! I have missed important deadlines, too. That's why everything now goes on my Google calendar, which I check rather obsessively. I haven't tried much Jamaican food. Something I must sample!

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  20. I am not familiar with ackee and I never did acquire a taste for saltfish, though my sister loves it!

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  21. I haven't heard of this before, but it sounds very good, and very different!

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  22. I'm sorry you missed the deadline, but your certificate looks very nice! Congratulations on that!! And your final score is definitely something to be proud of.

    Your Ackee and Saltfish recipe sounds good! Thanks for sharing!!

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  23. A veggies that looks like scrambled eggs? That sounds weird. But the picture of the dish looks yummy.

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  24. I'm sorry this happened to you. I stick to my calendar and to-do list and try to do things sooner than later. I used to procrastinate and suffered doing last minute things.

    Thank you for participating and sharing a recipe.

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  25. Sorry about missing out. :(

    The fish looks great. Fish is always good.

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  26. Oh man! I always put things like that on the calendar and make specific goals throughout the the time frame. If not for my calendar, I'd be a mess.

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  27. Ouch. I know the feeling. I missed the deadline for taxes one year. But, never made that mistake again. Lesson well learned. Sorry, Joy.

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  28. Catherine, Google calender is a good idea. If you like spicy food, then you might like Jamaican fare.

    Hi, Bish, you'd love ackee, I think. Hard to describe what it tastes like since it doesn't really that much of a distinctive flavour. More tasty than plain callaloo for sure.

    Meradeth, yes, ackee is very different.

    Sorry I missed it to, Chrys. Now I need to go apply for a physical certificate. Hope I don't have to pay to get that too. :(

    Patricia, it may sound weird when you describe it, but it tastes good. :)

    Medeia, the stress of doing things last minute isn't nice so I can't figure out why I do it. Glad to be part of the blogfest.

    Thanks for dropping in, Kim.

    Cyrstal, since I use Google so much, I'm going to use Catherine's idea. I like paper much better for lists, but since I use Google all the time, it will work.

    Joylene, yes, that was a painful one. Like you, I hope never to make such a big mistake ever again.

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  29. Missing deadlines is hard, and so you went through that... Never tasted salted fish... looks good.

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    Replies
    1. Started with the Google calendar. Finally printed out a physical calendar as well. Saltfish is good to the taste, but can do bad things to your blood pressure.

      Delete
  30. If only there were more hours in the day ... to accomplish everything. :)

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    1. You can say that again, Margo. Thanks for signing up for the blogfest.

      Delete
  31. My mother used to say the same thing. Now we both procrastinate in our own ways. :-)

    She claims she'll add it to her to-do list and I keep intending to do plug away at my next short. After reading your post, I'm thinking I should get off my @$$ and do some work. :-)

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

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    Replies
    1. Hope you get some stuff done, Anna. Procrastination is the thief of time as we all know.

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