Actually, this has to do with high school, where I learned just what level of pressure I can handle, and why I like it.
In freshman year, I was in really basic classes. They weren't much of a challenge, and I started putting my work off till the last minute. Rather than fall behind, my grades jumped. It was stressful, but nothing I couldn't handle. I loved leaving a six week essay project till the last weekend. Cramming for tests was the only way I was able to get an A, because if I started studying too early, I lost interest and gave up. For me, the first year of high school was a breeze.
Then in my sophomore year, I signed up for a bunch of honors classes, thinking it would help me down the road. It was harder, I found, to wait till the last minute. I began developing studying habits--gasp!--and started my research projects long before they were due. I had to juggle assignments, and it started to wear on me.
For some reason, I didn't catch on that taking a bunch of challenging classes was probably not for me. Junior year I moved to my umteenth school, 1,200 miles away from all my friends. Either madness or homesickness (or both) pushed me to take too many AP classes, two of which were math, the bane of my high school experience.
Big mistake. In 11th grade, I broke.
I failed one of my math classes, barely skirted by in Physics, and by the end of the year, hated even my most beloved subjects, English and History. I also had to face a depressing summer break in summer school to make up those math credits I'd lost.
The next year, I pulled out of every one of the AP classes I'd signed up for. I prioritized, I figured out what was important to me. Getting decent grades ranked at the top. Not wanting to crawl under my bed and hide from the world was up there, too. So Senior year, I struck a balance. I figured out what could wait a little longer--what could be put off without sacrificing a grade--and what needed my attention right away. It's a lesson I'm grateful to have learned before I hit adulthood.
Flash forward a decade and I'm still making compromises. Writing is one of those things I enjoy. A challenge each day, to see if I can juggle my needs and wants. I want to lock myself in my bedroom and write for hours on end. I need to feed and dress my children. Some days I can handle both and retain my sanity. Some days I can't. This week, writing is out. Next week's not looking so hot, either. I think it's probably safe to say until this baby comes, the most typing I do each week will be contributed to this blog. And since it's 8 pm on the night my post is due, I'd say I'm still not totally cured of procrastination.
Okay, I tried, but I can't resist. Here's the video to Queen's Under Pressure. Keep up the hard work, Proser, and don't let the pressure get to you this week.