Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dear Elaine

 Today in work a customer wanted me to put aside a dress for her, she asked me to hold it under the name of Elaine.  You instantly came into my mind. It dawned on me that I have not thought of or mentioned you in quite awhile, immediately a strong sense of guilt came over me.  I worried that you must assume you are forgotten, perhaps as if you were never here. With that in mind I decided to write you this letter in the hope that somehow you will hear my words and know that you are definately not forgotten!

  I often wonder how different things would have been if you had gotten to stay with us. What would you make of me? When Sharon and I were literally tearing each other's hair out would you have intervened? If so who's side would you have taken? I used to imagine that you and I would have had this unspoken bond, and that you'd have always stuck up for me anytime Shaz and I went to battle.  I never took into consideration the fact that Shaz and you would have had five years together by the time I came along. Therefore your loyalty was bound to lie with her. Perhaps I would have thought twice about going up against my two older sisters! I'm sure Sharon's body would have had alot less scratches on it if you were there to referee!

  How would Daddy Cooney have coped living in a house with four women?  Somehow I think he would have done just fine!  Dad has always doted on his lil ladies, and from what I've heard you had him wrapped around your little finger from day one! I'm told the admiration was more than mutual. Apparently you used to jump up in your cot the second you heard Dad come to your door in the morning. You also sat by the front door of our lil blue and white Nenagh house, anticipating his return from work in the evening.  I remember Mum telling me that she could barely get a look in-you were daddy's little sweetheart and that was that!! The fact that to this day he finds it difficult to speak about you is testimate to the impact you had on him.  Mum and Dad weren't even in their twenties when they lost you. I try to imagine what that must have been like for them, but it's too painful.  I think back to when I was nineteen and I know with full certainty that such an experience would have destroyed me.  However they had no choice but to be strong, Sharon still needed them, therefore falling apart was not an option.  It only dawned on me that it must have been just as hard for you.  It certainly wasn't your choice to leave such a loving set of parents and therefore your bravery astounds me just as much as theirs does.

  I wish I had gotten to meet you, but yet somehow I feel like I have.  Anytime something good happens in my life, I secretly believe you were behind it.  I see all the good that is in our brother Matthew and I have no question that you have something to do with it.  I hope wherever you are you are happy and that you look down on us-your crazy fellow Cooney's from time to time and have a little chuckle. The one thing I ask is that you never doubt your place in our family, you are my big big sister Elaine and nothing can take that away from us!

Yours Faithfully

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I'll Do It Later!!!!

   First of all let me start by stating that I am infact the world's laziest blogger!! Have been meaning to add to my last entry for weeks now, but somehow I kept putting it off-just like I do with most other things in life!! I should really get the words 'I'll do it later' tattooed on my body! With this in mind boys & girls today we are going to discuss procrastination and why it affects some people more than others!!  My dad will happily tell you that Fiona Cooney will find a way to be late for anything and everything.  He often reminds me of how anytime we were going somewhere he and the rest of the family would be left waiting in the car while I ran around the house like a mad woman screaming "I'm almost ready", only to emerge several minutes later with my shoes in hand, pants still unbuttoned etc. "Why do you always leave it to the last minute to get ready?" he would ask. 

  My habbit for puttings things off was not just limited to getting ready, I managed to delay many other aspects of my life as well.  None more so than when it came to anything academic.  Assignments that were meant to be done over the weekend were always left to late Sunday/crack of dawn Monday morning.   I even managed to put off studying for my final Secondary School exams until the morning I was due to sit them. I justified this behaviour by telling myself that I was better off waiting till the last minute-that way all the information would be fresh in my brain.  Needless to say my results exposed several flaws in this method of study!!! I have recently discovered that there is in fact a title for this type of behaviour: "Student Syndrome" refers to the phenomenon where a student will only begin to fully apply themselves to a task immediately before a deadline. If only I had known this information earlier-would certainly have given more weight to my arguments with the parentals. "Fiona why didn't you do your assignment earlier?"  "It's not my fault mum- I have Student Syndrome!"

    Student Syndrome aside I still have to wonder why I do this to myself??  Perhaps I subconsciously love the thrill of the last minute panic? Unlikely. I dread any feelings of anxiety or worry, so therefore it would make no sense for me to intentionally bring them on.  I remember Dr.Phill telling a woman with similar habits to my own that she was an attention seeker who got off on the thought of people waiting for her. I was disgusted with this diganoses- and felt that Dr Phill was making a personal attack on my character! However it did get me questioning my behaviour for at least a moment or two. But thankfully I can safely say the good doctor's diganoses does not ring true in my case.

  There was a brief period right after high school when I thought my urge to procrastinate was fading .  Before moving to Ireland I spent six months at Edith Cowan University (how I got into uni with results like mine is possibly the greatest miracle I've ever witnessed).  For the first time in years I was studying something I actually cared about.  Instead of putting off my assignments- I enjoyed spending time working on them, ensuring they were more than just a rushed last minute job. I even managed to do a little thing called 'research', something I had avoided for the majority of my previous academic life!! I began to console myself with the notion that I only put things off when I'm not passionate about them. However once the novelty of university life wore off, my desire to delay came crawling back. For three years I battled the voice inside my head that constantly told me to 'do it later', and somehow managed to achieve the qualifaction I needed.

  After several years of absence from the college scene, I decided to once again hit the books last year.  However it didn't take long for the dreaded Student Syndrome to rear its ugly head again. Years of an 'assignment free' existence had caused me to forget that I am infact the world's biggest procrastinator! Case in point this blog, which I am writting instead of an overdue assisgnment!!  Will I ever rid myself of the urge to procrastinate?? Probaly not, nor will I ever understand why I do it. But one thing I do know is that I will get there eventually, it just might take me a little longer than others! Better late than never I say!

Yours Faithfully