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By Trish West

I am not the best when it comes to planning ahead, usually put things off until the last minute and deadlines are usually the motivation I need to reach my goals (like this article for example). Usually I am pleased with the results, happy knowing that I got it done in time. Then there are other moments where I question this last minute habit — wonder how much more I could have accomplished had I given myself more time. I question how different the end results might be if I had taken the time and enjoyed the opportunity instead of rushing to get it done.

Now I am perfectly fine leaving tasks like the laundry or dishes to the last minute… there are days we use forks with our cereal and jogging pants because I put both off for too long. We survive.

Sometimes, last minute planning doesn't always work — waiting for a nice day to visit the beach, only to run out of holidays before you make the trip. Leaving supper until the last minute only to realize everything’s frozen and you end up ordering pizza (my kids will argue this is actually a good thing).

Sometimes not planning ahead, putting things off to the last minute and realizing it's too late - is not as simple to a fix as jogging pants or pizza. Recently life has reminded me that putting off visits with friends, making time to connect is not always the best to leave until the last minute. I have a girlfriend recently diagnosed with cancer. Now prognosis is good, and full recover is expected…but we both marvel how many people now are taking the time to plan ahead and visit. Maybe they also realize that everything has a deadline and now is the time to take advantage before it's too late.

I always wondered about the deathbed scene in movies…where the priest is there to help the person find God before they pass… so they can ease into death knowing his love. Or there are those who have a close brush with death or sadly been given a 'deadline' counting down the months left to live. They seek the comfort of their love ones, do the things on their bucket list and some seek God out.

I wonder how those experiences change their lives and would have benefitted them if done sooner? What if they discovered earlier in life how much they loved scuba diving once crossing it off their bucket list? Disappointed you waited to reconnect with a good friend - squeezing as much time in as possible before your flight home. Discovered God and his love on our deathbed, finally seeing how He could have provided us with so much love and strength during those months leading up where we needed it most.

I can’t say I won't continue to leave some things until the last minute… failing to plan ahead. I probably will still find myself driving the kids to school and hitting the Tim Horton's to buy bagels for their lunch. Write articles when the deadline is looming and hope that the pressure sparks some creativity…(how am I doing so far?)

I can say I will be more aware about not leaving my relationships with my family, friends and God until the last minute. To take the time to savor the process that time allows us to really enjoy being together instead of just 'fitting time in to get it done'.

We might not always be pleased with the end results.