Please excuse my mess. I am currently in the process of changing my website’s appearance and focus. Reopening soon!
How many ways can one procrastinate? I have a long way to go to reach the pinnacle of procrastination. When I wrote papers for my classes from grade school through graduate school, I was obsessed with having them ready to turn in before the due date. Once an assignment was given, I began working on it right away. Whether the assignment was due the following day, the next week or at the end of a semester, I felt pressured to have it ready on time. Now the pressures rarely have any of the dire outcomes I anticipated if I was late for anything, but often I create my own dire outcomes.
Procrastination may not have come easy, but is an art I am rapidly learning. Putting things off is one thing, yet stuff needs to be done so happily or grudgingly or at times obsessively, I still want to do things on time. If I don’t get to the airport well before the suggested 2 hour time frame I panic. I need to get to the theater at least a half hour before the show even if the seats are reserved. That gives me plenty of time to judge all those folks who are scrambling to find seating at the last moment, or even worse once the show has begun!
I am however becoming a master at doing lots of things in preparation for doing or starting a project and can spend an inordinate amount of time planning my planning. Getting any necessary supplies together adds to the slowness of my completing anything. Lists must be written, and I will even rewrite a list that has a grammatical error or is messy-like anyone at the grocery store would notice or give a shit that I misspelled cereal. Which I would never do!
All this preparatory writing is to set the stage for what I did today.* Going to the gym and the bank was done in a very timely fashion, but once home with plans in mind for what I wanted to do, the effort to follow through took multiple turns and as I write this I still haven’t done anything I’d planned. I am working towards my goals but have sat here at my desk shuffling through all the lists that clutter it and deciding what to throw away. Ultimately I don’t throw anything away and end up with neater piles of scraps of paper. I’ll do it tomorrow….
I do not need to write this and as I do I consider the fact that nobody needs to or will read it. Not only that but what I am putting off are things that I look forward to having time to do, like painting. And painting is a good excuse for putting off vacuuming. I used to be fanatical about having a house devoid of fur tumbleweeds, but now? Sitting on the porch doing nothing is a perfectly good alternative and gives me time to contemplate all the stuff I could be, or should be, doing. I get a goodly amount of mental exertion by running ideas in circles around my head. That is comparable to the circles I spin while standing in the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom or walking through the house. I need a spinometer. That is an idea that I can take hours pondering. Hmm?
*Today refers to June 4th, 2019. I am finally posting it on June 16th, same year at least! Today, I am finally getting around to start reformatting this website. I’ve been thinking about it, but….
I am writing a longer post about my newly acquired taste for procrastinating, but have set it aside until later. I have put off posting anything-not unusual-because I plan to change the look of my website, but that requires a lot of contemplation which is another term for an excuse for not getting around to it.
Attempting, again, to be more consistent about keeping up with this website, I update with a few miscellaneous items.
I begin anew with another writing project. My first foray into nonfiction struck suddenly. Sitting on my front porch a few months ago, I was compelled by some unknown force to run inside to grab paper and pencil, and my hand seemed of its own volition to write the beginnings of a story. I don’t know where it came from or where it will go, but I have switched from pencil to a fountain pen and am going along on the journey.
I continue to add more paintings to my Gallery of Weird Art and am often torn in deciding which craft to pursue. Damn! There are other things that demand my time, even things I enjoy: reading, petting the cats, walking the dog, driving fast, being with or talking with friends and family, eating, zoning out …. And, Damn! There are all those things that demand my time that are less enjoyable: cleaning, laundry, dishes, changing the litter box…Damn!
I think I’ll add some more things into the mix too, but those will emerge at random.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued an executive order to remove the Common Core from the state’s educational policy. Maybe he didn’t know that his predecessor, the reptilian Rick Scott had already done this by changing the name of the test to the FSA. The governor replicate wants the new test “streamlined” whatever that means in context of testing.
Call it Common Core, FCAT, or FSA, but the only name that fits is Stupid!
Once again my lack of attention to this website has caused me little pangs of guilt that have finally spurred me into action. It has been a year since the publication of my book Too High to Go to Woodstock: recollections on my life and times. My recollections of this year have been mostly positive and even upbeat, and one theme that has been a constant over this year is that of change. This time of the year brings many, especially media sources, the desire to reflect and recount the major stories and events of the past year. Enough! Rehashing the old stuff gets old. So no rehashing here. Well, just one: CUBS WIN, CUBS WIN! The World Series at last!
Another annoying aspect that comes with the end of a year is that of looking ahead. Looking forward to positive changes is a reasonable objective, but the outcomes do not necessarily follow the best laid plans. Most often any change I faced was tinged with fear or regret, usually accompanied by a stubborn refusal to accept the inevitable. Many of my old “recollections” were simple. NO! I want this moment, day, activity and/or feeling to last forever.
Yet, something has changed. There is an air of excitement about the possibility of doing things differently or of doing different things. I am eager to make changes, but when things don’t go fast enough or go the way I want them to, exasperation and frustration set in.
As I drifted off to sleep last night with my windows open, I heard an owl hoot, a very common sound near my house. I was reminded of the essay “Listening for Owls” by Scott Russell Sanders, and how my new attitude about change has been brought about because I am listening to my inner owl (okay-corny). It may be no coincidence that Sanders lives in Indiana, but my longing to return to the scene of so many of the so-called crimes described in my memoir, is kind of weird considering that most of my life was spent trying to get out, to run from that Midwestern state. That owl last night echoed my thoughts and the mantra that has run through my consciousness this past year: I want to go home! Whiney? Maybe, but as I stirred awake this morning, roused by the distant call of a rooster, my first thought (who knows why it popped into my head?) was of a little sing-song nursery rhyme/ditty I heard as a child and one that seems appropriate to the season:
Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat
Please put a penny in an old man’s hat;
If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do,
If you haven’t got a ha’penny, God bless you.
This doesn’t seem connected to anything else I’ve just written, and I’m not even sure who’s the “you” that God will bless. But…I actually do have a ha’penny, so do I still get a blessing or do I have to look for an old man with a hat?
So I guess I am looking ahead, expectantly, desiring the outcome I want but aware that expectations are not always met.