I’m writing tonight in an effort to avoid real work. I find that I enjoy the enterprise of writing late at night much more than I enjoy the discipline of accomplishing tasks which are required for my real job. That’s funny, I’m not sure many of my friends would call what I do a “real job”. I’ve found over the years that most people believe that I get to sit and play guitar all the day long. Would that this reflected reality! I’d be a much better guitarist than I believe myself to be (which is to say, I’m not a guitarist at all) and would probably be a much more relaxed and carefree person than I am. More impoverished certainly, but easier to get along with.
I can finally reveal to the world that I am a procrastinator. I intended to do this years ago, but I don’t like to rush into things. I really have been meaning to make this admission, but I was thinking that maybe if I didn’t, the condition would go away on its own and I wouldn’t have to be embarrassed like this. We always do that, you know. We assume that if we leave something for later, it won’t need to be done. Someone else will do it, the Rapture will happen and it won’t matter anyway, or maybe it’s all a dream and we’ll wake up to find it never needed to be done in the first place.
I’ve got a shop full of jobs that have been put off. Some of the jobs, I just detest doing, so they sit and languish. Others are jobs I started, only to find that they entailed a procedure I couldn’t handle. Rather than admit that, they still wait for me to learn that particular skill. Many of those “always-with-me” purchases I discussed before could be made usable with a few moments of diligence and some TLC, but that’s next week’s worry. The outside of our house needs repair, but it’s still pretty nice inside, so why worry about a little caulk anyway? I’ll get to that the next time I have a few free moments during a cool morning, when I’m not drinking coffee, or reading the newspaper, or playing with the dog.
I should probably tell you now; I’m not looking for any help in changing. Please don’t send me suggestions of self-help books, or instructions on how to write to-do lists. I find myself in the majority for a change and I mean to keep it that way. Thomas Jefferson was a fine man and I’m sure that he meant well with his maxim writing, but “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today” is not my idea of practical wisdom. I’ve been around the block a time or two. I realize that when I finish one job, there’s only another one to take its place. I think I like Mark Twain’s saying a little better, “Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow.” I can understand that and would write it on a poster, but I’m pretty sure I’d not have the time to put it up anyway.
The really positive thing about those of us who put things off is that we are usually great at socializing. We’ll drop any job we hate for a chance to visit with you. “Sure, that can wait, what’s up with you?” I just say this to make sure you know, you’re welcome at my place anytime. Just drop by and we’ll sit and talk. What’s that you say? No I don’t need to be doing anything else…nothing at all…
“If something’s hard to do, then it’s not worth doing.” ~ Homer Simpson