I’ve been meaning to write this for ages. I have lots of excuses for why it hasn’t happened, but you don’t want to hear them. Heck, I don’t even want to say them. It embarrasses me to even think about how long I’ve been putting this off. My topic: Procrastination.

What has kept me from the goal? Oh, there are so many things there to tempt me away from what needs to be done. Procrastination is like Voldemort—that which should not be named. Giving name to it gives it power, and the point would be to break its ugly hold on me.

Yet I remain in its grip. After all, there are e-mails to read, bills to pay, meals to prepare and dishes to do. Beyond that there’s laundry to fold, the guilt-riddled gym to show up at, and the volunteer jobs I sometimes wonder why I volunteered for. Did I mention checking my e-mail?

A few years ago, I gave my husband, the Center of the Universe (COTU), the shirt seen in this picture. Okay, I’ll never get around to photographing it, so I’ll just describe it. It’s a sweatshirt that says the following:

“Top Ten Ways to Conquer Procrastination:

Yep, that’s it. Sure, it gets a laugh when he wears it to the hardware store, or to rake leaves, but let’s face it, it’s a small audience of tool freaks and squirrels. (And that’s just at the store—the yard fauna are a separate issue.) And it sums up my approach: I don’t have one. Neither does he.

A deadline is a great way to cure procrastination. Tell me you need it by today at 3:17, and by George, you will have it in plenty of time. Tell me you just need it, and I’ll be cleaning a bathroom and alphabetizing my spices before I conquer Volde… oops.

On the other hand, I’m a business-before-pleasure kind of person. I always had to do my homework before I could go out and play, watch tv, or get on the phone with a friend. That lesson was so drummed into me that I still make sure to do chores and tasks before I permit myself to indulge in my hobbies. That’s why the list of things that divert me from the plan only includes boring stuff that I don’t really want to do. You don’t see ‘going to the movies’, ‘playing my online Scrabble game’, or ‘writing the great American novel’ up in that paragraph, now, do you?

I berate myself with the need for focus and setting priorities. I can do that, but I waver, too. Frankly, I need a new list. This one is going to include a pitcher of margaritas.

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