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2014-11-19 / Loose Ends

Later is better

Susan Nienow

The compost is sitting in bags next to the driveway, the flower boxes on the deck are still full of dead and dying flowers, and the pansies are in their little four-packs parked in the shade waiting for me.

I have a real handle on procrastination. Every day since my other half and I got back from seeing the kids out West, I have checked the weather so I could say either, “Too cold, I’ll wait until tomorrow” or “It’ll be nice again tomorrow. I’ll wait until then.”

Now I am against the wall on the garden chores. If I don’t get some of my new plants in the ground, they will die. Their lives depend on me.

I also bought bulbs but it was too warm to put them in the ground before we left, and since we got back I have thought up 412 reasons to put off planting them. They, too, are dependent on me. Such pressure.

Gardening is not the only thing that lends itself to skillful procrastination. Mending is perfect. I can put the shorts that need a button and the tablecloth with a droopy hem in a pile knowing it is far more efficient to do the mending all at once rather than fixing a button here and hole in a pocket there.

Eventually things in the pile go from “waiting for the perfect time” to “living there.” Things that live in my house and don’t move are easily ignored.

Yesterday I made a dent in the mending pile and found a jean jacket that no longer fits waiting for a button. I always donate used clothing to worthy causes, so should I sew the button on for someone else when I didn’t sew the button on for myself for at least five years? I will – and I don’t know why I struggle with the question. It would be quicker to just sew it on.

I could spend half a day just moving things around the house. I leave things for later like the cushions for the chairs on the screened porch. They are in my office right in my line of sight, but they have been there so long I don’t see them anymore. They go upstairs in the front bedroom closet for the winter.

The umbrella for the table is still outside. The furniture on the deck goes on the screened porch. Every time I sit down at my desk I have to move the basket that has the beading supplies for a necklace I am going to make for my daughter. When I leave, I put it back so I won’t forget to do it. That has worked for the last three months.

This week I need to get a holiday gift mailed to a friend who lives overseas or pay for airmail. I send her a gift every year and am successful at procrastinating, getting to the post office before Nov. 15 about half the time.

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