by Liz Flaherty
Sometimes when I sit down to write, it’s a lot like the kid at the dinner table who won’t eat his peas. “So sit there,” says one of his frustrated parents, “until you eat three spoonfuls. Then you can get up. You can watch TV, play video games. Whatever. Three spoonfuls. That’s all.”
Like the kid at the dinner table, I don’t seem to have it in me to eat that three spoonfuls. Or write three paragraphs. And you can’t make me. So there.
So I think it’s time for a list. I hope you join me by sharing your answers. Here are my Top Ten Favorite…things I can think of Right This Minute. (This means the answers may be different by tomorrow, but right now thinking of them is making me happy.)
- Movie: Green Book - Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali were so good they could break my heart and make it sing in the same scene.
- Musical: Mamma Mia – A local community group, Wabash Area Community Theater, presented it two weeks ago. It was the best production I’ve seen this side of Broadway.
- Apple: Honeycrisp.
- Beverage: Bigelow’s Pumpkin Spice Tea.
- Book series from when I was a kid: Trixie Belden
- Musical group from when I was a teenager: The Beatles, followed closely by too many others to name but featuring The Lovin’ Spoonful.
- Month: October, except for when it’s May.
- Subject in high school: English.
- Job other than writing: Postal worker.
- Holiday: Christmas
by Helen DePrima
For me, the line between reasonable delay and procrastination seems to shift like blown snow on a high desert two-lane – now you see it, now it’s gone. Okay, putting off some chores is understandable, like mucking out the fridge or balancing the checkbook, work postponed for another day, but that’s not real procrastination.
The key word this time of year is hurry. Some activities take a back seat to the pressure of fall work: bringing in the last tomatoes to ripen, pulling out the spent plants and tilling for next year’s crops, hauling wood from the back of the property, potting up geraniums and succulents too tender to survive the coming frosts. Somehow, I sneak in time to add another rock or two to the wall I’ve been building all summer, knowing the frozen ground will stop me until the spring thaw. Housework – laundry, filing, vacuuming – looms like a spiteful genie when darkness forces me indoors. I stare it down and call it prioritizing. Tonight, the first nor’easter of the season will bring down the rest of the leaves and mark the end of summer.
Real procrastination doesn’t have to make sense. I hate talking on the phone, even with someone I really like or when I’m making reservations for an event I truly look forward to. Even worse, I fret endlessly about the calls when so little effort would allow me to cross the chore off my to-do list. Recently, I traveled to visit friends in North Carolina, flying for the first time in more than five years. I don’t fear flying, but I worried myself almost into palpitations over the logistics of boarding and making connections; a simple phone call to Southwest would have resolved all my concerns. (The process was so easy I’m already pondering where I can go next.)
Oops, time to get this off to Liz – no more delay!