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!
I always enjoy reading your posts, ladies, maybe because I can relate so well to whatever you write about. Procrastination -especially when having to make those obligatory phone calls- is an on-going issue with me but thankfully, fear of not meeting a deadline overrides that tendency. As for my 10 fave things...Liz, you’ve named almost all of.them! Thanks for this bright spot in a gray, windy cold day here !ReplyDelete
Glad you enjoyed our ramblings, although I tell Liz she's aging me faster; the third Thursday of each month seems upon me every time I turn around. Our day here in southern New Hampshire isn't cold, but the wind is still plucking leaves off the trees at a sinful pace. With luck, we'll have a mild, sunny spell ahead to finish our fall chores. Indian summer is my favorite time of year.Delete
Thanks, Janice! Helen's right--the 3rd Thursday comes faster every month!Delete
Lots to think about and remember here. I'm not sure I have a favorite movie, more like a top ten, although even that's flexible. I love watching movies again, it's like spending time with good friends. Musical? Mamma Mia! was great. So's the old one, Singin' in the Rain. I can always procrastinate with looking at my rocks or marbles. I enjoy reading some of my favorites from being a kid - just finished The Secret Garden. Computer Games are just so easy to access when I'm trying to write and a brisk walk always seems like a good idea. Etc.!ReplyDelete
Hi, Callie! Computer games, oh dear! I limit myself to one -- Wordscraper -- but I am addicted to that one, most like real board Scrabble. In my defense, I've met some lovely people while playing, including a gal who has become a valued friend and First Reader!Delete
I don't play computer games. If they're interactive, I'm very fearful of how much time I'd spend there!Delete
Fun post, Liz and Helen! The huge umbrella of theater in general is one of my favorite things but I also share a love of Mama Mia!, Liz. And "October, except for when it's May" made me laugh. My favorite things are Gold Peak Unsweet Iced Tea, my Neutrogena Almond Nude color stick because it smells SO good and hosting a big crowd for Thanksgiving. Helen, I think text messaging was invented for folks like you. If only everything could be handled via text!ReplyDelete
I do text, but there's nothing like a real human voice on the phone -- once I drive myself to make the call.Delete
Oh, I'm the queen of texting. I love theater, too, which is really funny because I have NO talent in any direction there, other than clapping loud and beginning a standing ovation that everyone else should have done before me!Delete
Favorite things, the aroma of dinner in a crock pot when you come in from running errands and had forgotten you set it up already. The smell of a new baby fresh from a bath. When my characters tell me what they want to do next. Casablanca. The feel of alpaca fiber spinning into amazing yarn. Knitting something that looks even better than the picture with the pattern. My primary procrastinating tactic is to make sure I have a plan for what I'm going to do, that's always good for at least a little delay! Love your posts!ReplyDelete
Thank you! I agree about the just-bathed baby; it's the sweetest scent anywhere.Delete
Love your list, Helen. I haven't seen a movie in so long I'd have to go back to The Sound of Music for both 1 & 2. lol My favorite series of books growing up was The Black Stallion. And I love the smell of a freshly bathed baby! And Liz, I'm not a big procrastinator, but sometimes life gets in the way of my writing. *sigh*ReplyDelete
I always love Sound of Music! Thanks, Pat!Delete
Procastination--I can so relate! Helen, I'm glad to know I'm not the only telephone avoiding person in the world. and Liz, sometimes those three spoonfuls are just too much. Thanks for the laugh today. Enjoy your Honeycrisp!ReplyDelete
I'm eating Galas this week... I hate the phone, too. My kids call me just to make me talk on it. Of course, I do like talking to them....Delete