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Procrastination, or How to Avoid Ironing

“My evil genius Procrastination has whispered me to tarry ’til a more convenient season.”
Mary Todd Lincoln

“Procrastination is the art of finding anything else you can do to avoid doing something you don’t want to do.”

Jessica Scott (Me)

Surprise! I’m getting a post in early today. This one will be short because I’m behind on work at the moment, and I still have a lot to do before this evening. Currently, I’m having to stop every three seconds (ok, maybe every minute) to chase after a toddler who has decided to get into every little thing he can while my back is turned. Working with a toddler around is like trying to catch sand running through a sieve. You won’t catch as much as you lose. And to top it all off, today has been cold, dreary, and wet. It’s not raining but there is this fine mist that’s just hanging in the air, and no matter how warm it is in this house, there’s this cold air that seems to be permeating through the walls. So no matter where you are downstairs you feel the fingers of cold barely touching you, just enough to give you a sense of a chill that won’t go away. I’ve had three cups of tea already and I’m still not feeling warm. And it’s only 41°F here in Dallas/Fort Worth. Obviously, the weather is trying to enable me to be lazy and spend the day curled up in a blanket near the fire with tea and a book, especially since I’m almost done with The Glass Menagerie. I know it’s short and I should have finished it, but I plead insanity. I have four kids who were home for two weeks with ages ranging from 17 to 2. I had to hide in the closet with the lights off, which makes it impossible to read, and my flashlight batteries were dead. I couldn’t escape to go buy new ones or else the little monsters would have found my hiding place. So, don’t tell them, okay?

What I should be doing right now is ironing a tuxedo shirt for my 14 year old. Lock (a family name-found out years later the man he was named after had actually had it spelled with an “e” at the end-**face palm**) is in the Symphonic Band at his junior high. He plays the saxophone. Tonight is the holiday concert they were supposed to have had on December 9th, but we had a terrible ice storm hit the preceding Friday that lasted through the following Tuesday. That meant the concert had to be cancelled and they were unable to book any other buildings until today. So, tonight we get to go listen to holiday music after the holidays. That means that I really don’t have a lot of time to waste currently. I really should be ironing that shirt, but I really hate ironing. All those pleats, and the arms. Someone just hit me in the head with a baseball bat, please. I’ll pay you to do it. Better yet, I’ll pay you to iron the shirt for me. Yes, I know I could have taken it to the cleaners but the last time I did that was for my son, Sean, and they gave his shirt to the wrong person. I am not doing that again, no thank you, not this week.

Isn’t that the way it goes, though? Procrastination sucks and, yet, we still procrastinate. I have been doing every other little thing I can think of just to get out of ironing that shirt because it’s something I don’t particularly like doing. I will even do other household chores I hate just to get out of ironing. I detest it. And for other items of clothing, I don’t hesitate to go to the cleaners. But this is too important to go through another experience at the cleaners like I did before, which would actually be just my luck.

How do you stop procrastination, though? Normally, I work through a couple of items and then just force myself to do what I need to do. Will power is not for the weak. It takes a lot of determination and self-control. Exercise, homework, paperwork for the office, cleaning, etc., all take a lot of determination to do when you don’t want to do it. We procrastinate all the time, don’t we? What do you procrastinate with? Any tips for avoiding it? I’d love to hear your comments on this.

Me? I’m just stubborn. I will get up after posting this and get the shirt ironed. It’s not like I can avoid it forever. It must be done now so Lock will have it for tonight. Thank my lucky stars I don’t have to iron the suit itself. Polyester doesn’t have to be ironed.

Jesi Kay
Jesi Kay, poet and aspiring novelist, was born in the Texas panhandle where wide skies, lazy summer days, and rolling thunderstorms sparked her imagination and left lasting memories in her blood. An early reader, poetry and mythology were her passions. So much so that when she was ten years old her step-father gave her his college mythology textbooks to read, which were full of classic poetry and more than enough tales to fill her romantic and inquisitive nature. Jesi loves reading, art, going to the theater, the romanticism of the Victorian era (but not the missing conveniences of indoor plumbing and central air conditioning), running when the heat and humidity cooperate, and cold weather so she can wear her favorite boots and knitwear. Also, she still has those college mythology textbooks, a little worse for wear over time but still intact and telling their stories to her. Jesi is a contributor at The Well Tempered Bards blog and at www.octpowrimo.com.

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