Procrastination PayoffPosted: November 17, 2013
I’m not usually a procrastinator. For things with a deadline I like to get them done early. The only problem is that not all tasks have a deadline and for those things I sometimes can turn a blind eye.
I am not a consummate list maker, but as I have gotten older I like to have a list just so I won’t forget to do the mundane things like send people a check a I owe them. When I was younger I could relive everyday of my life in my mind and never needed a list to prompt me on what I needed to do next. In high school I could tell you that the previous week on Monday I had to read pages 145 to 219 of Anna Karenina as homework that night. Having a good memory was something I really took for granted. But a good memory really saved me when it came to looking for something important that was somewhere in my house.
Since my memory is not what it used to be I realized that I needed to be more systematic in my filing. So at last this weekend I actually got to clean up my office. I hardly use my office anymore since I got a laptop computer some years back and I tend to travel the house working. I also used to do a lot of paper arts and scrapbooking that required a nice flat surface. Since I hardly ever print a photo these days I stopped playing with my paper crafts.
My office became the mail storage area for our house. Tax receipts, bank statements and “important” papers wound up in piles on my giant desk. Filing was just something I was never good at and with no need to use my desk it just became my giant file.
Today I worked through the piles, trying to only handle each piece of paper once, something I still have not mastered. As I got the desktop cleaned off I tackled the baskets and cute boxes that had things stuffed in them for safekeeping. Most of things in those baskets were thrown away, so much for even remembering why I was saving a receipt from a trip to Italy six years ago anyway.
Towards the end of the afternoon I picked up a basket that had been in my office as long as we lived here. It contained the charging base for my very first cell phone with a frayed electrical cord, a glue gun and a dozen lose glue sticks (I wonder if they go bad?) a hardcover novel I started and was so bored with I never got past the second chapter, and a big pile of Christmas Cards and other greeting cards from 1996.
I loved looking at the photo of my friends Janet and Frank with their baby Sofia who is now applying to college. I found cards from people who only wrote their first names and I had to rack my brain to figure out who they are. It was time to part with these things.
Then I opened a little bear shaped birthday card and was stopped in my tracks. There was the familiar tiny handwriting of my Grandmother Mima. She always wrote the sweetest letters that made me feel like the most loved person on earth. If it had somehow not made it’s way into this small basket that got squirreled away in my office it certainly would have been thrown away soon after I had received it. Finding it today brought back memories of years of wonderful letters my Mima used to write me. She passed away in 1999 and I miss getting her words of encouragement and love.
In 1996 I certainly was not thinking that I needed to save every card my grandmother sent because I always anticipated there would be more to come. I was wrong. But I was so happy that my laziness fourteen years ago brought back the love of my grandmother today. For once my procrastination paid off.