RAMBLINGS | It takes discipline to procrastinate so well

Just a minute,” I yelled in response to my partner’s request that I finish cleaning up the mess I’d created by spreading magazines all over half the house.

Begging for extra time, I pleaded, “The race I’m watching is almost over — they’ve only got 25 more laps to run.”

“That could take another half an hour,” the Lady Marjorie angrily replied. “Get those damn magazines picked up now!”

So, with the TV droning on in the background, I dutifully started busying myself around my nesting spots, cleaning up my discarded debris.

Without my partner getting on me about the mess, I’d have probably finished watching the race and then wandered off without moving the magazines — I’m like that.

I can procrastinate about just about anything.


Doubled in value

There are a few plastic model kits that I’ve got secreted away down in a closet storage locker. I originally picked most of them up in hobby shops in Los Angeles and Detroit. 

“You ever going to put these together, or can we just pitch them?” my father asked as he rooted through the basement a few years ago, during one of his periodic “let’s-remodel-this-room-next” projects.

“Yeah,” I answered, “I’m going to get to them eventually, and no, you can’t just throw them away! Hey, I was just reading in a modeling magazine last week that some of those kits’ values have more than doubled.”

“Are you going to try to tell me,” my father further questioned, “that now you’re a collector? If you get one of those things put together by the time you’re 70, I’ll be surprised.” (My father’s 93 and I’m now 69, and I’ve built two kits since our conversation.)

 I’ve been working on one model for around two years now. Every once in a while, I’ll sit down and work on it, but usually, I’ll just walk past it.


Better not to start

“The worst thing to start is a diet,” Veronica, an old friend of mine, told me one day over coffee. “Or maybe it’s the easiest thing to put off.”

I agreed with her heartily on that score.

“You keep putting off starting because it’s not the start of the week or some other flimsy excuse,” she went on. “Somewhere, it must be written that all diets have to start on Mondays.”

“I know,” I agreed. “Pretty soon, it’s two months later, and now you’ve got 15 pounds to lose instead of the 5 you originally worried about.”

Diets are almost as easy to put off as regular exercising. We all know we should do it, but believe me, it takes some real discipline to make yourself crawl onto an Exercycle or to start lifting weights. 


Something in return

The athletic shoe advertisements might tell you, “Just do it,” but it’s a lot easier to just listen to some music or read a book.

“Gary,” my grandmother used to tell me, “I think you’re going to be late for you’re own funeral. Aren’t you ever going to run down to the grocery, like I asked you, and get me that loaf of bread? If you go now, there might be a piece of cherry pie waiting for you when you get back.”

Discipline and motivation are the keys to overcoming procrastination, but then, of course, a little bribery helps, too.

GARY McDANIEL is a longtime Magnolia resident. To comment on this column, write to QAMagNews@nwlink.com.