Put Off Until Tomorrow What You Can Do Tomorrow

Yesterday, I was really looking forward to a day free of obligations so I could write and do some gardening. I decided to do my weekly house cleaning quickly so it would be out of the way and I could better focus on writing. Then if the clouds broke, I would go into the garden for a while. The house is small so I knew it wouldn’t take long.

As I finished the usual wiping down of counters and taking out trash, I noticed that parts of the staircase looked really dusty, areas where the swiffer couldn’t reach. It would only take a few minutes to dust. I grabbed a rag and started in. Of course, once I saw how much dust came off on the rag for just the steps, I ended up playing a kind of Pacman game. I started to dust the top of the baseboard in one spot and ended up having to follow it the whole way around the house, into each room and up and down the stairs.

While taking the rag out to shake over the porch rail, I noticed the sheer curtain on the front door had a tear near the lace edging. Because of its location, I knew it would only get worse. It wouldn’t take too long to repair it.

When I finished repairing the tear, I realized I should probably wash the curtain before I hung it back up. Well, if I’m going to wash one set of curtains, I might as well wash the others while I had a load of laundry in. I went around the house gathering curtains, shaking the dust out, and putting them in the washer.

Once I had the load of sheers started, I thought of my tablecloths, dresser scarfs, and doilies of various sizes. I made another trip around the house collecting doilies and put them in the hamper until the first load finished.

Of course, to get to the dresser scarves and doilies, I had to remove all of the things on top of them. I didn’t want to put the things back on the antique wooden furniture (the doilies were there to prevent scratching) so I piled stuff on the floor in several rooms. But now I saw distinct lace patterns were visible in the dust. I made several more trips back and forth to the porch to shake out my dust rag.

Sometimes, when a project is started, I feel the need to keep going until things return to equilibrium. To work until the project is complete and all tools and supplies can be put away. Perhaps some of this is OCD or perfectionism or workaholism. It’s interesting to me though because despite this strong pull, I also have creative pulls which draw me to slow down, embellish, and make beautiful things. As I wrestle with this tension, I’m trying to remember that despite Benjamin Franklin’s maxim, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today,” sometimes it is really ok to “Put off until tomorrow what you can do tomorrow.”

Yesterday, I restrained myself from starting another load of laundry for the doilies to go have a fun evening out. Today, while the doilies and tablecloths are drying all around the house, I’m trying to be ok with the fact that the house is still a bit upside down. So, I wrote about it and now I’m going out to dig in the garden. Happy weekend!

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