The Procrastinating Half Year American

Being a Half Year anything is tough – particularly if you’re a procrastinator….and I’m a Hall of Famer when it comes to procrastinating. The only thing I can say in my defense is that it’s not my fault; it’s genetic. My father was a Hall of Famer before me.

I have now been back in the US for almost 2 months. The original plan was that between March and November, I’d be here only 3 weeks in September. I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that those plans disintegrated in the heat of this year’s Italian summer. So what did I accomplish in the extra month and a half – other than staying cool? I’ll put it this way: if I want to have anything tangible to show for my time, I’d better get it done in the next 5 days.

For instance – I had a short list of things to take back to Italy. One was band-aids. I’ve spent 2 months looking at that list and thinking: “No need to buy them today….I have a couple of months to do that.” I’m now down to less than a week, and if I had to bet on me, my money would say that I still won’t have those band-aids until the day before I leave. When I start to feel panicky about having to cram so many tasks into that last day, I’ll no doubt blame poor Daddy and his genetic pool.

I’m very happy to say that I’ve seen a lot of friends during this time, but certainly not everyone I wanted to see. Actually, this might be the only case where it’s better that I’m ½ year here and ½ year there. If I didn’t spend 6 months in Italy, I’d probably put off seeing people entirely….saying that I had plenty of time to do that, so I’ll call them “later”. And we all know that “later” has a way of slipping into years, and years have a way of slipping into the time when we’re all so old we no longer recognize each other. At least now I can move those I didn’t see this trip into position to make sure we get together when I return in November.

How about all the things I’ve accomplished in my new apartment? Remember – I moved just before leaving for Italy, and my method of arranging things was to shove each box of stuff as it came in the door into the first closet or cabinet with available space, until they were all hidden. Did I get my closets straightened out so I have all my blouses in 1 place instead of 3 in this closet and 7 in that? And the kitchen…..did I learn where I’d stashed my pots and pans – just on the chance that I might want to cook something? You know the answer.

I did start the process of having some bookshelves built. However while in Italy, I was picturing them being almost finished by now. Instead, we’re still discussing wood color, and I haven’t seen an estimate yet.

I had plenty of time to get my passport renewed through the normal, inexpensive channels, but instead I waited so long that I had to go through an “expeditor”. “Expeditor” in this case means someone who prays each night that more procrastinator genes are being spread throughout the land so they can charge outlandish rates to bail us out at the last minute.

In the past, my procrastination has been a real source of frustration. But I’ve decided to turn over a new leaf. Perhaps it’s living part time in Italy and the slower-paced life there, but I plan to look at it from a different standpoint: I’m going to try to make sure that I truly enjoy whatever it is I’m doing in order to put off whatever it is I should be doing. After all — if the ride is pleasant enough, it really doesn’t matter if the original destination is still miles away….and in the opposite direction. Daddy would be so proud of me for coming up with this rationalization.


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