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November 20, 2006: The bad side to procrastination

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A few weeks ago, I opened the envelope that contained our quarterly vacation hours balance at work, and realized that despite having taken three entire weeks of vacation back in May to go to Ireland, and also a few additional days here and there since then, I had way too much unused vacation - enough that it was going to start hitting the 'use it or lose it' level in a few months if I didn't try to do something about right away. So I eyed the calendar and then decided that I would make good use of the next two work holidays, namely Thanksgiving and Christmas, and turn what would otherwise be a long weekend into an entire week off. At the very least, by the end of the year I'll have managed to trim 6 more days worth of vacation off the accumulated total.

Being sick this weekend was not a good start to my week, but I woke up this morning and felt a lot better than yesterday, so I am crossing my fingers that this means I am done with the winter cold for now. I sat down and scribbled up a rather ambitious list of things i really want to accomplish during the next three days, and made sure to include in the list plenty of time to knit (by listing out the number of socks I intend to have finished before the end of the month).

There has been a lot of temptation today to just ignore the list and curl up in bed with a big mug of coffee and my yarn and the cats and just spend all day either knitting or napping, but the problem is that I keep doing that, and the things on my list keep being left undone. So instead I made myself tackle the very worst job, which was to clear out my side of the computer room. It doesn't sound so awful until you realize that my side includes all the files of old bill paperwork that have been accumulating in boxes over the past year or two, waiting to be shredded because we cannot just throw them out into the trash, and as the piles got larger and larger I have been dreading this chore more and more.

I spent several hours this morning and this afternoon, doing nothing but sorting and shredding. I threw away piles of paperwork related to credit cards or accounts that have long since been closed. I threw out great piles of junk and filled a huge box with stuff that needs to go to the recycling center. By the time I finally decided to call it quits in the desk organization project for the day, I had filled several large bags completely full of shredded paperwork, and the worst part is that I am not yet done.

I took time here and there to do some knitting on the current pair of socks that I fully intend to have finished before Thanksgiving, and also did a run to the grocery store to stock up on everything we might need for the coming week. When Richard came home I cooked up some vegetarian sausage and spaghetti and sauce and we had that for dinner, and then we purged the fridge, throwing out a whole pile of things that had been lurking in the back, plotting to become their own life forms.

There is still a huge pile of stuff on the floor in front of the shredder to be dealt with, and I have only made a small dent in clearing off my secondary desk, but there is also a huge sense of relief that I have finally worked up the willpower to tackle this project, and I am trying very hard to give myself little lectures about how, once it is done, I cannot ever let it get this bad again.

This is a NaBloPoMo entry

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