Sometimes I find myself putting a whole lot more time and energy into a project than is warranted. Something about this image caught my attention and I kept experimenting with the editing tools, wondering if there was greatness hidden within. I eventually stopped when I reached this point:
January 12, 2021
Not because I believed I’d finally unearthed any inherent greatness, but because this version pleases me. But to be honest, so do these:
I seem to be walking a very thin line between creativity and procrastination today which is not necessarily great. Or productive.
I add food scraps to the worm bin every weekend which has become a bit of a challenge now that it’s only Zippy and me. When a son or two lived here, there’d be more fruit and vegetable matter for me to chop up for my worm friends. Now I have to search the refrigerator to ensure they have enough to eat during the week.
That’s why when I found a bunch of cilantro past its expiration date today, I was really happy. Slightly slimy cilantro in the drawer? Excellent! Now I didn’t have to rely on feeding the worms a ton of coffee grounds (which the worms love but I sometimes worry hops them up too much).
While I chopped those greens and added them to the cauliflower and zucchini pieces, I thought about how I welcome stuff past its expiration date. Not only furry fruits and rotten veggies, but also coupons. Why? Because expired coupons are a no-brainer: they go into the recycle bin. An expired coupon means one less item in my problematic piles of paper. Straight into the recycle bin.
Sometimes it’s good to let things go, you know?
It’s 2:30 of the p.m. in Colorado and while I have opened my Scrivener document, I haven’t done any writing. But hey, I didn’t even get that far yesterday. I’ve been in recovery and thinking mode as I sort through the wreckage of my incomplete first draft, and guilt-feelings sent me to BrainyQuote in search of insights regarding procrastination. I thought I’d find some tsk-tsk kind of quote that would be like a slap upside the head, something to “shame” me into getting back to work.
Instead, I found these two quotes from psychologist and author, Adam Grant:
Procrastinating is a vice when it comes to productivity, but it can be a virtue for creativity.
Procrastination gives you time to consider divergent ideas, to think in nonlinear ways, to make unexpected leaps.
And while this may sound self-serving, I have experienced a couple out-of-left-field realizations about my story. Which is all to say, I’m gonna let go of the guilt and shame, post this, and then explore those realizations more thoroughly.
State Forest State Park. June 13, 2019.
How does the Meadow flower its bloom unfold? Because the lovely little flower is free down to its root, and in that freedom bold. ~ William Wordsworth
So it’s after 5:00 pm here in Colorado and I haven’t yet added one single word to my work-in-progress. Why? In part, I had much to do today. But in greater part? I’ve reached the point in which I need to write BIG climatic scenes and I’m intimidated. It was easier to tend to other business today.
I need to make like a Meadow flower and feel free to try and fail, all the way down to my roots. Otherwise, what’s the point?
So it’s 4:50 p.m. on a Monday and all day I’ve felt a bit like the adult heron in this photo with the four juvenile herons clamoring for attention and sustenance. Except, it wasn’t my offspring needing me today, but my To Do list.
The good news is my To Do list isn’t a living creature and no one died due to neglect or starvation. The bad news is that certain items were completely ignored while others received only crumbs which means the list lives on to harangue me tomorrow.
Come to think of it, that’s two pieces of bad news. I’d be feeling a whole lot better right now if my To Do list had gone to its glory.
I went outside with my camera to find something interesting to post and came across a whole lot of stuff stashed on the patio below our deck. This is just a sampling of what’s there. A long-dead garden hose. Zebu’s bike that he can’t ride for another 3-4 months when he’ll be fully recovered from ACL/meniscus surgery. A broken piece of flagstone. Two sawhorses.
Is there a better place for all that stuff? Probably. But in our defense, those piles of pine needles and leaves found the way there all on their own. And I’m holding onto a slim hope the wind will somehow launch them into the neighbors’ yard.
However, the hose is probably too heavy to make it over the fence.
I’ve spent a sizable portion of this afternoon going through my email account, deleting messages I don’t want. There are currently 2,186 emails remaining, and 222 of those are unread.
I have repetitive motion pain in my right hand/wrist/arm, my eyes feel fried, and my brain can no longer compute.
I’m calling it a day.
I’m “supposed” to be working on my middle-grade revisions, but am having a hard time getting motivated. As in, I haven’t touched it at all today. Instead, I took some photos of visitors to the new feeder location and realized it’ll be a whole new learning experience due to the lighting differences. The feeder used to be sheltered by the branches and leaves of the maple tree. Now the feeder is exposed on a slope where the afternoon light hits it hard.
My feathered friends’ photos ended up washed out, and I just spent a while playing with contrast, white balance, etc. settings.
All that time playing with settings, you’d think I’d have something more impressive to show for it. Guess I need to get on those revisions so I actually accomplish something today.
I’ve been writing today so, of course, I’ve also done a fair amount of wandering into the kitchen to see what was happening in the food department. A few minutes ago I spotted a lone orange in the fruit bowl and picked it up with the intention of eating it slowly so as to
procrastinate as long as possible promote healthy digestion. But then I realized it was one of those oranges. You know, an orange with that thin kind of rind that’s so difficult to remove you end up with a high percentage of orange still attached to the peel and/or because of aggressive peeling you end up gouging out chunks of orange with your thumbs? I know you know what I’m talking about.
Anyway, I put the orange back in the bowl and remarked to Zebu that I didn’t have the enthusiasm to mess with the peel. To which Zebu replied, “Roll it.”
Yes, people. Roll those oranges!
Note there are no thumb gouges in this specimen.
I rolled that orange on the table for about thirty seconds and then proceeded to remove the rind in one piece! It’s a freaking fruit miracle! This experience has expanded my world view to the extent that I will no longer avoid thin-peeled oranges. Because of what I learned today, I will face ALL citrus fruits with confidence.
When I told Zebu I was going to share this information as a Public Service Announcement he replied, “I think everyone already knows this, Mom.”
It’s probably true. I didn’t learn about apple slicers until Wildebeest was in kindergarten and one of the other moms used that awesome tool during a class party. (Confession: I also got really excited about that fruit technique.)
So maybe you already know how to roll. If that’s so, congratulations! But if not, then please go forth and roll those oranges!
A: This blog post.
B: This photo.
C: This photo.
D: This 30-second movie clip from ADAPTATION:
“Maybe banana nut. That’s a good muffin.”
I. Must. Stop. Looking. Out. The. Window.
© Tracy Abell 2012
Yes, there's blue sky and sunshine and oodles of birds and crazy squirrels . . .
But I have an opening chapter to rewrite. Again.
You want to know a really fun way to avoid your revisions?
Play with the exposure settings on your photo software!
© 2010 Tracy Abell
Come on, fellow procrastinators, you know you want to…
Agnes by Tony Cochran
At least when Agnes procrastinates she sketches dogs. I mostly eat and nap and stare into space. And then go see what else is in the fridge.
I’m supposed to be doing revisions.
Guess what I’m really doing?
Bidding on ebay!
In one hour and 38 minutes I’ll know whether I’m the proud owner of a vintage dragonfly pendant.
One hour 37 minutes……