What are you putting off?

I had a friend who, with her husband, went through some shit. When they were going through said shit, every time a bill came they just threw it in this one black garbage bag. Threw it in there and didn’t acknowledge it.

Just the thought of that makes me nervous.

Eventually, they got their lives in order, and decided to tackle the Huge Black Bag.

“We were horrified, but when all was said and done, we owed, like, 7,000 bucks or something. Had it paid in a year.”

So there you go. Also, they were young and it was the ’90s.

I’ve had a few dreadful tasks I’ve been putting off, although not nearly as awful as facing a garbage bag full of overdue bills. Last year, when I was destitute and got sick and tired of being destitute, I did anything I could to get more money. I freelanced my ass–as my friend Alicia would say–I took surveys for money, and I got this, like, Nielsen box for the internet.

Don’t ask me what the name of the company was, because I can’t remember any longer. Even though the company’s big black box sat behind my TV for a year. But for $60 a month, it monitored what I looked at online for marketing purposes. Since I rarely look at anything nefarious, I did it.

The reason I stopped was because I got caught up and didn’t need to sell my soul and privacy for $60 anymore, and also because every damn month I’d get an email and a text AND a call. “It’s time to recalibrate your box” or whatever, and recalibrating my box was a PAIN IN THE ASS. Am I right, ladies?

June’s blog. Come for the–oh, hell. There’s no earthly reason to come here.

Anyway, I realize it was basically getting 60 bucks for free, but it irked.

So I was supposed to return the box. Like, last October.

They’d sent me a self-addressed, stamped envelope, just like you had to send in to Freakies cereal or whatever, and they also sent instructions for how to send it back.

I never did. The puffy envelope and its instructions mocked me from my secretary. Eventually, I moved them to the top of my microwave, so I’d have NO CHOICE but to send that box back.

Yeah. You know what I had? A choice.

See. The whole setup included a box, and tangled wires, and I figured I’d get really angry tryina figure out which cords belonged to them, so I put it off. And off.

And off.

I also, as you know, from your Wall Calendar of June Things, have some confusion with the IRS and this corrected form I got–The Saga of Form 1098 and the Corrective Shoes–and I had to send in a bunch of paperwork to the IRS, and see above. I keep putting it off because I know I’ll get all frustrated, and who wants that when you can lie on your couch and see Ned on Tinder?

Yes. That happened last night.

I swiped left.

I just got ON Tinder last night, in attempts to put off doing the unpleasant tasks listed above, and look what that got me.

So I got up offen the couch and did my put-offs.

And you know what? Probably took an hour, and that included taking two trips with Edsel to the mailbox. The box-that-knows-all-your-internet-secrets (“Wow. She sure seems to enjoy her a makeup tutorial.”) had really clear instructions for their cords-n-such, and they’d even color-coordinated them to their logo color, which, nice.

And TurboTax, who is refunding a great portion of my cash money due to this confusion with my 1098, also had very clear instructions for getting papers to our good friends the IRS.

The only thing that held me up was I did one task, took it to the mailbox, went home and did the next task, and then I was all, ding-dang it. Now I gotta go back to the melon-farming™ mailbox again. (Use of “melon-farming” as a fake swear, (c)Faithful Reader Paula.)

But still. Maybe an hour.

Oprah once timed how long it took to replace the toilet paper roll: seven seconds. But how many people do you know (MARVIN) who place the toilet paper on top rather than just put it on?

How many things do you put off that, if you just faced them, wouldn’t be so bad?

That’s my deep thought for today. It’s the second day of spring, and here’s our current situation in North Carolina:

I guess nature is putting off spring. But Eds will never put off Blu.

Offputtingly,
Joon

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Author: June

At one point, I was sort of hot, in a "she's 27 and probably a 7" kind of a way. Now I'm old and have to develop a charming personality. Guess how that's going.

66 thoughts on “What are you putting off?”

  1. I’m not a fan of putting things off. I don’t like the stress of it hanging over me. My mom does that and it was stressful for me even as a kid. I prefer getting it over with. I do, however, put off things of a different kind such as running the sweeper, which is the one housekeeping chore I genuinely hate.

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  2. I always put off paying bills. I mean, I pay them on time but I fuss in my head about having to do it, I find other things to do, I feel terribly put-upon because I have to pay bills. And our life is simple and most of the bills pay themselves now. So I spend probably a couple of hours over several days feeling annoyed about having to do such a CHORE and then I spend about 30 minutes, tops, taking care of it.

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  3. I used to put off emptying the dishwasher thinking the were more pressing (visible) things to do. But it never takes more than ten minutes and once it’s empty I can quickly handle the other stuff.

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    1. Emptying the dishwasher is my least favorite chore. Right now mine is open, full of clean dishes, mocking me. It’s been that way since yesterday.

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  4. You’ve inspired me June. I replaced the toner in my printer and they give you a mailing label to box up the old toner cartridge to send back to the company for recycling. Easy peasy (add that to the Do Not Say List). But the label is only good for the US. Why do they not put a Canadian label inside the box when the product is clearly being bought in Canada? And this is why I am tempted to just throw the damn box in the trash and kill the planet rather than go to their website to download and print out the stupid label and then trek to the post office. The box has been at my front door for months. June’s blog – saving the planet since 2018. If you can walk to the mailbox, twice, in your condition (how’s the toe?), I can finally recycle this melon-farming box.

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  5. I’ve been putting off hanging a picture that fell off the wall last week. I don’t know why. I just don’t want to farm with with it. (See what I did there?) After your very inspiring post, I will spend the exactly 12 minutes it will take to find nails, hammer, realign holes and hang the damn picture.
    Thanks, June! Helping people live purposeful lives since 1965!

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  6. Oh, I am a world class procrastinator! It is infuriating to me, because if I would “JUST DO IT!!” (TM NIKE) it would really take no time at all and I know how accomplished I would feel. Infuriating, but not enough to make me change. I am a lazy ass.

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  7. Oh my, where do I start? The main put off is cleaning/organizing my laundry room. I just need to do it! The simple one, make a phone call to check on the progress of the rebinding of my Bible. I was told it would take about eight weeks, that was in October.

    Dealing with the IRS is so stressful! Couple of years ago my accountant gave me wrong information and I had to file an amended return. Do any of you know that panic feeling when you see the envelope from the IRS? Unlike those phone call you get that you are going to be arrested. I was so stressed out. Fortunately, when I phoned the IRS I was able to talk to a real human that was actually very helpful. I still owed more money.

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  8. I was in love with Yardley products, probably only owned one, the blue eyeshadow…but coveted them !
    I put off cleaning the shower, forever….but it’s just me so I can live with it. I’ll probably get around to it sometime in the next few weeks.

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  9. I have put off (and put off and put off) finding something to do with my clothes and shoes cluttering the house. I have nowhere left to put new items, but that doesn’t stop me from buying them.

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  10. I put off things regularly. Or is it put things off? Anyway, I do. Unloading the dish drainer, for example. Unless there is an item I need or company is coming over that thing never see the light of day.
    In other news, that idiot who was terrorizing Austin with mailing bombs is now dead. He blew himself up in a car. And I now have the Beatles lyrics “he blew his mind out in a car” running through my head. I kept calling my daughter to make sure she hasn’t been blown up, so I am glad this is over with.

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  11. I go the other way (that’s what she said) and over obsessively take care of the little stuff Right Now. Oh toilet paper is always replaced right away. Actually, when I see it is even remotely low I go get the next roll ready. Nothing can wait. All little things must be done right away. If I think of a new thing that must be done, a bright new idea, I have to take care of it right away. Like getting a new outlet cover. Oh look at this, it needs replaced. Big emergency, I have to take care of this right away. Thank whatever god that my mind can handle waiting for Amazon to deliver. But the ordering must happen instantly! Mail must be opened right now an organized! The must attack it right now attitude is no better than the put it off attitude. It’s just a different kind of crazy.

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  12. I am kind of like Katie and couldn’t think of anything I put off, but someone up there mentioned the shower. Oh my gosh the shower in our master bath. I have put it off so long it scares me to think about it. I take baths, and so I don’t use it. But my husband couldn’t care less about it so he doesn’t clean it. I mean the stuff that has to be growing in there at this point! {shuddering}

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  13. Yesterday I dropped off a bag to Goodwill and went to the cleaners to have a dress mended and an alteration. I felt good about that. Especially since I knew I was going to sit on the couch and hang out with Cab.

    Putting off: finish the lampshade remodel, scanning photos to hard drive, starting an exercise plan.

    I think I’m getting ready to move again. Not just into a different apartment which was the original plan but to a new state. That has a small fire under me to get these things finished up.

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  14. I put off so many things: making a will, redirecting some retirement money, filing our taxes, deleting my Facebook account, reading good books I really want to read, making our filing cabinet make sense again, getting rid of tons of clothes I don’t wear anymore, getting a mammogram, plucking that one hair on my chin I never remember when I’m sitting in good light where I can see it in a mirror… Ugh.

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  15. Finding a new doctor and dentist. I hate the process and getting used to someone new. I’ve ignored it for too long.
    Also, count me in for the shower. I hate my shower. If my shower was pretty then I would take care of it better. Which brings me to another thing, finding someone to redo my bathroom. I hate having strangers up in my personal space.

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    1. Anita, check out Southern Hospitality. She just remodeled her guest bathroom and had references for the work. She lives in your area.

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  16. The big thing right now is retirement. I could do it, but since I’ve never been without a paycheck since I was 15, it is paralyzing.

    And cleaning, my sewing room is a nightmare right now, I can barely walk in there. That is something I will do when I retire (see above).

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  17. World class procrastinator too. Kind of hate myself for it. Our shower needs a good scrubbing, taxes are not done, (we will owe, he has a side thing too). I used to be pretty organized a long time ago. I feel like I am rebelling against my mother’s cleaning craziness. My sisters are like me with the housework too.
    Thank you, Lisa Pie, for helping me wake up to that news about Austin. Our oldest nephew lives there and I’ve been worried too.

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  18. checking my bank balance. I can’t stand it. And it’s always worse than what I think it is.

    All you vacuum procrastinators, invite me over. Vacuuming is the most stress-relieving household chore to me. I vacuum daily if I can, not even because of the dogs or the messy people that live here, but because it’s so satisfying.

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    1. Please visit me. You will be so happy to vacuum. We have a lot of cats and so there is always a pile of hair. Lots of satisfying sweeping for you.

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  19. I procrastinate every freaking thing. I should have emptied the dishwasher two days ago. I have laundry that needs to be folded. I just got an amended 1098 from my mortgage company too and I have already gotten my tax refund so I’ve got to see what I need to do but don’t want to do it. Plus I sold a house and bought another one so I’m waiting to see if I get two amended forms to deal with. I still need to start unpacking boxes I had the movers stick down in my basement 8+ months ago. I have no motivation. I need to get some furniture reupholstered but haven’t done that. Etc., etc., etc.

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  20. I think like Katie up there, I too am the other side of the procrastination coin. I am methodical and love organization and systems and regularity. My life is pretty humdrum though, so there’s not much keeping me from maintaining my order. My husband on the other hand goes to the church of Put It Off. His desk is a hazardous waste dump. His dirty clothes are always just outside the hamper. His coat is always on the bed or the couch. All of his bathroom things stay on the counter until I swoop them into the drawer. I simply have to ignore it or I would lose my mind. Years ago I made it a goal to identify the little things in my life that drive me insane – that broken drawer, the lack of writing implements or scissors when I need them, too many mugs in the cupboard – and deal with them. I learned the joy of purging long before Marie Kondowhateverhernameis came on the scene. It was good for my mental health to have more smooth, less bumps.

    Lovely post lovely June! Swipe right on you is what I’d do. In a non-L word kind of way.

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  21. What a beautiful sight. Snow! It will be nearly 80 degrees in Dallas today. When it snows here, almost everything shuts down, so I romanticize snowy days as stay in my PJ’s and drink spiked hot cocoa days. I’m stressed because my husband has cancer and I cannot get him motivated to make a will. He’s in denial, I’m scared.

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    1. When my dad got sick (cancer, strokes, heart attacks), he also refused to make a will because in his mind, that meant he was going to die. Well guess what, he did die and he died 6 weeks after his own mother died. And he was the executor of her estate. It was a goddamn mess and his wife made matters worse, which is a long story in itself.

      Short of writing it FOR him and then having him sign it, I don’t know what to tell you except I feel your pain and I am sorry.

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    2. It sounds so trite, but it’s sincere, sending warm thoughts out into the universe to you and your husband.

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    3. @Laura in Big D, I’m so sorry.

      I wonder if you write your will and go over your wishes with him, if that would help him. My Dad had a will but I was his Medical Bloob-ed-e-blooh (can’t remember the name of that!). Unfortunately, it was VERY vague so it was just a terrible situation to deal with. I now tell everyone I know that making a detailed will and medical bloob-ed-e-blooh is an act of love and kindness for your family.

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  22. My husband and I have been talking about a living trust since his mother died…..ten years ago. His parents had a living trust and it makes everything much easier and no probate. I shudder at the thought of putting all that paper work together and all the digging in the file cabinet for original copies of everything.
    Lovely post, June

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  23. I am in the procrastinator’s column. I have difficulty making appointments, doing housework, etc. I do what pulls me. It’s a cop out. I am constantly busy though, so I have a lot pulling me. I think I would lose it if I had to do every little thing right away, because I would never have any time at all to breathe. I can’t be in that kind of frenzy all the time–I would never get to visit here and read this here website! Trust me I have things waiting by my elbow right now for my attention.

    But before I read the whole post I DID call the dermatologist. It has been hanging over my head for about two months. So, thanks for that, June!

    Lovely post! Lovely YOU!

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  24. I’d like to procrastinate but I keep putting it off. Har har har.

    A few years ago when we were destitute, I absolutely dreaded hearing the mailman because I knew he was bringing bills we couldn’t pay and shut off notices. He was the Harbinger of Doom.

    Now that we are out of the poor house, I pay all of our bills online pretty much the day I receive them.

    But our company paperwork and bills are a whole ‘nuther story. I always procrastinate getting our monthly bookkeeping stuff over to the accountant because it’s just a pain in the butt, having to scan that month’s check register, payroll reports etc. So I delay and delay until the last minute.

    I also always procrastinate on going to the post office to mail packages. I hate our local post office. Horrible parking and you have to walk a gauntlet of cigarette smoking panhandlers. I’ve had a package sitting on my desk for about 3 weeks now and the clock is ticking on getting the item sent back for a refund.

    Oh! I also will just keep hitting the “freshen up” button on my dryer so I don’t have fold the clothes. I don’t mind doing laundry but I HATE folding and putting away the clean clothes. Dunno why, I just do.

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  25. I put off all kinds of cleaning. We have one room in the house where all the junk goes, and every time I go in there I seem to go blind to it. I keep saying I’m going to get to it, but it seems overwhelming and I never do.
    I’m also a saver of every paper, project and piece of art my kid ever did, so you can imagine my garage.

    Paula can’t really comment on today’s post because she read it yesterday morning and filed it yesterday afternoon.

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  26. My will is done. Directive, too. I even own a grave plot. Having experienced 3 deaths of close friends I saw what it did to the family that was left behind. I think it’s selfish not to put something in order. Otherwise, grieving people have to make major decisions at one of the hardest times in their lives.

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    1. I’m with you. We have a trust with a pour-over provision and our graves are paid for. Leaving that behind for someone else is unimaginable for me. I think of my SIL. Knowing she can’t plan herself out of a wet paper bag, I waited weeks until five days before Christmas to ask if they were coming to town for Christmas and she wrote back, “Why?” How about plans, groceries, presents? Inconsiderate freak show.

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  27. I put off checking email. In addition to the ridiculous number of junk emails I receive I get an equally ludicrous number from my son’s coaches. Thank goodness the important emails also go to my husband’s work email or we’d be $4578754 behind in bills.
    Ned on Tinder reminded me of a story. My husband was playing Fight List, an app game, with a random opponent. The category was dating sites and he sighed and said he didn’t know any he’d just lose that round. I immediately spouted off five. The first three he chuckled. After five I got a look. The “how and why do you know about these” look. I explained it was from keeping up with the Big Book of June Events.

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    1. I procrastinate on checking my email. I have email PTSD, similar to June’s aversion to Facebook messages, because I’m on our HOA board and for a number of years I received the most godawful messages from people. So now I avoid email, but then I get stressed because I know there is stuff in there I need to see. Like, emails from my employer, you know? Yikes.

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  28. I’m a part-time procrastinator. If something has a deadline, I’m ON IT. Done in advance and twiddling thumbs. However, if something isn’t that important and has no deadline, it may take me a while to get to it. Right now on my desk is an old pillowcase with a hole in it to remind me to order two new pillowcases. It’s been sitting there for a while. See? No deadline. I have other pillowcases.
    Chores around the house I pretty much stay on top of. I generally pick one day of the week to do all the things that involve mandatory and/or dumb errand-running: shopping, post office, returning things, etc. That way I corral all the irritating and tiring things into one day.

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  29. I try not to put things off. For me, I can’t rest if there’s a nagging thing sitting there. Now my husband, he’s excellent at putting crap off.

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  30. June, you inspire. I returned an item today that has been moved all over my kitchen table for several weeks and I made the call to the bookbinder.

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  31. Oh god, I put off nearly everything. I truly love the feeling of a clean, organized house…but I always feel like, there’s only a couple of free hours in each day, and I’d soooo rather spend those doing something more creatively and emotionally fulfilling and de-stressing. So I end up rationalizing every day. I end up starting new artwork, or ordering new art supplies (also a form of procrastinating), and always just want to hang out with my dog and cats with some detective show on in the background. I used to have a clean apartment when I was younger… now I hate how gross it is, and how many appointments and errands and shit I never get done, but every day I’m like, “I deserve an hour to chill out to de-stress,” and boom, another day without getting anything done. (Please don’t recommend hiring cleaners or de-clutterers/assistants–I live under the poverty line.)

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  32. The dreaded cat box. I got up and did it first thing today and it’s much less work when you make an effort to keep up with it!

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  33. I have a new 8 month old in my house, so right now I’m just barely keeping the wheels on the bus (washing bottles and doing laundry) as I adjust to being a full time working single mom. Things I need to get to include the following: taxes, backing up photos, cleaning cleaning cleaning, yardwork, sending a wedding gift (March 1 wedding), sending thank you notes, sending a baby gift (baby due in 3 weeks), and moving my house into a living trust.

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  34. I alternate between being extremely organized and everything ready at my teaching job. If not, I’m afraid I’d be tied up and set on fire by five year olds. They’re cute and all but don’t turn your back on them. But at home, I’ll put off everything that’s not ding doinging or yelling, “Danger, Will Robinson!”

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  35. There’s not enough room on the internets for the list of things I put off.
    Your blog helps me tremendously in my career of procrastination, so thank you.

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