Note to Readers: There's a bit of irony here, which you may note as you read this posting. The posting should have gone up yesterday--it didn't. C'est la vie.
Somewhere along the line I imagine we've all heard that old saying: "Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today." I've followed this maxim many a time. And then today I rebelled. Why not do X tomorrow? It's not that the maxim says what you SHOULD do today, just what you CAN do today. If it's not a must activity then putting it off may bring no harm and could do you some good. You've been up and at 'em for hours, checking off items on your to do list. It's hot and muggy. It's the weekend, and somewhere you are supposed to find some time to relax, to enjoy yourself, to lay back. But there's that closet hiding in a corner that really needs to get looked at--who knows what is hiding in there? Unless what is hiding in there is cash money you've forgotten you've hidden there, just what about that closet is so compelling that you have to tackle it today?
Yes, I know that I am probably not going to get to that closet tomorrow, and maybe not the tomorrow after that either. So? Will the world come to an end if I don't sort out what is waiting in that closet's depths today? Will I be healthier/wealthier/wiser from cleaning out that closet today? Yes, someday that closet will need to be looked at, but just because I can do so today doesn't mean that I have to.
I know a few people who get very edgy if they are not fully occupied all the time. They need to be in constant motion. These people pack as much activity as they can into every single day. No putting off anything for them. I also know a few people I put in the doom and gloom category. They are always expecting a catastrophe to hit tomorrow, so they feel compelled to do everything they can today. Are these people really any happier than I am?
Today I've done enough. Let tomorrow bring what tomorrow will bring. The rest of today is mine. Okay, I still have a load of laundry for the dryer and a few loads to fold. Yes, dinner needs to be prepared. Okay, I need to get back to the person I'm getting a car from. Yup, I need to touch base with my mom and sister. But that closet? "Unto every thing there is a season" and today I could clean out that closet...and I'm not going to. Its "season" is just going to have to wait.
I'm not procrastinating, really! I'm making a clear cut, rational decision about time management and allotment. And yes, I'm putting myself first for a change, before all the must-do items. Who knows, I could get used to this.
I'm doing my own putting off just sitting and reading your blog. And yes it feels good. I think the clone of your closet lives in my house. It's waited this long and it can wait longer.
Oh, I really wish I knew how to do this without guilt. Good for you!
Teachers are always pointing out to students that "im ayn ani li, mi li" is only part of the posuk and emphasizing the last half rather than the first. It took awhile, but I finally figured out that both halves of the posuk are equally important--you have to do for others and you have to do for yourself. I still don't have the balance perfected yet but I'm getting better at it.
One method I use is to write down some "free time" activities on my to do list, giving them the same importance as all the other chores. i can then self righteously check off "read two chapters in my book" as something I had to do today.
There's a Brazilian proverb that goes "why do today what you can do tomorrow? after all, when tomorrow comes, you might not need to do it at all!"
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