Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The little lost onion...

By now my dirty little secret is out. I am NOT a good housekeeper. I know, this shocks some of you. Okay, so it shocks NONE of you, still, even I didn't think I was this bad.

It all started about a month ago when I got this idea that I should take some time and reorganize my pantry. I'm out of school, so now would be a great time. Of course, I persuaded myself that I could do it later. I didn't really "feel" like doing it right then. I don't know if I was waiting on some great inspiration....not that pantries are all that inspiring anyway, but for whatever reason, I didn't "feel" like tackling this project. It could wait till later.

Life kept right on rolling by and occasionally I'd think, "I really do need to get to that pantry while I have time", but of course something else would always take precedence....something like taking my kids somewhere, doing the laundry, watching the news, taking a nap...I'd take just about anything as a viable excuse to put off doing what I knew I really should do. I still just didn't "feel" like doing it.

A couple of days ago, I came in my kitchen door and was greeted by a rather unpleasant odor. "What is that smell?" I asked, to which my son replied..."It's the dogs. They need a bath." The dogs may have needed a bath, but something told me that wasn't what I smelled. I checked the trash and the fridge (since we all know I let things grow in there) but found nothing. Oh well, I'd find it later....when I felt like it.

Today, I went into my pantry to grab a pack of gum before I went to the gym...there was that smell again. Something told me this time I'd better stop and find the source because now I recognized that smell...it was an onion that was past its prime. I looked everywhere in that pantry....moved everything - twice! Finally, I happened to look into a back corner behind some graham cracker pie shells...and I found it. Because I care about the those who might read this before a meal, I'll skip the yucky details. Let's just leave it that this onion had seen its better days a long, long time ago.

To my defense, that onion had been hidden. My daughter sometimes helps "clean" up the kitchen and has a habit of stuffing EVERYTHING into the pantry. Those who have children who help clean may understand this. Sometimes she puts things away and it takes me weeks to find them. Since I wasn't really looking for this onion, it just slipped quietly and pungently into oblivion. It took quite a bit of cleaning to get rid of the "remains".

What's the point in sharing my culinary and housekeeping fiascoes? It has something to do with a quote I read this morning. It was by Thomas Huxley and it was a principle of success. "Do what you need to do, when you need to do it, whether you feel like it or not." If I had gone ahead and cleaned that pantry weeks ago, I could have saved myself a real mess (and a stinky one at that!) I simply put it off....and if my procrastination only affected my pantry, it probably wouldn't be any big deal. Unfortunately, I could name a lot of different things I have "put off" till I felt like it, only to find myself looking at a real mess or worse, finding that it was too late. I don't know if others deal with the bad onions of procrastination, but I have a feeling we all do. One author stated that procrastination isn't really just being lazy, it's being rebellious. Ouch!

Proverbs 27:1 says, "Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth." Saying I'll do it later is acting as though I've been promised tomorrow. I may say I'll get around to it, but what am I waiting for? What's worse, every time I "Put it off" till later, the task becomes more of a weight around my neck. If I put off enough things, I can eventually become so weighted down that I can't seem to move. Why not just obey quickly and be done with it? Truthfully, it always takes less time than I feared it would and it feels so good to have it done!
The onion is gone now, and the house smells much better...but the lesson remains. "Do what you need to do, when you need to do it, whether you feel like it or not." Procrastination has a way of stinking up your life, like an onion pushed back in the corner....eventually it will make its self known. I think I've had enough of that.

(I discovered an interesting lesson online dealing with procrastination. Here's the address should you want to check it out. http://www.nobleinstitute.org/2006/10/12/cut-me-some-slack-the-sin-of-procrastination/ )

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