Future me is going to be pissed.
Your challenge today is to solve one of those persistent problems you continually assign to your future self.
Way back in the beginning of this month I had to choose a mantra for the year. I choose action as my mantra. One reason that action appealed to me so much as a mantra is that it is the best defense against my nemesis procrastination.
Procrastination has dogged me my entire life. It is truly one of my base faults. I love to put things off for future me. I recently came across the idea of future me in the general discourse of life and have embraced the idea. I know it is a bit cliche but like the phrase adulting; yet I find it very useful to describe an action or attitude I need to get things done.
Now I am currently on my traditional vacation of the last week of January/first week of February. My late wife’s birthday was February 4th, so we always took a couple of weeks off this time of year, both for a delightful trip together and to get some things done. I wonder when I get into another serious relationship with a new life partner if my vacation plans will change because of a new anniversary date and a new birthdate. Looking at the way I have “logically” chosen my vacations over the last decade, they were very much tied to my wedding anniversary and my wife’s birthday. So much so that even though she has passed, I have kept the same schedule this year.
Among the things I traditionally do on this break are, of course, my taxes. Decluttering the house after a holiday season of accumulation. Taking a vacation and clearing my head from work. It is a great time to vacation simply because no one else is on vacation, so prices are lower and resorts are less crowded. We vacationed in warm places, so the weather was less of an issue. But with how cold it is going to be this weekend (The iguanas are falling from the trees) I can imagine our disappointment if we stayed local.
The To Do List
So with this time off, I have a nice big to do list. Looking at it right now, it is a little too big.
I have edited my actual list a smidge for privacy concerns, but this is the behemoth that was there as of this morning.
Daily Blog: You are reading this. Been good on the daily blog for this holiday. Putting up reviews (the bread and butter when it comes to eyeballs for this blog) however, has been not as good (I have a Beaks Review just waiting to be written.)
Sign up for (Insurance name redacted) Doctor: I have not been to the doctor since before the pandemic. I am not unique in this; I understand. The reality is I had not been to the doctor for a few years before the pandemic even started (except for the yearly visit with the dermatologist to look for skin cancer). This is not a money issue as I have health insurance. I just don’t particularly like going to the doctor.
Sign up for Dentist (Be open to change); Though compared to the dentist, the doctor is a visit to the happiest ending massage parlor. I am better at going to the dentist than the doctor simply because my teeth are so bad (The result of a car accident in the early nineties not, as one might assume from a quick glance at them, a long-term meth habit). I wrote be open to change because my current dentist retired a few years ago and this might be an excellent opportunity to see what else is out there. Especially since I now need at least one implant which is not covered by my insurance. (Trip to Mexico?)
Do Taxes: This is a given every year. With Sherrie’s death last year, I have a feeling taxes will be more insufferable than usual. Still, it is the reason for the season. Taxes need to be done before I go back to work.
Load all the rest of comics and start posting on eBay: I am selling a comic collection I have had for over a decade and I simply have no use for. Starting to post them for sale on eBay is certainly something I need to do. I have dipped my toe but have been surprisingly hesitant to open the gates and start selling in bulk.
Start Novel (A couple of chapters): I have an idea for a new novel . Maybe I should get started on that. Hard to do with so much on the to do list, but that is a trap that Ryan Holiday talks about. In fact, in the YouTube video posted below which is one of his best, Ryan articulates the many ways we procrastinate. One way is by staying busy with “chores” to avoid the scary big life-changing projects. I find this to be the way I have procrastinated recently. This is harder to battle than my previous play video games all day procrastination simply because it is harder to police. After all, I am busy doing things that need to be done.
Go out a few times; I actually did this for a New York minute last night. I caught wind of a networking party at a restaurant called The Sacred Pepper. The restaurant seems very nice and I am actually planning to take Lee there for dinner on Sunday. However, this visit was brief. The restaurant was crowded. Too crowded. I am not by any means a poster boy for pandemic safety. (I am triple shot, however). But this was a bit much, even for me. (No where to sit and order food or drink is a nope for me unless I am meeting someone). In addition, and really the coup de gras, they had live karaoke, and the singer sang two Meghan Trainor songs in a row. So yes, I left with extreme prejudice.
Try to get a “date” (Friendship is fine) with (Name Redacted): I want to (activity redacted) (name still redacted). I know this does not seem very stoic. And it isn’t. It is what they would call a preferred indifferent. Well, a preferred indifferent if I am being generous with myself and it is giving into a baser desire, if I am not. Still, it is on the list.
Meet someone new: This is more of a talk to a stranger and make a friend kind of thing than the (activity redacted) project above. I actually met some new people while volunteering for a race last Saturday and it was very pleasant. I almost feel with that success I could take this off the list as done. But in reality, it wouldn’t kill me to do it again over the next ten days. In fact, the activity directly below should help this.
Find an active (redacted) meeting in person that fits my regular schedule. I have attempted this a few times over the last eight months and my half-hearted attempts have failed miserably. I need to network and meet people. I am not really a dating app kind of guy. My isolation from being happily married has taken its toll.
Cat to vet (and make appointment for Nico next) 1/28: Teddy is going in about an hour as I type this so this can come off the list soon. It is just shots and nails done. My vet is way overpriced, but I like him and he is very local.
Clean office (Declutter): The closet in the office is the primary culprit here. There is a queen sized bed in my office as it doubles as a guest bedroom and while a twin bed would fit much better, that is not a hassle or expense I’m looking to embrace at this time.
Videogames (2/1): I used to post a games to buy list on the blog and perhaps I will restart that now I have acquired a new gaming system. That is the plan, at least.
Add computer games to my video games to play spreadsheet: I have all these computer video games over a few different locations. (Steam, GOG, Origin, Epic, Amazon) I probably should organize them in a spreadsheet so I have a better idea what I own.
Eliminate something from list below: There is a more permanent to do list that included things like contact my late wife’s defined benefits plan. Check on the progress of my citizenship application. Get the handyman over to fix the closet doors and install the new doorbell. That kind of list. It is a lot shorter than it was March of last year. But the reality is it should be gone by now.
And the Winner is?
Doctor. I have to see the doctor. It is something I do not want to deal with. It is something I have put off for years. By definition, it is a persistent problem. It is not the most pleasurable item on this list. (That would be (activity redacted) (name still redacted)) But in reality is not the least pleasurable either (Taxes or dentist, I am thinking). It is, however, the one thing I have successfully procrastinated on more than anything else. Action is my mantra and action is what I am going to take.