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I am finished procrastinating. I’m telling you the truth. I have sat here at this computer for 40 minutes and not accomplished anything worth my time — let alone yours. I had only good intentions for this day. My timing was going to be impeccable so that, at the end of the day, while I settled myself on the front porch for wine, book and nibbles, I would feel proud of my efforts. But here I am in the middle of the afternoon and have not accomplished a damn thing except splashed my way through an aquafit class and bought a few groceries.

All summer I used the excuse of humidity and heat to justify my immobility and procrastination. But today there is none of that. It is a perfect day smelling of upcoming fall but still with a warm sun. This type of weather has always rejuvenated me. Once there is a whiff of cooler air I feel energized and start making lists of what I, not only want, but will do. Maybe that’s the problem with today — I didn’t make a list! I didn’t write one because all I had to do was look around this apartment and I knew what I needed to do. Still a list might have been good idea if only to tickle my conscience and get me moving. But somehow I feel it’s just too late to make one now. By the time I make the list, my scheduling monkey in my head will blow its whistle and announce:“6:30 pm, quitting time, stop and rest.” This little monkey-voice happens whether I’ve written a chapter of a book, cleaned the house from top-to-bottom or done absolutely nothing at all.

I would just wallow in my inertia and continue with the nothingness that I’ve been doing all day but, and it’s a BIG BUT, I have folks coming here tomorrow afternoon for drinks and snacks. There is no way I would let anyone come into this house with the mounds of cat hair that are floating over everything. The red carpet is now covered with a cloud of white so thick that you can’t even see the design. And the amount of hair on the couch would discourage anyone from hanging out there. No, I have to get it done and get it done this afternoon.

I used to look forward to cleaning a particularly dirty house. There was something challenging and rewarding about the effort and, definitely, about the results. That was true more in Washington than here. Face it, I was 20 some odd years younger, had a smaller apartment and cats that did not seem to shed half their coats every day. I had planned to tackle the carpet before swimming but, instead, did laundry — easy gratification — bought my niece a wedding gift on line, and, then, talked to my sister, Mary, for a half hour about the gift I bought on line. Then, it was time to go to the pool.

I could make yet another excuse and say that Rose, who is conked out on the back of the sofa, will be disturbed if I turn on the vacuum. But anyone who knows me — including Rose — would know that that particular excuse just doesn’t fly. I never have any qualms whatsoever about disturbing Ms. Rose’s extensive naps especially when she starts talking to herself and I’m trying to get some writing finished.

There’s nothing to do but to do it! I wish at this point that I had asked Maria if she was free today to come over. She is a whizz with eliminating cat hairs and just generally making this place look good. But I didn’t so now I am stuck with dragging that dreaded vacuum cleaner out of the closet — gads, I hate that thing. It dates from matrimonial days — the ex picked it out, naturally — and now, 20 years later,  it doesn’t have an on/off switch that works nor a handle that will actually stay on when you drag it from place to place. I keep thinking I should buy a new one but then a different kind of inertia kicks in at the thought of deciding which one to buy and then spending all that money — Why are vacuums so expensive? — to get a new one.

So, no more excuses, no more procrastination. I’m off to get this job started so I can finish it before midnight. I’m going to put on some old rock-and-roll, crank it up loud and sing my heart out with each pile of cat hair that disappears. Rose, Beware! I’m coming your way.

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