Same Time, Next Year

In about an hour or so, I’m off to the post office. Surprise, surprise. Every year — to my father-in-law’s amusement — I declare at the beginning of February that I will be doing my taxes early, that I will be efficient and organized, only to end up waiting on line with all the other American slackers on April 15 either laughing or crying, depending upon how long the line is.

The truth is, lofty aspirations aside, I’m very deadline-oriented. After years as a freelance journalist, and as a lifelong procrastinator, I’ve organized my life based on when things are due. “Can’t sign that permission slip yet, Helena, it’s not due till the 23rd. Your brother’s Scholastic Book order form is due tomorrow!” “Can’t start dinner yet until I finish this assignment that needs to get to the editor by 5.” I suspect that part of the reason I tend to put off working on Baby Grand is that there’s a little voice inside me that’s saying, “There’s pleeeeeenty of time to finish that! Gosh, the deadline isn’t until June 30!”

As the deadline draws near, though, and the pressure mounts, I know I will become focused, determined. I suspect that during the month of June I will pull another disappearing act — not unlike the one I pulled during the holiday season as Dr. Robyn and I were finishing up Good Girls Don’t Get Fat — and my neighbors will only see me when I run out to put the kids on the school bus or when I attend end-of-the-school-year functions.

But, hey, that’s six weeks away. Right now, I gotta get to the post office.

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