What is it about us as humans that we tend to push things off for another day? (Or maybe I’m unjustly lumping all of you in with my own short-comings.) The saying “don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today” has been oft-repeated to me all my life, and even in spite of learning it the hard way many times I still slip into procrastination mode. It is entirely too easy to justify why I’m not doing something – I could give you 5 reasons why I shouldn’t be doing a certain task at this very moment. Some reasons might even be legitimate.
My garden has been a prime example of my procrastination this summer. It started out well enough in the spring and I got my planting done. Then summer happened. A very busy summer. And unfortunately my garden bore the brunt of it. Things have begun to settle down in the last couple weeks and it was time to turn my attention to salvaging what I still could of my vegetables from the tangle of weeds. Bugs and a lack of rain had wiped out some of it, so I didn’t have to feel guilty about missing out on harvesting some of the mid-summer crops. My poor tomatoes are suffering from blossom rot, so my number one project this evening was to pick any that were mature enough and let them ripen off the vine. Actually, this has been my plan for the last few days and I have come up with a reason not to every evening.
As I sat down to write, the irony of me procrastinating picking my tomatoes by writing about procrastination was too great. I forced myself outside and took care of the chore. And you know what? What seemed like a big task took a whole 15 minutes, and I now have 2 1/2 baskets of tomatoes ripening. So why did I put this off? I know life is unpredictable, why not just do the job at hand and be done with it?
Much of my garden woes were a direct result of enjoying my summer – living in the moment, visiting with family and friends, travelling. I don’t regret building those memories that will outlive a few vegetables, and I realize moments have a greater value and eternal weight than having a garden look picture perfect. But somewhere there needs to be a balance. Just like most everything in life, there is a middle of the road. Veering off to one extreme or the other isn’t healthy. I guess seizing the moment means doing whatever is the best choice for that moment, and this includes picking tomatoes and getting the job done. I know I will be glad I did when I’m enjoying salsa all winter!