Friday, July 23, 2010

The moral of the story is to not do today what you can put off until next year

posted Wed, 14 Nov 2007

I have hated the stump left from cutting down the tree in my front yard for years, but not enough to do anything about it. I thought about having someone dig it out, but it was going to cost something like $500, and I sure didn’t hate it $500 worth.

Then I thought about digging it out myself, but after watching my neighbor and his dad dig out a tree and take an entire day doing it, I thought, “No, I don’t hate the stump that much.” Yes, I am pretty darn lazy.

So for years, I’ve looked at that darn stump and hated it $499 and less than a day’s work worth.

The stump, as it has looked for a long time.

This morning, I woke up and said to myself, “Lazy-butt self, this is the day when you actually accomplish something. You will not goof off on the computer or start a new book or go to Blockbuster until that tree is gone and I don’t mean maybe, missy.”

I tried to argue back, but my more productive self snapped that I had been sitting on my kiester for way too long and if I wasn’t going to be a taxpayer then at least I was going to make my yard look good.

After fortifying myself with some French toast (leftovers at Lindley’s house), cheese and crackers, and some chocolate chips, I set out for the front yard. I started to dig, already feeling sorry for myself, when I discovered that the shovel was going very deep under the tree. I wasn’t hitting any roots. Well, I was, but they were breaking up.

What was this? I dug around the circumference of the tree and every time I hit resistance, it disappeared as soon as I applied a little force from underneath.

The roots had rotted. They were crumbling as soon as the shovel touched them. My procrastination was being rewarded. If I had tried this two years ago, I would still be outside digging. (Well, not literally, but you know what I mean.) But what should have been a five-hour job became a ten-minute job through the simple strategy of being lazy and putting off an unpleasant task. Let this be a lesson to you all.

Ten minutes, yes, ten minutes after I started to dig, the stump was ready to be lifted out of the ground.

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