By Mary Lynn Bruny

There are so many things we humans do that make no sense. In the top-ten list is procrastination. Here are things we know must get done, know we will eventually do, but for some unknown reason, we just keep putting them off.

This is dumb in many ways. First, if we just did these things, we could enjoy the fruits of our labor. Secondly, we would feel some sort of personal triumph: We had a task and with rock-solid personal discipline we completed the job. Wonderful! Bravo! And yet many of us still procrastinate. Why?

I am a procrastinator. Apparently there is something in my brain chemistry that requires an immediate need (a deadline), to get the blood pumping and muscles moving.

Like many folks, my procrastination tendencies apply to home projects. It used to be that if I were having some event at our home or guests visiting, I would be motivated to start things up and get things done. The mere thought of the eagle eyes of my mother scanning our home for deficiencies like a maternal version of “The Terminator” could keep my energy up for a month before her visits.

But in the fall (older age) of my life, I just don’t seem to have any oomph. As Bob Dylan sings: “I used to care, but things have changed.” I have become even less motivated. Why?

I’ve reflected on this and observed a few truisms. First, what really needs to get done gets done. (Or at least in my case.) Bills will get paid on time, all folks and pets in the household will be fed adequately to survive, and enough skivvies will be washed to get by.

Second, what doesn’t need to get done isn’t really all that important. For our household, presently it’s window coverings in some rooms. Yes, I wrote about our need for these years ago and still have not addressed it. Has anybody died because of this? No. Has the world stopped turning? No.

One might think that after nine years I would be embarrassed by my inability to get this project completed. But I seem to be immune to embarrassment. (Perhaps this is what occurs when you are a teenager in a grocery store line and your mother starts talking about your horrible acne to the clerk while the cute guy behind you who goes to your high school cringes in disgust: all parts of your brain associated with embarrassment get fried beyond future functioning.)

But really who cares about our lack of window coverings except my husband who wakes up at the crack of dawn each morning to the glaring sun? No one else, I assure you. Would his day be a bit better with a few more minutes of sun-free sleep? Sure. But is his non-perfect contentment enough to motivate me to purchase window coverings? Apparently not. He simply needs to complain more, and he is not a complainer. Is that on me? Of course not.

Yet I’ll admit I do feel an iota of annoyance with myself that this project is not completed. Not enough to actually do it mind you, but enough to cause a few seconds of reflective thought which quickly vanishes like steam from a teapot. Unfortunately, as of late, I seem to be more motivated to be a procrastinator. As a procrastinator I’m doing a very, very good job. And I’m all for doing a very good job.

By Mary Lynn Bruny. Mary Lynn writes about local real estate and home-related topics. Contact her at [email protected]. To read previous The Lighter Side articles, go to