Beanery Online Literary Magazine

April 18, 2008

YE OLD ’ROUND ’TUIT

—written by Kathleen

When I was a teenager, the pastor of a local Methodist church I attended was noted for his sense of humor. We never knew what he’d joke about next or what he’d invent. But in our youth group, a standard joke was his “’round ’tuit’s” variations.

Whether he or others were the procrastinator, didn’t matter. When he ordered the first ’round ’tuit trivets and passed them out to everyone we knew his sense of humor had form and substance! I kept mine for years until it disappeared after several moves.
For the best or worse reasons, we all have good intentions. We plan to get “around to it.” From simple things like doing laundry, shopping, getting the oil changed in our car to those actions that take a little more effort, like dieting and exercise.

Because I live alone and have for twenty some years, I am responsible for doing everything that needs done; from everyday tasks to things I have to force myself to do. It isn’t so easy! Married people have the advantage of at least suggesting to their spouse “Honey, do this – or that.” They avoid or divvy up tasks. For the single, divorced or widowed person who no longer has that luxury, getting around to doing an unpleasant task can be conveniently “put off” until—well, forever, or at least until the next astronaut is propelled skyward on a space shuttle!

In general, I pride myself on being efficient and organized; factors in my Scotch-Irish heritage I guess. For instance, I have file folders dating back years containing original bank statements and copies of tax forms and health insurance papers. Recently I updated the surgery and accident list I hand to any new doctor whose office I must visit. There’s never enough space on the form to write the long list of ailments I’ve endured!

Where I DO have a problem is making doctor appointments, scheduling auto repairs, housecleaning chores, and, oh, yes, calling off work on a day I’m unavoidably sick—I truly hate it! Even though this is not a habit, I’m always ready with a five-minute speech why I can’t report to work.

Sometimes I’m too mentally and emotionally tired to handle ANYTHING, and I refuse to pick up the phone. I’ve found myself wishing I could hire a personal shopper to handle matters—just sit back, relax and let someone else guide the reins for once. Someone to run, to make the calls, to take the heat, if needed. Days like this I pull the covers over my head and stay in bed. I procrastinate to the last possible minute whatever immediate problem it is I have to handle! Of course, this doesn’t make matters go away, but at least I can live in the illusion for a few more hours—or days. Sometimes it’s actually a plus, because I handle the problem better after letting it simmer, having not “rushed into” the situation.

A common “’round ’tuit” problem is housecleaning. I’ve never been one of those avid fritter and fuss persons about dusting, washing and vacuuming. My mother was, or insisted, I do, these tasks methodically while at home, which probably accounts for my later-in-life slackness. I live in an apartment with four rooms and no one else tracking through to dirty the place. Often I’m too tired after work to even THINK about cleaning. Instead, I depend on Tasmanian “energy spurts” to propel me into a whirlwind of activity. Clouds of white dust collect weekly on every exposed piece of furniture and nick knack in my overcrowded dwelling. I should be a cleanliness freak! I’m not! The daily pursuit of creativeness—pastimes like surfing the Web, writing articles, making cards on my computer, reading a good book or inventing crafts are far more important to me. Now this is time well spent! The way I look at it, the dust bunnies, bugs and worms will outlive me anyway and can wait another day!

’Round ’tuits come with a plethora of personal priorities and scripted measurements. Much like the variety of colorfully designed trivets our former pastor handed out, everyone procrastinates in different areas. The most disliked task can be put off indefinitely, squished like garbage to the bottom of the can, like the process I go through to obtain health care, rent adjustment, and file for time off from work due to an accident (which has been frequently). This process creates a monstrosity of ’round ’tuits, since dinosaurs will once again roam the earth, before involved agencies get matters moving in my behalf! Let’s not mention the mountain of manuscript length papers, which must accompany the application. Bureaucracy behemoths! These notorious Nellies of the complicated are experts at procrastination. Should we be careless about returning important information in a timely manner, fire-breathing dragons blow hot on our necks threatening late fees and penalties.

We, the consumer, must be zealous and harbor feelings of remorse and guilt if we fail to meet the designated deadlines of credit card companies, businesses or the IRS. However, should these corporate monsters OWE US – well, they can take their own sweet time! They need super sized ’round ’tuits!

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. To read posts on this subject click on the following: A PASTOR’S ROLE IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE and WILL YOU LOVE ME TO DEATH?

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To read additional recent posts, click on the following:

BEANERY WRITERS NEWSLETTER (BWN) Vol. 1 Issue 1 April 2008

WHAT IS THE KEY INDICATOR TO YOUR WRITING SUCCESS?

IN SEARCH OF THE ARABELLA

BRAMBLES (BRIEF RAMBLES) 1: April 17, 2008 On Sprint’s Poverty, Quality Water and Relationsips

HOW BITTER ARE PERSONS IN SMALL PENNSYLVANIA COMMUNITIES?

SOUTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIANS DRINK MOXIE: Do They Like It?

MOXIE: LOVE IT or HATE IT

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To receive a sample copy of the Beanery Writers Newsletter, E-mail beaneryblog@yahoo.com with the words NEWSLETTER SAMPLE typed in the subject line. Information on subscribing and unsubscribing is included in the newsletter.

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