Today’s quotation in the Birthday Book is from 18th century poet Edward Young, also quoted at the start of the month, so doing very well for himself. It is the renowned phrase on prevarication:

Procrastination is the thief of time:
Year after year it steals, ’til all are fled
And to the mercies of a moment leaves
The vast concerns of an eternal scene.

Particularly pertinent a pick, procrastination, seeing as I’d decided on this as the topic when plotting out the month alphabetically back in March, marking it down as one of the definites, thinking ‘I could get these ones done and cued up now,’ simultaneously knowing that I would do no such thing and would get to the 19th – around, say, 19.30 – and still be putting the finishing touches to it, more likely the commencing touches.

There is something about putting things off. Somehow if a thing’s worth doing, it’s worth doing at the last possible moment. Granted, you may be robbed of time and at the mercies of that moment, but that can have a remarkable effect of sharpening the focus on essential – rather than perhaps vast – concerns. The need for concision. A distillation of your intent. One’s unconscious processing of the task over those (shall we say metaphorical) years of deferred action has all but completed the work, so when the issue is finally addressed, it is simply the right time to open the sluice gates, the conduits of panic, to allow what has already been done out to fill the awaiting vessel.

If you’d ‘just done it’ back when you had more time, it probably wouldn’t be anywhere near as pure an expression of what you really mean.

So, let’s lift a glass to getting it done later. In a minute.

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