Drowning in Monkey Arms

I'm happy to report that today I completed a half-hour task that I've been avoiding for two months.

This task had been written on not one, not two, but three separate to-do lists. For two months, I've dodged this task like a ball and skipped it like a stone across a smooth lake. I've avoided it the way I sometimes avoid people in the grocery store when I'm wearing my glasses and socks with sandals, and I just want to dash in, grab my milk and overly-priced eggs, and dash out without any human interaction.

I've managed this avoidance for two months, across three to-do lists, but not today. Not today, I tell you! Today I Did The Thing.

I realize that the tendency to procrastinate is a universal human ailment that besets even the best of us at times. Years ago, I wrote on this blog about a very simple task that I had been avoiding: sewing the arm that had torn off one of my daughter's stuffed animals. A monkey, to be specific. For weeks, that one-armed monkey sat on my dresser, regarding me mournfully with its beady stuffed animal eyes, silently pleading for me to sew its dismembered arm back onto its body.

It took me under five minutes to finally stitch that monkey's arm back on. Practically no time at all.

What amazed me was the comments from others who could relate. One woman wrote, "Most days I feel like I am drowning in monkey arms." (I assume she meant this figuratively, not literally, or it would have been an even more concerning and unsettling issue.)

So today let me offer a small word of encouragement: As you already know from experience, it feels really good to finally Do The Task. From one imperfect delayed monkey-arm-sewer to another, take those five minutes (or that half hour) and just sew that monkey's arm back on already, whatever that means to you.

Right now, I'm flying high. Perhaps I'll tackle another item that's been long buried on another to-do list that I've previously dismissed. And maybe, just maybe, by the end of this day, most of my monkeys will have arms.

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