Rendered Fat Content


Peter Paul Rubens:
The Voyage of the Cardinal Infante Ferdinand of Spain from Barcelona to Genoa in April 1633, with Neptune Calming the Tempest, Alternate Title: Quos Ego (1635)

"I revel most in those long-delayed Successes!"

Some messes prove difficult to resolve. I do not know why. The pile of boxes accumulating in the basement dated from a year ago last Christmas, if my forensic flattening figured out anything. Finally, yesterday, I tore into that mess and resolved it in something under an hour. I loaded up Elizabeth, our Lexus pick-up truck stand-in, and The Muse and I performed a royal procession to the cardboard recycling station at the local landfill. We were filled with a deep sense of genuine accomplishment, a feeling far greater and more rewarding than could have ever come from routinely dealing with those boxes as they'd come. That pile of boxes, long a source of quiet disgust, held great potential to produce tremendous satisfaction, but only after it had been liberally marinated in fifteen months of my most dedicatedly degrading procrastination.

Those months of quiet disgust at just how slovenly I'd been turned into the most extraordinary sensation of Success I'd felt since before last Christmas.
My months of idle shirking evaporated the second I'd finished carrying that last box up the creaky basement stairs. No longer would my eye catch clear evidence of my incompetence every time I visited my basement. Instead, a faint residue of that Success should grace that suddenly empty space, perhaps forever, clear evidence of my eventual competence. All became more than right with my world with that simple act.

SuccessDelayed seems to amplify a Success. It's almost as if a quick result somehow discounts the value of the achievement, even when and if that result far exceeds a more modest one long delayed. I went on to finally clean up leaves I'd left uncollected in the chaotic end to last year's Autumn. That leaf fall was so long delayed that by the time leaves started coming down, snow was already on the ground, rendering raking and blowing nigh on to impossible. I blew what I could up against fences and embarrassed myself every time I passed my uncharacteristically messy mid-winter gardens. Again, a few very short hours and that long-standing embarrassment became another accomplishment, much better for the over-long irresolution prefacing.

I sometimes feel as though I've missed the opportunity to accomplish something, as if Success has somehow managed to avoid me. I nearly smother in my guilt for having delayed that resolution too long. Procrastination is said to be a self-regenerating condition because once dabbled into, wallowing almost certainly follows. Defer that resolution long enough, and it sure seems like a permanent feature rather than a pending to-be-done. It's easy for me to even become complacent and start seeing myself as some second-class citizen, one of those people with yards overflowing with detritus: car carcasses, discarded appliances, and rusting farm equipment—a sorry sculptor garden. But nothing is ever written; nothing undone ever really becomes undoable, but instead quietly accumulates potential while apparently idling there. Often, an odd hour will completely resolve that once permanent-seeming shortfall, and the satisfaction that Success produces more than repays the lengthy disgusted waiting. Washed clean, I revel most in those long-delayed Successes!

©2023 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

blog comments powered by Disqus

Made in RapidWeaver