Sometimes — no, usually — the consequences of procrastination are unforeseen at any of the myriad moments a task is shoved off the list for the time-being.
I never got around to filing my actual 2007 Income Tax forms at the right time, in April. I filed for an automatic extension. That gave me until October 15 — a few days from now. I made a phone appointment with my tax accountant for Friday October 10, 3pm. I called at 3:00 on the nose, and my accountant answered. “I’m running late on the appointment before you… give me another hour.”
So I called back at 4pm. He asked for another 1/2 hour. I gave him 35 minutes, and called him back. No answer. I called every few minutes, and at 4:50 he answered, telling me he was done, but he needed a bathroom and coffee break. “Call back in 15 minutes.”
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Sometime between 16 and 25 my son Drew became a singer and guitar player. I knew he was a guitar player for years, because he would either grab my guitar and strum away the hours, or bring his own to beach gatherings, picnics or wherever it was he figured the events of which he’d like to tune out and instead focus on his guitar. But I did not know he was a good singer until recently when he handed me a CD with songs he recorded while leading congregational singing during a segment of a church service designated for musical worship. The same evening he handed me the CD, was also the evening of his first Art Show, and among the attendees was Jimmy Robeson, a fellow musician whose music I like, and so I bought one of Jimmy’s CDs and eventually both CDs and my other stuff made it to the car, where in a blurred bit of confusion I put one CD in the player and the other in a stack of my things.
of it all.I recall listening to Drew’s friend Jimmy on the way home from the gallery and thinking what a nice, earthy, styled voice he has, kind of smokey at the right times, but with full-volume gusto when called for. Very nice voice, this Jimmy. My only disappointment was that I had just bought from Jimmy not his earlier CD which my daughter also owned and I had heard, rather a compilation of worship/church songs, which I generally don’t enjoy for entertainment’s sake, nor for singing at church either, really, but that’s more for philosophical reasons related to my ideas of what kind of worship God enjoys vs what modern routines we slog through at church on Sunday mornings — all of which I can save for another time. Still, Jimmy’s got a great voice, and handles the guitar deftly, so I listened on the way home and just enjoyed the voice, the instrumentality and musicality of it all.
The next day I got into my car again for an errand, and the CD player started up, and I decided I wasn’t in the mood for more church/worship music, so I popped the CD out of the player so I could put it back in the Jimmy case. That’s when I found Jimmy’s CD already in it’s case, and realized for the first time that I had been listening to my own son Drew all that time.
I didn’t know he was a singer. No one told me, and he’d never sung in front of me. It really took quite a bit of time for me to wrap my mind around the fact that I was listening to my son sing — and that was him on the guitar, too! I wondered why I didn’t know. Why hadn’t I been invited to hear him sing and play before? When did he turn into a fine singer?
Last night, Drew was scheduled as the second act at our large church’s first annual Art, Music, Dance, Drama, Poetry event. It just happens that my son and I enjoy the same church — it’s not like we attend as a family. And on our own, he and I each submitted pieces to the art gallery segment of this art weekend. He also submitted a song, and as I learned Thursday morning, would be performing Friday evening a little past 5:30pm. I was excited to see him perform, finally.
• • •
I called my tax accountant at 5:15pm. No answer. 5:18. 5:21. 5:25. 5:30. 5:35. He finally answered. We got down to business for the next 40 minutes discussing the data, the details, the financial prognosis, as my son performed before an audience of maybe 100 to 200, 6 miles away.
I did not know I would miss such an important event when I failed to file my taxes on time 6 months ago.
There are plenty of other good reasons not to procrastinate, but I’ll get to those later.