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Lessons Learned: Procrastination

"Here's a little story I gots to tell, about LoserMLW and his wife as well."

"It started way back on November 3, with some leaves, some wind, some snow, and me."


Every year around this time, our city provides two leaf pickup services for the residents, one at the end of October and one in the middle of Movemb- I mean, Novembea- I mean, November. Since we purchased our home in 2009, my wife and I have dutifully raked up leaves and deposited them on our curb for the giant leaf-sucking truck to grab when it makes it's rounds.

This year, however, our trees decided to forego the regular cycle of seasons, and they held onto their leaves much like a miser holds tight to his dollars. Our first leaf pickup came with almost no leaves on the ground, and I ended up mulching over the few scattered leaves as I did the weekly mowing. For the next few weeks, the trees released few of their leafy captives, and I didn't give them another thought.

On November 3rd, my wife reminded me that the last leaf pickup was the following week. I told her I had things under control, and went back to playing some Pokemon Y. After all, I just HAD to catch that Abomasnow!


The week progressed, and the trees slowly loosed their iron grip on their foliage, the yard slowly covering over with colorful fall leaves. Two of our large maple tress still held fast, and refused to turn over their leafy bounty to gravity.


The weekend arrived, and the wife and I made plans to rake on Saturday, the 9th. However, things came up, plans changed and we ended up going out with friends. Sunday came, and we woke with the greatest of intents; We were GOING TO RAKE! That is, until we met friends for a radio-station tour and breakfast. Full of waffles, syrup and sausage gravy, we came home. The wife said, "You do realize that the last pickup is Thursday, right?" I replied, "Yep. We can knock it out after work this week." "Yeah, but it's really nice out right now – we COULD do it today", she answered. "I'm full, and sleepy, and I just want to chill on the couch. It will get done this week; we have PLENTY of time." I said. With that, we settled in and ended up watching Knight Rider on the couch all afternoon. I had heard that snow was in the forecast, but we live in Michigan, and years of training have taught me to doubt anything a weatherman says.

"I skipped it like this, I skipped it like that."
"I skipped it while I curled up with a cat."


[Cut to Monday AM, external house view, rain has begun to fall heavily while the temperature drops.] Me: "Crap. It's raining – tonight's going to suck."

[Cut to Monday PM, external house view, rain has turned to snow and the lawn is being lightly covered.] Me: "Crap. It's snowing – tonight's REALLY going to suck"


I arrived home shortly after 5:00PM, with exactly one hour and fifteen minutes of daylight left in the day, and hurriedly changed into some jeans and my work coat and gloves. The wife did the same, and we went out to the shed, grabbed the rakes and tarp, and began raking. Well, trying to rake, as the rain and snow had combined with the leaves to create a new material. We called it Snleaves, and it did NOT want to be raked up, or form neat piles. We spent 15 minutes raking this mess up, and we were both ready to call it a night. Imagine trying to rake up a snowy driveway, and that's what we were dealing with. We tried to keep our spirits up but it was becoming more and more difficult.


After some time, we switched focus – we moved to the front yard, which was smaller and not as heavily covered. As the leaves were so heavy, our tactic became clear: Divide the yard into thirds, rake the leaves into piles in those thirds, and into lines across the yard. We worked at that for the remainder of the hour we had left, and finished up Monday evening with the yard looking like rails of snowy, icy leaves – as if a giant was about to roll up a chunk of asphalt and snort them up like an 80's coke fiend.

Tuesday came, and we awoke tired and a little sore. We were met with temps of 34 degrees and some wind. The snow and rain held off, however, our front maple tree was still refusing to loose its' hold on its' leaves. After our work day, we again set to getting the raking finished with the 1.25 hours of light we had remaining. A slight thaw had occurred, and the rails of leaves broke free from the lawn and a snow-shovel was used to get them on the tarp for transport to the curb. We worked hard and fast, and managed to clear both the front and side yards in the time we had left that night. We retreated inside, with 1.25 hours of light on Wednesday left to get the backyard clear and to complete things before pickup on Thursday.


We awoke on Wednesday, and as the morning came, it brought clear skies, sun and a little wind. That fateful combination melted almost all of the snow on the back lawn, and by the time we were able to get out to start, the raking was going to be easy. We worked quickly, raking across the yard, piling onto the tarp, and dragging to the front. 5 trips with the tarp and a quick once-over of the side yard and driveway, and we were done. We had beaten our odds, limited sunlight and time, and finished the job.

So, this little escapade taught me 3 valuable lessons. Lessons that I should have already known, but was too cynical to consider.

  • 1. Procrastination usually results in a raising the difficulty level of the task and lowering the success rate.
  • 2. Don't put off to tomorrow what you can get done today with less time and hard labor.
  • 3. When your wife suggests not putting something off until tomorrow, you should probably listen.

"I'm LoserMLW and I'd like respect."
"But GIFs and sarcasm is what I expect."

Credit to The Beastie Boys "Paul Revere" - love that tune...

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