Is Your Procrastination Costing You?

half-closed window, closing window, window of time, prorastinationTwo ways my procrastination is costing me right now:

1. I missed getting my material on the choral masterpiece Carmina Burana ready in time for the fall concert season. This short e-book has been on the back burner for at least a year and probably longer–I can’t remember when I first came up with the idea of packaging the posts I wrote for the Cherry Creek Chorale’s 2013 performance into some sort of sellable item for other choral groups.

Finally, this fall, I really got going on it. And it was so much fun, once I immersed myself in it again. I especially enjoyed the process of finding pictures to go with each selection. One big roadblock that I encountered, though, was that, while the original lyrics are hundreds of years old, the actual collection of pieces—Carl Orff’s choices from among the 250+ poems, the cuts he made, the order he put them in, etc.–as well as the standard translation, are still under copyright, along with the music. How I wish that I hadn’t run into the website page that mentioned that inconvenient truth! But I did. So I dutifully wrote off to the German music publisher that holds said copyright, and I’m still waiting for permission to use the material. The person in the legal department who needs to answer the question has been sick. She’s been out of the office. All she needs to do is say “yes”! It’s very frustrating.

In the meantime, of course, any groups that were performing the piece this fall would have wanted my material on hand when they first started rehearsals. And now everyone is working on their Christmas concerts. So I’ve switched over to packaging up that material. But guess what? There’s a ton of work to be done there, too. I need pictures for most of the pieces, and I don’t want to pay for them. Finding good public domain free downloads is challenging. (Most of my Carmina illustrations are artworks or manuscript illuminations that have long since passed into the public domain.) The essays I wrote originally need a lot of editing, as there are many specific references to our chorale’s performance that wouldn’t apply to other groups. And some of them, frankly, just aren’t all that great and need to be completely re-written. Then we have to figure out how to market these pieces, and how to put them up on the website with the proper payment procedures. Jim and I spent a long time yesterday batting ideas around, and I think we’ve figured out how to do it. But all of this takes a great deal of time. Meanwhile, we’re almost to the end of October. My chorale starts rehearsals tonight for our Christmas concert, but we have a much tighter concert schedule than most, as we do four performances a year. Many groups have been in rehearsals for Christmas since at least September. The window is rapidly closing. Alas! I fear that it will soon be shut.

2. I have 200 tulip bulbs sitting in the shed, waiting to be planted. We don’t have anything ready for our flowerbeds yet. I shouldn’t really blame this problem on procrastination, to be fair. The person who has to do the backbreaking work is Jim, and he’s been very occupied by work inside. Also, it’s been far too warm to plant the bulbs sooner. I wish the bulb company had sent the order later, but they’re still using whatever table of frost dates they have and it’s clearly out of date. Last week temps were in the 70’s most days, and the soil was reading well above 60, too high for planting. I could probably have specified a later delivery date, but I didn’t think of that when I placed the order. So the poor bulbs are sitting spread out on a rack waiting. We’re probably going to end up planting them in the snow. I just hope that their weeks-long storage time won’t hinder their growth and flowering next spring. I buy my bulbs from a wholesale warehouse type of company, so it’s not the money so much as it is the time and effort involved. If we get them into the ground and they don’t do much, that will be a shame.

As the old hymn says, “Time like an ever-flowing stream bears all its sons away.” I know I often reference the inexorable passage of time, but maybe my awareness needs to translate into action!

How about you? Are there windows closing that you can perhaps slip through before they shut for good?

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