Freelancer's Lament

I woke up this morning in a state of panic. There was a gnawing in my stomach and a buzzing in my head. Through mounting guilt and fear,  I began--feverishly--to plan my day: No more putting it off, I just had to get my lying around done.

The day before had been one of those frustrating days when everything seemed to happen just to keep me from lying around.  Meetings, conference calls, you name it. Now I had so much lying around to do I didn't know how I was going to accomplish it; it was several days worth and it seemed undoable. Especially since I had been up late three nights already last week trying to catch up, and my body was really starting to feel it. But there was nothing to do, after all, except to go ahead and get as much lying around done in one day as I could. I knew the lying around wasn’t going to get done by itself.

I dragged my body out of bed and into the shower, telling myself I’d start lying around immediately after breakfast--no more procrastination!  But then of course, as always happens, the phone rang. It was my friend Jimmy.  “What are you up to?” he asked.

 “Listen, Jimmy, don’t try to distract me today. I goofed off enough yesterday, and I have a ton of lying around to do.”

“Oh, come on! All you ever do is lie around. We hardly ever see you any more.”

“Look,” I said, feeling very annoyed, “I don’t happen to have other people to do my lying around for me like you do, okay?  Now let me get back to it. I was right in the middle of a really decent doze. Call you later. Bye.” I had neglected to tell him, of course, that I hadn’t even BEGUN to lie around. Which I promised myself I would do, right after the letters I felt I just had to write to my accountant, my publisher and my agent. So much for the morning.

After lunch the pressure was really getting to me, so I actually got down to some serious lying around at 2:45. At 2:55, however, the doorbell rang. “Damn,” I muttered, rolling off the sofa. When I opened the door, I found my upstairs neighbor Lisa standing there, a tense look on her face.

“Jeanne--darling!--God I am so glad you’re home. I’m in the most dreadful fix. Really, if you hadn’t been home I don’t know what I would have done....”

“Lisa, can you cut to the chase please? I’m kind of busy today.”

 “Well, it’s just that I’ve been asked at the last minute--the last second really--to chair a committee meeting I simply can’t say no to, and well, the thing is I haven’t been lying around as much as I need to and I thought, you’re such a sweetie...”

Hold it!” I yelled.  Then I took a deep breath. “Look, I’d like to help you out, but I have way too much of my own lying around to do and I am about to have a nervous breakdown.” I squinted my eyes at her. “Besides, Lisa, I seem to remember some lying around I did for you last month you never thanked me for.”

Lisa tossed her head. “Oh, well, if you are going to make a big deal out of a little lying around!” And she huffed down the hall.

I slammed the door. I went back into the living room, fully intending to hoist myself back onto the sofa, but I was so upset I decided to wash and repaint the kitchen cabinets.

Well, you can guess what happened. After I finished in the kitchen I was too revved up for lying around, so I worked on my taxes.  In short, I have spent another entire day avoiding the lying around I was supposed to do. I probably won’t be able to sleep tonight from worrying about it.

I don’t know why I seem so incapable of lying around. Maybe I need to see a shrink, to find out why I am constantly sabotaging myself.  And anyway, there’s usually a couch in a shrink’s office, isn’t there? You never know, I could get some major lying around done.


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