April is the cruellest month, but not for the reasons T.S. Eliot had in mind.
The beginning of spring always reminds me of my chronic procrastination habit.
Back in university, year-end term papers piled up and books and notes waited to be studied for final exams. It always seemed like the ultimate sick joke, or some psychology experiment in delayed gratification.
Just as windows were being thrown open for the first time in months and you could finally walk outside without a winter coat, students were asked to stay indoors.
And now there's another evil element to April: income taxes. With the end-of-the-month filing deadline approaching, I'm getting more anxious by the day. After all, there's a year's worth of paperwork to sort through.
My place is a mess. Receipts, charitable donation slips and T4 forms are everywhere. The older ones have been stuffed into plastic bags or big, bulky envelopes. The newer ones clutter my kitchen counter or have been shoved into knapsack pouches or deep into coat pockets somewhere in my closet.
Past experience tells me that all it will take to get everything together is a day or two of solid work. I can crank the stereo, listen to a podcast, reward myself with a fancy dinner that I'll be able to pay for once my tax refund arrives.
Um, not gonna happen. Not this week anyway.
I've often wondered why I became an arts journalist in the first place, ruled by 10 am screenings, 8 pm curtains and "drop-dead deadlines." But maybe I realized that without someone asking me for copy, I'd never get anything written.
It's a trick we procrastinators sometimes use. Need to clean up the house? Inviting friends over for dinner will force you to do it.
Which gives me an idea. I haven't thrown a dinner party in ages. You're all invited. Sometime in May.