You already know that I procrastinate. And I have told you that procrastination brings its own rewards, like not having to mend or iron things that have been left so long they don't fit anyone I know. That used to be true, but I live alone now and my children have completed their vertical growth, anyway, so they don't outgrow clothes the way they used to. But I have encountered a new pleasure predicated on procrastination (sorry, but I love alliteration). Coupons.
I'm clearing out my Paper Desk, catching up on neglected correspondence (with computer-illiterate friends, and I have several). And I have come across obsolete discount coupons, expiring at the end of 2014, and some, even better, as early as 2013. It is with such a feeling of abandon that I toss them in the waste basket for recycling. They don't owe me anything, nor I them, not even a spasm of guilt.
The one thing I cannot toss, of course, is a note to myself. Several notes begin with "I cannot go anywhere without paper..." and there follows a date, a time, and usually, the name of the place where I am writing. It might be a clinic waiting room, an airport lounge or, most frequently, a coffee shop, waiting for a friend. (I'm always early, having allowed enough time to get lost.) I remember reporting on Joan Didion's collection of these bits of paper; she compared hers to a ball of string. It might look impressive but it's just short bits, nothing long enough even to make a cat's cradle (that's my expression, not hers). So I don't throw out my paper trail.
But everything else has gone past its recommended date and must go. It feels good.