Photo by Nana Smirnova on Unsplash

Years ago—maybe in 2015 or so—I realized that I had lost my birth certificate and social security card. Thinking back, I am confident that I lost them during one of my many moves in and around Philadelphia in 2009 or 2010. 

Of all the things I’ve lost in my life, those two documents are the most embarrassing. I’ve always been so responsible! How could I have lost those important papers?

Luckily, my passport wasn’t in the folder that erroneously got tossed in the trash (I assume that’s what happened), and I’ve kept it valid so that I can move around the world and, well, work. (I don’t like to think about the nightmare I would have faced if I had lost all three.)

Ordering replacements has been on my to-do list since I realized they weren’t just misplaced papers that will eventually turn up and were instead really, really gone. But the task kept getting deprioritized, thanks to my extreme aversion to dealing with government offices and the safety net my passport provided.

But last night, as my mom was telling me a story about finding the personal effects—including a birth certificate—of a person who was unhoused, I decided enough is enough. This morning, in no more than 20 minutes, I ordered a replacement birth certificate and got my proof of identity form notarized remotely. AND THEN, this afternoon, I ordered a replacement social security card, which was even easier.

Yes folks, I put off two tasks that took me less than a total of 30 minutes for at least seven years. And I feel amazing.

So. What have you been putting off for no good reason? Maybe it’s time to finally cross them off your list.

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