So I overslept this morning — just by about 15 minutes, but it might as well have been three hours for the panic it induced.
Am I the only one who feels like the alarm clock is less wake-up call and more starting gun?
Scramble out of bed, get eyes open, fumble for the caffeine, check work email, check personal email. Take a deep breath. Shower, make lunch(es) and pack for the day, learn a new Jazzercise routine, attempt to be witty on Facebook, text Basil and Catherine a reminder of the day’s appointments and activities.
And all the while, strive to tuck odd jobs into the stray minutes — start a load of laundry, empty the dishwasher, consider the dinner situation, make the bed, make the grocery list, run through the house with the duster, wipe down the bathroom while brushing teeth, bring the recycling bin back from the end of the driveway, write the odd check or address a birthday card, scribble to-do lists that will surely be ignored by the other two people who live here.
(Catherine offered up this pearl of wisdom last night when I asked her to take care of one little thing on the way up to bed: “Funny how it’s not MY house until it needs to be cleaned.” W.T.F?! Apparently good parenting must be added to my list of epic failures. Sigh.)
Now that school’s out, it’s not quite so hairy. There are fewer appointments to keep. In fact, Catherine has a week’s respite before starting her counselor-in-training gig. And while I work like mad, she’s sleeping til noon, making herself pancakes for dinner, watching movies, catching some rays.
I’m trying to stress a bit of discipline — keeping one of her toes in some academic pursuits and trying to get her to straighten up her things.
It is … (wait for it) … like pushing on a rope.
I am fervently hoping for a time when I can hide away from the world, go unplugged and just … be.
This morning, however, as I threw the towels in the wash and replaced the toilet paper and tissues in the upstairs bath (apparently, one needs special certification for those jobs) I resigned myself: It’s all just a pipe dream. Like that stupid childhood song, these are the tasks that never end.
On her radio program, A Matter of Balance, recently, my friend Kristen had a guest who calmly extolled the notion of corralling the insanity by choosing just three major things to accomplish each day.
It took all the willpower I possess to not call in and ask: “You mean BEFORE 7 am?”
So true, even in retirement. I get up, put water on for tea, empty the dishwasher, clean out the sink, and generally tidy the kitchen, having already done a quick tidy in the bathroom and gathered a load of wash, and then read email, etc., while I drink my tea. Bill puts on the coffeemaker, sits and reads his mail, gets his coffee and goes back to the computer.
I have always been a list maker, and when the kids were small, felt like I had accomplished nothing at the end of the day. Then I realized that my lists weren’t realistic. Clean the entire house, mow the lawn, weed the garden, paint lawn furniture, solve world peace issue — a little too much for one day with 3 kids running around. So, I added things like Get dressed, Pick up mail (we have a PO Box so it’s more than walking out to the street), Get groceries — things that got done daily and take up time. At least at the end of the day, I had crossed out some things!
I’ve resorted to that method, too. Ends up being more work to write the things down that will get done anyway!
I so feel you Terri…..
I love it, Terri. Ken, always says to me, “You try to do too much”. I feel like I should just hit the “play” button on my response, “If I don’t do it, it’s not going to get done”.