Tuesday, December 14, 2010
So I turned myself to face me
"What time is it?"
"7:24. Wait. Is it Monday? Don't you have school today?"
MathMan and Nate typically leave the house at 6:15a.m. All they could do at this point was mitigate the damage of being late. Thankfully, Nate didn't have any exams yesterday morning.
Sophie made it to school just in time.
No bones were broken and cursing was kept to a minimum. Considering the frenzy we were in, this was remarkable. Are we, as a family, maturing?
After a beginning like that, I had no idea how the rest of the day would go. The plans I'd made for the day weren't ruined, but now my timing was off. Would I fight the cats for a spot on the bed so I could lay around and watch Love Actually three times in a row? Or maybe finish any of the three books I've partially read?
When I went to bed on Sunday night, I'd had my whole day planned. Once most of the people were out of the house by 7:30, I'd work out, eat breakfast, shower, write, do more job searching, read and then, later in the day, make dinner and get the Christmas decorations out of the garage so we when Sophie got home, we could put up the tree, as promised.
So now what? It was already after 8 o'clock and that half an hour made all the difference in the world! Well, in my mind it did. It's a ridiculous game I play with myself to keep from accomplishing anything. A ready made excuse.
When I got back from dropping Sophie at school (she missed the bus), I went around the house, picking up the trail of clothes and towels that had been left behind by people dressing in a hurry. I made beds, noticed that things were dusty and wow, did I really vacuum late last week?
Hours later, the bathrooms were clean, the whole house was vacuumed and dusted, furniture was rearranged (for the first time since we moved into this house in April 2009, our dining room is a dining room instead of an office), all of MathMan's text books were in one place instead of scattered in three different rooms, dinner was prepared and the boxes of the decorations were in the basement and ready to go.
By 6:30p.m., I still hadn't showered (gross!) or eaten or even consumed a cup of coffee. Nevertheless, I'd accomplished a lot. I'd even gotten the cat litter I forgot to buy the other day because Chloe drove to town and picked it up for me while she was there.
When I finally sat down to eat some dinner and drink a beer in record time (what happened to that martini drinker?), I thought about how the day represented life in general. Just because you're tossed a curve, doesn't mean you have to let everything fall apart. The ability to adapt is one of our most important survival skills.
Lately, it seems that I'm using that skill more often to navigate the job search (you would not believe the ways my resume has been adapted), the constant low-grade financial fever, and writing. Yes, even writing. Everyday I make plans to write X number of words or to work on X number of pages of revisions and every day something happens or I can't pull it together blah, blah, blah.
But then I look back at the writing day and see that I wrote a few hundred words. Or I got through six pages of edits. Or I read some excellent writing which is as valuable as writing myself because it's like the company you keep, right? I may not have met my big audacious goals, but that didn't mean that what I had accomplished didn't matter.
MathMan called me late in the day. "How are you?"
"Good. Nothing came crashing down because we were late."
"That's good. I was worried. I got Sophie to school just in time. I also made sure that my alarm is set for tomorrow."
"Excellent. I don't know what happened. Oh well." He pause and laughed. "Honestly? I haven't felt this well rested in a while. It feels good."
Yes, it does.
How are you adapting?