So, I’m sitting at the kitchen table yesterday evening, rubbing my temples and trying to remember everything I have to do this coming week:
Working late Monday and missing Janie’s softball practice—again; finishing up a review/give-away for Tuesday; helping Janie figure out how to work her new super-ultra private blog because she must have one and it could help her typing skills and spelling, you never know; buying flour and sugar because I didn’t see them on the grocery list that I’d written myself; find a graduation card for my nephew that should be mailed Tuesday; calling Janie’s piano teacher because she has a softball game on Thursday, which I’m going to miss—again*; checking my desk hours Wednesday to see if I can meet my husband—who is working late—to lunch for his birthday, for which I still need to buy cards; figuring out what to do for our anniversary this weekend; beta-ing the last few chapters of a friend’s manuscript; working on Sunny’s alphabet recognition, because she’s missing a couple of letters in there somewhere; scribbling down my chapter for the round robin project; trying to finish a gift for my Dad that will let him know how wonderful it is that he’s been around for 80 years so it can be mailed by early next week, along with the anniversary gift I did find that will let my parents know how happy I am that they found each other 49-plus years ago;** and obsessing about where to plant a necessary clue in Pigeon without rewriting the whole bloody thing . . .
And working on Saturday. Maybe. I’d lost track. Averaging 4 to 6 hours of sleep for a week and a half can do that, even if I’ve been mainlining caffeine and chocolate for most of that time.
“You okay?” asked my SIL, over the gourmet meal of boiled pasta, bottled sauce, and slightly browned peas I’d managed to toss together, hoping the ice cream I’d bought—because it wasn’t on the list—might make up for it.
“Yeah,” I said. “I’m just a little tired.”
She gave me one of her Looks. “You need to stop zap frying your Pop-Tarts.”
I opened my mouth, then shut it.
The point was actually taken from Brian Regan, a comedian we watched a couple evenings prior—in my case, over my laptop, as I sent a couple of e-mail replies I’d been meaning to write, or had written and hadn’t noticed were still sitting in my draft folder. He was talking about how confused one had to be to need the directions on a box of Pop Tarts and how weird it was that there were microwave directions as well:
“Listen, if you need to zap fry your Pop Tarts before you head out the door, you might want to loosen up your schedule . . . If you’re wakin’, eatin’, and haulin’ in three seconds, you’re bookin’ yourself too tight. “***
Man makes sense.
So . . . I wrote one of Josey Fritz’s lists, of things I needed to do. And another one, of things I wanted to do.
And I took a nap after dinner until the kids’ bedtime. And had a bowl of ice cream and finished the story I’d promised to beta.
This morning, I dropped Janie off at school and took a walk along the river, with my headphones playing “Walking in Memphis” and Ella Fitzgerald singing “Tain’t Nobody’s Business if I Do.”
During my walk, I figured out where to plant that clue and why another scene wasn’t working. I jotted it all down in the car and went to work—I might have sung along with Marc Cohn as I drove, and also with Alannah Myles.^ Loudly. Possibly with gestures.
When I indexed the newspaper, I noticed my horoscope:^^
Self care doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant. Simply taking a walk, reading what you like, or talking to your favorite friend could lift your spirits more effectively than anything you could buy.
I’d already done two out of three, so, on my break, I wrote this and dropped a note to the co-ordinator of my round robin group.
Lunch with my husband can’t happen Wednesday, but I was offered an extra half-hour on Thursday, if I want.
On my dinner hour, I worked on Dad’s gift and received notice that I could have a month’s extension on my round-robin chapter, since the next person in line is going to be gone in June.
Tonight, I’ll be coming home, putting kids to bed, grabbing a snack, and getting to work—until ten-thirty at the latest.
No more zap-frying. At least not this week.
So . . . How are YOUR Pop Tarts doing?
*I did see her play Saturday, for once. Her team won 6-0!
** Because if they hadn’t . . . I’d be a lot less stressed about things?
***The golden moment is around 2:50:
^ Only one of whom sings entirely in my range. And before you ask, I was in a blues mood, not an Elvis mood.
^^I don’t believe in them, exactly, but I do notice them.