Too Much to Do and Not Enough Sense to Do It

For someone who doesn’t work for a living, I sure am busy.

I know no one wants to hear it. For instance, the other day, between loads of laundry, paying bills and baking, I took my son and daughter to the Japanese gardens in Boca Raton and out to lunch in Delray. Okay, so not all of the things on my list are difficult or involve cleaning products; they may not aggravate an ulcer or even make my face break out. But they have to be done nonetheless and there are only so many hours in the day.

In addition to my normal stuff (which is the secret stuff of a stay-at-home mom. I could tell you but I’d have to go all Kathy Bates and maim you so you’d have to stay here with me. And no one here wants that), I have about four big volunteer projects that I’m in the middle of, and my son is here from China. His visit requires that I spend at least a couple hours a day as PR lady for America. If he has a good time, he might consider coming back to the States eventually. I’ve been trying to convince him that sitting on the beach for a couple hours every day, eating in restaurants, and visiting the Japanese gardens in Boca are what life in America is all about now. It’s just one big celebration of the American way around here.

It was rainy yesterday and my son was willing to have a down day, so what did I do? I picked a new theme for my website and fiddled around with new page layouts. I forgot that when you change the theme of a blog, every blog entry has to be reformatted to get rid of floating boxes that block type, weirdly cropped photos and other screw-ups. I’ve been writing this blog for going on four years now, roughly two or three times a week. Reformatting each entry is taking up time that I could be helping with marching band uniforms, ironing, or taking my son to the beach or the lighthouse or some garden somewhere.

The fact that I got myself into this mess is more proof that I’m getting to be a little bit like my Aunt Edna. I had two Aunt Ednas (or is that Aunt Ednae?): One, on my moms side of the family, was really sweet and crocheted many of the Christmas decorations I still use today. The other Aunt Edna was red-haired and on my dad’s side. She probably had a litany of OCD-related disorders, but back then they hadn’t been invented yet, so we just thought she was a little bit crazy.

Unfortunately, this is the Aunt Edna I’m getting to be like. When things got overwhelming, she was able to block it all out and focus on one small, tiny little thing. The small thing was the least important of all the things that she could have possibly done.  For instance, Aunt Edna’s house was always a mess. She may have been a hoarder, but that hadn’t been invented yet either. So she was just messy. Crazy and messy. Her house wasn’t just messy, it was months of-newspapers-piled-on-the-couch-messy, and we-raise-dogs-messy, and empty-liquor-bottles-messy, and someone-is-making-beer-in-the-bathtub-upstairs-messy, and this-family-might-have-a-serious-incurable-drinking-problem-messy. In the middle of all that, Aunt Edna would be in the corner of the dining room with a toothbrush and a bottle of Lysol, cleaning a section of the floor and baseboards until it was spotless.

“Nice corner,” someone would be obligated to say, when she would point it out.

At the time, I couldn’t figure out how a person could overlook general messiness and hone in on something so small and insignificant. Now that I’m around the age that my Aunt Edna was then, I see that there’s a perfectly good explanation: If you wait until the whole house is straightened up to clean the corner, it’ll never get done. Sometimes you have to look at your list of things to do and say, screw it, I’m cleaning the corner.

When I finally get done formatting my blog here, I’ll be more mentally equipped to handle all the other crap I have to do. There should be plenty of time, before my husband and kids make me get a real job. You can forget about the corners getting cleaned then.

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