The other day I played hooky. It was awesome.
I was a very good girl in high school (mostly) and never played hooky. (Mostly.) Back before I had these kids when I worked outside the home, playing hooky was called “taking a mental health day.” Did you ever wake up and simply feel as though there was no way whatsoever, no matter how you turned it around in your mind, you could possibly go to work. The very thought of that same old routine, those same problems and aggravations made you recoil physically? Well, I didn’t exactly feel that way the other day, but I did desperately need an entire day to catch up on work, read all my unread emails, not be asked for juice or snacks or an episode of Octonauts or some Frozen coloring pages printed out or anything else. And I needed to organize everything. EVERYTHING. So on a day last week when Steve (not his real name) was home, I escaped. I mean, I let him know ahead of time. I didn’t just disappear. I have never considered doing that.
So, I went to the University library and could not figure out how to get the wifi to work. I could have asked the young people working at the desk but that made me feel too middle-aged. And I am not yet middle-aged but they would mostly likely think I was by the mere fact that I couldn’t figure out the wifi. Wait ... At any rate, I would rather ask my 8 year old how to use technology. He doesn’t make me feel old—he knows I’m just a little dumb. So I went to a café nearby and did get on the wifi but it kept kicking out on me. Also, I sat down next to this talkative older man who chatted off and on about the state of Capitalism and what he predicted was going to happen in the next year to 2 years and that I must recall this conversation when it did indeed come to pass in the next year to 2 years and there must be something to our paths merging and me moving this information forward because he doesn’t usually talk to people about his Capitalism theories. I must admit I like the concept a lot. Not the politics part or the chattiness when I really needed to be left alone to work but the idea of things moving from person to person with purpose. It wasn’t even his fault that he pegged me for a sounding-board. I give off that sort of vibe—a talk-to-me-even-though-it’s-not-at-all-desired-by-me sort of vibe. One time this old guy, very drunk, chatted me up at the bus stop in Haymarket Square. Every other person waiting for a bus managed to dodge his attention. But not me. He spent a good amount of time telling me a-many things I did not need to know about him. At one point he said, “Pretty girls like you never talk to me.” I said, “Oh, that’s too bad. Why?” (See how I invite this sort of thing?) to which he replied, “Mostly because I’m a drunken asshole.” I’m not ashamed to admit that I was relieved when his bus arrived. As it pulled away, he called out the window to me, “I’ll never forget you! What did you say your name was again?” I wish my creative mind were clever enough to have conjured this, but it’s all true. I’m sure I’ll steal it for a novel sometime. Anyhow, I finally ended up at the local public library and the wifi connection was mint and I wished I could have been there all day but they didn’t open until noon, so there you go with that. And since it was school vacation week, they were showing Frozen in the community room, so I got to hear “Let It Go” for real rather than only on a loud continuous loop through my tender brain folds.
Admittedly, my big plan for the day was ambitious, multi-faceted, layered and tiered. Grandiosely nuanced. Essentially, I intended to jam 50 potential hours of work into 8 actual hours. Less than 8 since I wasted like 2 driving around looking for a stable wifi connection. I can’t say I was disappointed at the end of the day with what I had accomplished, but it wasn’t nearly enough to really have cracked the to-do list.
So rather than become discouraged and in an attempt to curb my delusions of the amount of work I can possibly accomplish daily, I came up with a new philosophy. I call it 3 things. Yes, 3 things. What the heck does that mean, you ask? Well, allow me to share! On any given day, I do not try to do more than 3 things outside of the stuff I have to do. E.g., feed the family, homeschool the kids, do whatever pressing homemaking that is pushing its way to the top of the list. So, for example, on a regular day, in addition to my primary responsibilities, I will not try to do more than 3 things. Today the 3 things were:
- some detail work on my website;
- a few important tasks for the upcoming novel release;
- and some reading in this book.
Simple! 3 things! Instead of holding 27 things in my mind, I need to hold only 3. And I can usually get 3 things done, which makes me feel like a champion at the end of the day. And even if I don’t get those 3 things done, at least I only didn’t get 3 things done instead of not getting 27 things done. I win!
So, I ask you, how do you manage all the tasks gremlin-ing around in your poor, addled brain?
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