If you have followed my shark tooth encounter, you already know that I cannot multitask. The other day, I threw my car key into the garbage can, unable to distinguish between the key, mail, and empty coffee cup in my hands while walking to the front door. Why take two trips from my car to the house, by way of passing the garbage can, if I can just precariously stack everything, toss the empty cup, and hope for the best instead? Well, it goes without saying that retrieving the key took much longer than taking the more sensible route.
Strangely enough, I can pull myself together at the office without having to dig through the dust bin under my desk (although I occasionally kick it for good measure). Monday thru Friday, I often put out countless fires at work and sometimes make do without meeting my self-imposed water bottle quota (got to stay healthy!) in order to meet a deadline without taking potty breaks. That’s stupid, I know, but when you can’t see the forest through the trees, you certainly can’t see the rationale in a two-minute bathroom break.
If you’d rather make unbecoming noises at your desk while dealing with a runny nose, than ask a coworker for a tissue, since an act of civility could positively halt your freight train momentum dead in its tracks, then what can I say… I juggle and run, checking my to-do list as I go.
Enter Saturday morning, however, and it’s an entirely different story. I can often be found in pajamas until noon, hair up in a “flattering” bun. Weekends are for my kids, and on those rare occasions where my daughter’s play date coincides with my son’s afternoon nap, meaning I have a few hours to myself, I get absolutely nothing done.
I don’t know what to do with myself. I mope, watch TV, feel guilty about watching TV, turn off the tube, find my Kindle, realize it needs to be charged, convince myself that this window of opportunity is too small to do anything productive anyway, and mope some more. In other words, I’m full of excuses with no place to go.
Is it a bad thing? Not really.
While I don’t think it strange that I can go from 100 to zero in absolutely no time at all, I do marvel at the fact that I can take in the quiet of the house without an ounce of desire to muster up energy to do anything. Period.
While the house all around me seems to advertise its need to be cleaned and taken care of, I savor my excuses, put my feet up, and do absolutely nothing. Zilch.
It’s quite liberating, once I let go of the guilt and self-imposed Betty Crocker expectations. Naps are not just for preschoolers. Right? Swifers and sticky kitchen floors, courtesy of an earlier apple juice “incident,” are patient fellas. Both can wait. They might vie for my attention, but won’t derail my day if left unattended for another hour or so.
Sure, some things can’t go unattended. A trip to the grocery store, for instance, is usually nonnegotiable, but their timing is more flexible than my deadlines at work. Come Monday morning, when I’m “on” again, I can always stress some more. For now, I’m taking a nap with my son.
By Marion Kase
Marion Kase is a working mother who lives, plays, and, well, works out in the burbs. She captures a dirty sock laundry list of mundane, sometimes hair-pulling observations, as seen from the brim of my coffee cup, for all the unsung heroes in our wonderful community on her blog, Helicopter-Caterpillar.