Last week, Thursday, began as the workday usually begins. My alarm rang interrupting a dream that I could not recall by the time I was awake enough to turn it off. During the week, there is no time to linger in my bed. There is no time to slowly adjust to consciousness. I have to shower and dry my hair (because I have hair that requires 1875 watts of ionic conditioned turbo heat in order to look presentable). After I dry my hair, I must rally the boys and make them breakfast and pack their lunches and herd them to their respective bus stops by 7:30AM.
At least it was Thursday. I don’t work until noon on Thursdays having quilted a workweek with various jobs at various schools teaching various ages. At least I’d have my Thursday morning. I don’t get a lot of down time, and as any part-time working parent knows, down time isn’t usually relaxing.
We save up all the house management things we have to do for those hours when we’re not at work; grocery shopping, laundry, car stuff, kid stuff, miscellaneous stuff that eats away at my supposed down time. But at least it’s my time to manage, and I don’t have to wear clean clothes. I appreciate any time that belongs to me regardless of the all the to dos that monopolize that time. I appreciate having the car at my disposal and the house to myself.
While I was making breakfast for the boys, Soterios Johnson sharing the morning news with me, Gabriella sat down in the kitchen and set up her computer instead of grabbing her coat and running out of the house like she is supposed to do.
Wait, why are you here?
I’m working from home today.
I said, ‘That’s fantastic. Every minute I get to spend with you is a rare and precious gift.’
Yeah, that’s what I thought you said. Are you going out after you take the boys to the bus?
I have to drop off dry cleaning, so yes.
I’ll take a coffee then.
And when you get back, can you deal with all these piles of paper otherwise I’m just going to start throwing stuff out.
Don’t you dare touch my stuff. I’ll get to it when I can. Why don’t you go in to work today, and I’ll see what I can do about it while YOU ARE NOT HERE?
You’re cramping my style.
What are you talking about? Do whatever you need to do. I’m not bothering you.
You’re bothering me right now.
I have to get on a call in a minute. I’ve some time after my 10:30 call. Why don’t I help you go through all this paperwork then?
Well that sounds entirely unfun, and I just don’t know if I have the time. Would you mind talking to my Administrative Assistant about finding a hole in my schedule? You know she’s very good at finding my holes. Perhaps you’d like to speak with her about that just in case you’ve forgotten where they are.
I’m getting on a call now…
I’m going to drop off the dry cleaning and then visit my mistress. I might be gone for a very long while.
On your way home, I’ll take a Grande Bold with room please.
Gabriella put on her headset and announced herself to her team, and I waved good-bye…which was not so much a wave but more of a gesture involving my tongue waving between two fingers. She was unimpressed.
Running my errands, I adjusted my plans for the morning to include sharing my time and space. I returned home with her coffee to find her still on the phone, the breakfast dishes washed and put away and chicken soup simmering on the stove. I grabbed a pile of paper and started sifting.
Sometimes, I just need a minute to appreciate a change in plans.