Thursday, January 22, 2009

Life's lesson...lost on me

Life keeps trying to teach me One Big Lesson, and I just don't seem to be able to get it. What, you ask, is it?

Is it: Be kind to animals? No. I'm already way too kind to animals. I won't even use the shredder or the vacuum cleaner unless the cat is far away in the house because their sounds upset her. I get up even before dawn has cracked because Behemoth Cat has already eaten the Fancy Feast from the night before, and dry food, my darlings, just will not do it. I use my laptop at a horrible angle because to use it correctly would infringe on her lapspace. I sleep on the edge of the bed because she prefers the good spot, in the middle where the blanket is full around her.

Is it: Be gentle and sweet and all that good stuff? Oh, right. We're talking about me, remember? I'm already gentle and sweet and all that good stuff. Were you not paying attention?

Is it: Think of others first? Well, no. I'm finally learning NOT to do that all the time. So shoot me. It's about time I found a backbone. I'm only a hundred and eighty gazillion years old.

Okay, here's the lesson:

EVERYTHING WILL ALWAYS TAKE LONGER THAN I EXPECT.

True, true, true.

Driving to work: I always, and I mean ALWAYS, get behind somebody going a nice steady 15 mph, and who cautiously slows down at every green light just in case it plans to turn yellow and then red within the next five minutes. Here's a clue: It will.

Doing laundry/dishes/housework: If I run through it in my brain, all this should be accomplished zippity-quick but it never works out that way. Things have to be sorted and rinsed and stray bits of stuff banished to wastebins and disposals. And there's definitely a good amount of that always engaging game: What Do You Suppose THAT Is?

Paying bills: Here's what slows me down on that. Find the bill. Check the due date. Pass out. Come back up. Try to pay by phone. Learn that's only possible 7 am to 3 pm, Outer Siberian time. I am not in Outer Siberia. Go online. Oh, look at that. Internet is down. Restart router. Whew. Now the site is down. Sigh. Open the checkbook. Out of checks. Get up, find the box of checks. Sit down. Where's that bill? Find the bill. Write the check. Bill has slithered off somewhere. Find it under the chair. Put it with the check. No envelope. Get up, find an envelope. Put the bill in the envelope--uh-oh, where's the check? Ah. On the table by the box of envelopes. Return address label, easy. Stamp? Stamp? Uh-oh. Thirty minutes later I might have paid one bill.

Writing a book. Once upon a time I was an absolute writing dervish. I have even written a book in a single day. And that memory is engraved in my mind. Now, bear in mind that I can't remember most anything else but I do remember that. I wrote a book in a single day! But here's the kicker in that memory: I was a whole lot younger then. I could even, oh, stay up all night! On purpose! (Just as an aside: Getting older speeds up once you hit the mid-50s. Everything that can will sag, wear out, clog up, or wrinkle. And it does it all in one day. You go to bed, looking like you're in your 30s and wake up as your grandma. It's the pits.)

And so this post, which has taken me much longer than I'd anticipated, is over!

5 comments:

Kacie said...

Honeybun, a book in a day is something one does in her twenties. Maybe her thirties. By the time 40 rolls around, one would be far too wise to even attempt such a thing, simply because by then, we're supposed to have figured out the value of balance.

Writing a book in a day or teaching 8 college composition courses in one semester is something one doesn't even attempt to repeat. Ever.

Wise woman.

Brew a cup of herbal tea, tuck a warm blanket around your legs, and write a chapter. Cuddle your kitty. Take a nap. Consider the fact that many people couldn't even READ a book in a day... ;)

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one discovering these things as I grow older. I keep wondering how I used to stay up so late to write, and work all day, but I'm starting to slow down and I'm still in my late 30's.

Debby Mayne said...

You need to warn me next time you post something so HILARIOUS!

Just so you know, though, I'm feelin' your pain, girlfriend. This year I'm officially hitting the mid-50s (54 is still early 50s in my world). It takes a little longer to get out of bed these days, and the rest of my to-do list follows suit.

Carm said...

Amen. I'm the queen of "running behind." This post is a riot!

Barbara said...

That's the lesson I need to learn too... I always underestimate how long something will take... either that or I try to overcompensate the other way... oh well, c'est la vie.