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!