My assignment is to make a schedule and stick to it, to make the wide open spaces in my life boxed and labeled in order to be more productive. It’s not who I am or who I’ve been, but I’m determined to be happier at the end of the day because of all I’ve accomplished.
I sit to do it now as tea fills my nose with the scent of peppermint, and another radiant blue sky washes over the emerald expanse of the Topa Topa Mountains.
So, what shall I put in this morning between 8 and 10? I think about going back to bed with a heating pad, but return instead to the task at hand, dutifully making boxes with a ruler. I draw Monday thru Sunday, dividing each day into morning, afternoon and evening.
Resistance creeps in slowly, like incoming fog. There are so many what-if’s to consider. But my words won’t be set in stone, right? I get up to turn on my computer but it won’t start. Hum? Must call the repair man. Unless of course it magically repairs itself, as it often does, like some cranky old man, agreeing to show up for work on some days but not others.
The Ojai Valley News waits in the driveway. I saunter out in my favorite over sized shirt, flatten the paper’s curl to full attention and plop in an Adirondack chair beneath towering sunflowers. Twenty minutes later I know what’s happening in the valley and head back inside.
It’s 8.30. I’m not doing too well with my calendar making. I’ll get back to it after oatmeal and a brief cleanup of the kitchen.
9.00. I study the lines, hours and days trying to imagine myself the kind of person who keeps a schedule, no matter what. I usually swim between 7 and 10, unless I’m too tired, like today, then I might wait until 11. How do I write that in? How about swim sometime, does that count? I search for the answer staring into nothing, my eyes finally settling on remnants from a small battlefield to the right of the curtain, where corpses of smashed bugs still cling to the wall, their bloody little bodies adhered. I remember the victory and my haste in running out the door before cleaning up.
I put down my tea, spic and span the mop and begin to scrub, which leads to multiple cobwebs in multiple corners all around the house, the grand finale happening in the bathroom, where drops of ceiling moisture above the shower have turned to orange stalactites.
Oops. Off task again. Since I don’t seem to be doing my scheduling, I vow to appease the Organizational Gods by making one difficult phone call before noon.
9.30 Is the computer ready yet? Maybe if I push the start button with something hard like the end of my pen. Nope. Skype client at 3, computer must be repaired by then.
Ohhhh… I’ve left my red pen uncapped near the monitor and ink has bled into the Amish patchwork my now-dead mother bought me.
Big breath in. Remain calm. Big breath out.
Okay, sorry mom. I cover the stain with a wicker basket and begin making a list. 1. Drop a packet to Dennis on the way to the gym. (Is it too late to go swimming?) 2. Buy more stamps. 3. Call the computer repair man. 4. Pick lemons on the way home, oh, and we’re out of bread again.
It’s cool enough now, maybe I’ll forget scheduling and make an apple pie, or go back to bed with a heating pad. I really want to do that and pick this up in the afternoon.
10 o’clock. I’m in bed with welcome heat on my back. Birds are singing out the window and life is good. I’ll do better tomorrow.