I Give Readers Digestible Information
Yet I keep biting off more than I can chew
It’s been another week of plans going awry, and it really couldn’t come at a worse time.
We’ve got a book launch going on, and I have quite literally no idea what I’m doing. Will the hardcover copies I ordered be here in time for the launch party? No idea. Am I doing things in the right order? I have not a clue. Are people going to like the book? I hope so!
And, of course, I say “we” because it’s not even my book! This book, while I heavily steered its direction, was conceived of by my eight-year-old. There’s no telling how it will be received - I could see it going either way. So there’s that - along with the social media stuff, website stuff, advertising stuff, and everything else that goes along with it.
Then there are the unforeseen child care issues which have resulted in my having to cancel the 20 hours of pure writing time I’d set aside this week. Not bitter. Not stressed. Nope, just going with the flow.
I do have a few minutes, though (I think), to talk about what I was musing last week before my plans were (predictably, I guess) derailed.
[Editor’s note: She did not, it turns out, have a few minutes. She started typing and was thwarted and had to finish the next day.]
So here goes.
One day last week, before bed, I made a whole plan for the next day. I was going to clean the bathrooms in the morning, write the newsletter in the afternoon, clean the kitchen and organize the baby’s closet while he played. All these tasks, individually, are pretty manageable. So I thought, “Put all the manageable tasks together and the day will be nice and manageable and I’ll get a ton of stuff accomplished.”
Morning came, and it was nothing special - there was a chill in the air, and sprinkles intermittently fell. But, unlike most mornings, I needed to bring the baby and drop off the big kids at school. On a whim, before I pulled out of the garage, I tossed the stroller in the back. “We might want to go for a little walk,” I thought.
I had some errands to run, I realized. I’d do them real quick before getting home and starting on my list. First to Staples, where upon leaving the car we were confronted with the cutest little family of geese. The baby obviously wanted to chase them around for half an hour. And, you know what? I let him. A vision of that to-do list swam and just as quickly dissipated in my mind as I listened to him, real and tangible and right in front of me with his little toddler voice, squealing with joy and saying, “Baby geese!” over and over again.
From there it was to my town’s Sculpture Park, which I think I mentioned last week, but it’s worth repeating that we have this nice, peaceful pocket of art in the center of town. While I was there, I got a call from a community member I was supposed to talk to that morning. I’d lost track of time, but no bother. It’s not like I was in the middle of anything.
A call from my husband interrupted the one I’d taken (after that community member and I had spent a very nice 30 minutes talking): he needed to drop his car off at the shop, conveniently located two blocks from where we were standing. So some more walking, this time around the Town Common, looking at all the pretty flowers and memorial plaques and flagpoles, and watching the firetrucks and ambulances leave the fire station, red lights flashing.
Where were all my plans while my son and I were out there enjoying what color we could in that gloomy day?
Still there, waiting patiently.
A week has passed since then, and I’ve spent it accompanying a two-year-old on an endless sun-filled journey as he digs in the dirt, drives a battery-operated car, collects eggs, swings, slides, and does whatever else moves him.
Is my kitchen clean? No. Did the toilets ever get scrubbed? Uh-uh. Did the newsletter get written? Well, as you know, it’s a work in progress.
I want to be so profound here and be like, “It’s totally cool - none of that stuff matters, just enjoy your baby while he’s young.” And, yeah. Being present with him while he’s being a delightful kid is amazing. It’s definitely more fun than cleaning bathrooms and washing dishes.
But all that work is still there, needing to get done.
I guess the lesson here (other than “Nicci has too much on her plate”) is that compartmentalizing my time (as I well know) works much better than obsessing over the necessary things I’m not doing when I’m doing the other necessary things.
Until I find a way to add an extra day to the week or outsource all my activities to Rosie the Robot and AI scribes, this is life. Railing against it is so much more painful than just rolling with it.
Now, I’ve got the morning to work. So I’ll leave you with that thought and promise to stop by and see you again next week.