- Time Management
By Didi Gorman
As I peer outside through the window, on this beautiful Sunday afternoon, a thought occurs to me: Why don’t I spend the rest of the day sitting on the porch, reading a book?
I have a specific book in mind: Time Management. It’s been sitting on my nightstand for a while now and I haven’t really had the chance to look at it yet; question of time management, I suppose.
Well, no more. Today is the day that I finally tackle Time Management!
With unprecedented resolve, I go to the bedroom to fetch the book.
But as I walk through the hallway, I see a stain on the carpet. It won’t take a minute, I tell myself as I grab some dish soap and a rag from the kitchen to scrub the stain off. A few minutes later, when I place the rag in the laundry basket right beside the washing machine, I notice a funny smell.
I open the washing machine and discover wet laundry which must have been sitting there for who-knows-how-long, to judge by the stench. No way this can wait, a little voice inside my head tells me. I take the laundry out of the machine, load some into the dryer and haul the rest to the rack outside.
Unfortunately, the rack is crooked and needs fixing. I go back inside, grab a hammer, go outside again and bash the rack back into shape.
Half-way through hanging the laundry, I’m out of clips. I have no choice but to rearrange the clothes, combining two items per clip.
When I come back inside I write ‘laundry clips’ on the grocery list and, while I’m at it, add a few random items that we’ll probably need soon: milk, yogurt, potatoes, which reminds me that I’ve been planning to make potato salad on one of the coming days. I might as well check which other ingredients are necessary. I search online for potato salad recipes, and add ‘onions’ to the list. This gives me the idea to take my cooking up a notch and treat the family to a full spaghetti dinner. I put ‘spaghetti’ and ‘tomato sauce’ on the list and, in a burst of creativity, doodle tomatoes, potatoes, and spaghetti mounds in the margins of the list.
For someone with not much of an artistic flair, my doodling is not half bad, I think to myself. I wonder if this is a talent I should be developing. Are there any online tutorials for aspiring doodlers? A quick search proves that there are, indeed, many such tutorials on YouTube. I watch five tutorials and learn how to draw flowers, fruits, and butterflies.
Tutorials are so much fun.
If it’s that easy to learn how to draw, I wonder how long it will take me to learn to play the piano.
With YouTube’s kind help, pretty fast, it turns out. I choose an easy tune and practice it on the piano. Should I go for a more advanced tune next time? On second thought, why wait for next time? Why not now? I search up an intermediate piano tutorial and practice four more tunes. This takes me about an hour, during which, several Facebook notifications buzz on my cell phone, but I resist the temptation to check them.
Replenished and invigorated by my music session, I go back online to have a quick look at all those notifications on my Facebook page. Folks are posting a lot today. I thumb-up a few posts, ‘love’ others, ‘hug’ a few others, ‘haha’ the funny ones, ‘gasp’ at the shocking ones, ‘shed-a-blue-tear’ at the sad ones, and ‘frown-an-orange-face’ at the contentious ones.
Since I’m already online, I also check the CNN website (I love keeping abreast of the latest drama south of the border). I happen upon an interesting current-affairs analysis and read it all the way to the end. I click the links to three more articles by the same author and read them all the way to the end, too.
I decide to write an email to the author, to let her know how much I appreciate the hard work she’d put into those fascinating articles.
When I’m done, I reach for my glass of water, right beside my laptop, but it’s empty. I go to the kitchen and pour myself some water. Do we have ice cubes? I check in the freezer. It’s too full; I can’t see anything like that. I take everything out and reorganize the freezer, throwing away items I can’t recognize. I also find the ice cubes and plop a few in my water.
Truth be told, water with ice is kind of boring. I feel like turning my drink into lemonade. I squeeze half a lemon into my water and add a few mint sprigs from the garden.
When I put my lemonade on the counter I realize how totally and ravishingly Instagramic it looks. I get my cell phone and snap several pictures. I also write down the recipe in case I decide to post it on social media. You never know.
Then I drink it all up and put the glass in the sink, or at least, I INTEND to put the glass in the sink, only that the sink so crammed with unwashed dishes that you wouldn’t be able to shove a toothpick in there. I load the dishwasher, remembering to chuck the crushed mint (from my lemonade) in the compost bin.
I then empty the compost, the recycling and the garbage and take it all to the bins outside. The weather is so glorious that I decide to stay outside and do some gardening. I plant a few flowers, pull out weeds, water the vegetable patch, mow the front lawn, and prune the cedar hedge.
I see several neighbors walking by and we chat. Then I go for a walk around the neighborhood, through the forest, up the street, and back through the field, finishing with a few stretch-ups in our front yard.
I’m pretty sweaty when I’m back so I take a shower, wash my hair, and use the opportunity to trim my nails.
This reminds me that I’ve been wanting to sort through the nail polish drawer. I wonder if I could donate the ones I haven’t even opened, to charity. In the same vein, it’s about time I went over my winter clothes and donated to charity the ones I don’t use anymore. There are three sweaters I can’t make up my mind about, so I try them on. I decide to keep two and give away one. I go to the basement to fetch a cardboard box, on which I write ‘charity’.
It feels so good and liberating to give away things. What else can we give away? I walk from room to room and collect old teddy bears, kitchen towels, tablecloths, various toys, and an Atlas.
The box is pretty heavy now so I take it to the van. The remote won’t open the door, though. I think it’s time to change the battery. I change the battery, check the other remote and change the other battery as well.
When I go inside, it’s time to watch the evening News.
Soon after that, I go to bed and my eyes fall on the book Time Management. It’s still there, unopened.
Where did all the time go? I sure hope to finally get round to it next weekend.