Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Time Management


 It's what we all want, need, beg for, but never seem to have enough of. Most of us have at least some sort of time management skills. I have none. Zero, nada, zip, a big old goose egg, no time management skills. I did when I had a "9 - 5" which was actually never really a nine to five at all. It was more an 8 - 5 or some odd variation of the normal definition of a workday. Now that I'm "retired," and I use that term loosely, because as many "retired" people work harder when they retire than they ever did while they were working, it seems like I never have enough time. Ever. Because I cannot focus on one thing unless I visit my sister.
 This is why I lovingly embrace those times each year that I get to go on vacation. Which as it happens I'm getting ready for now. A long vacation. A month long vacation. But in getting ready for said vacation I had a hiccup, a glitch, a gremlin, a time warp. I was gone for four days doing the impossible task of getting my Mother's things ready for a yard sale. My sister, whom I love, is a slave driver. We crammed four weeks of work into  24 hours of work.

 Since my mom is in an assisted living facility and is moving into an efficiency apartment, we had a great deal to go through. It was hard for my sister and myself to do it. Because even though our mom is still with us, we had to let go of memories of our very separate childhoods. My sister is 21 years younger than me. I was already married when she was born and since we weren't raised together we don't have the same attachment to the same things. So we both had things that meant so very much to us in different ways.

 I wanted things that I remembered from my childhood. The Christmas ornaments that my mother lovingly put on our tree every year, or the garland that hung on the mantle. These items are as old as I am and mom used them faithfully every year.

 My sister, the more practical of us, wanted things she would use. So when it was all said and done, my Santa Fe was loaded down with treasures and my sister put her things in her cabinets as we went along.

 It was when we got to the clothes that the tears fell. It wasn't because we felt any attachment to the clothes, it was the scent when we opened the plastic tub they'd been stored in. It was the scent of our mom. I know that scent is the most powerful of all the senses, but to have it hit you in your heart when you weren't expecting it, that's when it becomes real. So we cried a bit, hugged a bit, and then laughed a bit because mom is still here.

 My sister is my greatest joy. Her children are my second greatest joy. I love them beyond measure. But my sister is still 21 years younger than me. I'm old, slow, and have lots of artificial body parts. Some days I get up and think to myself, I wonder what part is going to fail me today. Thankfully we made it through the sorting and pricing and got to the actual yard sale. At 11:00 I needed to take a small break. I was so exhausted I fell asleep at the sink in the bathroom washing my hands. It was when the hot water ran out and started running cold, that I came awake enough to go to my bed and tell myself, five minutes, I just need to lay down for 5 minutes. Right. Five minutes turned into almost three hours. When I finally came back from the dead, everyone else was asleep and Lance was loading our car. Bless him.

 The ordeal was finally over and we finally rested for the first time in three days. Lance and I came home the next day and he lovingly unloaded our completely packed car. The next day I decided I would get everything washed, dried, and put in it's new home. Always the optimist of course I failed at my self imposed task because it seems as if I have the squirrel syndrome. You know the movie UP by Disney/Pixar, (if you don't you are missing a national treasure), the dog loses all focus when he sees a squirrel, that's me. I lose all focus every time I try to do something.

 Tonight was a great example. I was unloading the dishwasher. No big deal right? Yeah, you don't live with me. It could take me 5 minutes or 5 days to unload the dishwasher. It really depends on how many squirrel moments I have during any given task. I took some flatware to the dining room and remembered that I had't finished the sorting of the canning rings that needed to be discarded from the ones that I can keep. Since I can so many things in the summer months I go through this process at the end of the season so I can start out fresh the next season.

 That job got interrupted by another job, then another task, and then something else, and well you get the picture. I like to chase squirrels and my husband wound up emptying the dishwasher. I think I'll keep him.

Til next time,


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