My mother teased me the other day for being absentminded lately. “What did you decided to do about the book?” she’d asked, and under threat of bodily harm I couldn’t have told you what book to which she was referring. The book, the book… The book I’m writing at the rate of one chapter every year? The baby book I’ve yet to compile for Sabine? My blank look failed me. “The Grinch,” she said. Ohhhh, that book.
I’ve always been a doer, a juggler of tasks, but since becoming responsible for a new human being (who comes with her own lengthy list, at right) the anvil-load-to-the-head of tasks has gotten downright crankifying.
And the thing is, everyone who approaches you assumes the stuff they know about is your only stuff. At work I get roughly 200 emails a day, send that many myself, and at any given moment am traffic directing six articles and two development projects. Yet my intern skips into my office with the blithe spirit of youth and asks me the status of a story that I didn’t even remember she was writing for me, much less that I had it on my pile to edit. I stare at her blankly and she smiles back politely, then, sensing we’re at an impasse, cartwheels out to accomplish her only other to-do list item for the day: java chip frappuccino acquisition.
As a fun little exercise I thought I’d catalog the tasks currently on my plate. In the past week I have had to handle the following and this doesn’t include any work-related things that occupy roughly 45 hours of my week:
1. Bring in canned goods for Sabine’s daycare food drive.
2. Drop off daycare payment check.
3. Pay all other bills.
4. Set up doctor appointments for self and husband.
5. Cancel weekly dairy delivery due to holiday travel.
6. Call kitchen contractor about renovation status.
7. Go to Home Depot for A/C unit cover and winterizing supplies.
8. Go grocery shopping for the week.
9. Send to the bank the county tax bill that inexplicably keeps coming to the house.
10. Deposit checks at bank.
11. Find dogsitter for Dakota for upcoming travel.
12. Fix nutritious dinner every night for family.
13. Pack Sabine nutritious lunches. (God I wish I had it in me to do Lunchables and McDonald’s takeout.)
14. Return incorrect winterizing supplies to Home Depot.
15. Buy plane tickets for Christmas travel.
16. Go to vet to buy Dakota’s fancy shmancy dog food because heaven forfend she eat the grocery store kibble.
17. Balance checkbook.
18. Take clothes to drycleaners.
19. Laundry. Always laundry.
20. Drop book off with neighbor. (Yes, that was the decision on that.)
21. Arrange for lawn maintenance with the new lawn guy. Remember to leave him a check.
22. Remember to leave housekeeper a check.
23. Clean leaves out of gutters and add correct winterizing strips to garage.
24. Call art framer to see if our new piece is ready. Go pick it up if so.
25. Set up grooming appointment for Dakota.
26. Order one Christmas present.
27. Order another Christmas present.
28. Design and order Christmas cards.
29. Arrange for pick-up of new kitchen island; call dad with the directions to the place.
There are at least five other things I’m forgetting. Because that’s how it is lately. I need a nap. And another intern.