Procrastination and other nonsense.

Upon reflection, I would have gotten more out of my to do list today had I chewed it up and swallowed it when I finished writing it. Fiber, ya know?

My first clue that today would not go as planned? Funny you should ask! I woke up at five. As in…a.m. Yeah, I’m not really a morning person. Usually, while you’re starting the coffee pot, getting dressed for work, and/or sending your children merrily off to school (okay, maybe not so merrily), I’m changing into my pajamas and falling onto my pillow with an exhausted, “Oh. my. GOD. I need a vacation.”

This would be fine, except that my children are all “day” people. Oh, and we educate at home. So, I rarely sleep. It’s usually not that bad. Except when I have a to do list and have nothing to run on, which brings me to…point number two.

Second clue that today would not rock: Coffee took too long. I crawled from my bed and made my way to the coffee pot, as usual. We go through two pots of coffee a day. I’m the only one in the house that drinks coffee. I notice instantly that I forgot to turn off the coffee pot last night, because when I passed out (by accident) last night at six, I was still planning to drink it. I easily could have A) made myself a cup anyway, but who wants coffee that’s been there for a day…or B) made a fresh pot. Nope. Not happening. Turned it off and walked away because I’m a rebel like that.

I snagged a Dr. Pepper from the fridge and decided it would have to do. I’ll drink every caffeinated beverage in the house if I must, but I’m not touching that coffee pot, because it frustrated me. Well, I frustrated me, but I’m not above taking it out on an inanimate object.

Getting ready for the day took longer than usual, thanks to the inadequate levels of caffeine in my bloodstream. The new puppy (Sabrina, who…by the way…is the cutest dog you will ever see) decided that when I took her out this morning, the first thing she wanted to do was roll around in the wet grass. Thanks, dog. Thanks so much. But, as this is Texas, I figured the sun would dry her soon enough, and I sat on the porch to enjoy the morning.

The sun is coming up RIGHT in my face, cooking my eyeballs, kids are waking up and chasing me down, and this dog…this beautiful, hyper, insane, completely stupid dog…notices the chickens. I have three roosters, two hens, and at any given time you will probably find a number of eggs. The chickens are familiar with dogs. Our dearly departed lab mix (Chloe) made sure of that. Sabrina, who has been with us for only a few days, has apparently never noticed these chickens before and has probably never seen a chicken in her life. She is intrigued.

I call her. She ignores me. I give her a minute, thinking that puppy ADD will get the best of her and she will get sick of them. Nope. I watched, fascinated, as this dog stood there for a solid twenty minutes, staring at these chickens with her nose pushed through the wire, just waiting for one of them to get close enough to nip. No such luck. As I said, these chickens know dogs. Chloe’s favorite game was run-as-fast-as-possible-around-the-cage-until-they-don’t-know-where-to-go-to-escape. (Forgive me for that. It was ridiculous, but necessary for you to understand Chloe.)

I’m convinced this day is flying by, and still I have done NOTHING. I lift the dog, carry her to the house, put her down on the porch so she will chase my feet inside. We get to the door. She drops right in front of the door. She will not move past the door. I nudge her with my foot. She falls on top of my foot. I take a step in, hoping she will chase me. She looks up at me. She knows what she’s doing. Maybe she’s not so stupid after all?

We have this rule with new puppies. They go in and out at ONE DOOR so they learn which door to go to when they need to go outside. Simple enough. We have this other rule. They go in and out on their own unless they physically cannot. I’m bound by my own rules to stand here and stare at this dog. I glance at the clock, grow tempted to shut the door and leave her to her chosen fate in the backyard, and then look back down at the dog. She’s too cute. I can’t do it. I pick her up, bring her in, scold her but know that I’m spoiling her worse than I would have spoiled my children had I been allowed.

Hubby finally wakes up. I realize that I haven’t checked the mail in days. I try to find my keys, find them buried under half the things on my to do list, and head for the door. Sabrina chases my feet to the door. I carry her back to the room thinking, “Oh, NOW you can chase me.” Hubby keeps this mutt entertained while I try to sneak out. I make it halfway, get caught by the kids.

They don’t care. They just wanted hugs. I am more than happy to oblige. I finally make it to the door, pull the door open, and I’m blind. My eyes are not meant to handle the sun. I can be in the sun all day and still my eyes won’t adjust to the light. My eye doctor says I’m a freak. (Thanks, Doc. I’m aware.)

I find my sunglasses, also buried under my to do list and literally right next to the spot where I found my keys, and I run as fast as I can to the front door. I’m tired of getting ready to leave. I just want to leave already. Is that really too much to ask?

Evidently, yes. I get outside and get halfway to the car before I realize that I was going to mail a box today. Yeah, forget it. It can wait. I get in the car, glance at the clock before I pull out of the driveway, and realize I could not have mailed the box right then anyway because it’s only seven, and the post office service window doesn’t open for another hour.

It’s only seven. I’m exhausted. Two hours in and I haven’t touched my to do list. AT LAST, a ray of hope. As I pull into the post office parking lot, I remember the store across the street has coffee. Coffee. Fresh coffee. Well, sort of.

I run in, grab the mail from my box, and see this pretty little yellow slip that kindly asks me to return to the post office for a package when the window opens at eight. No problem. I was going to do that anyway.

I get my coffee, thinking that my day will have to improve now, and I head home. The guy at the store called me “my dear” again, and I waste no time telling Hubby, not because it bothered me or because he’s the jealous type but because I think it’s funny to rub it in his face that guys still say stuff like that to me. He chuckles, goes about getting dressed for work, I finally sit down at my computer.

“All right, I’m writing,” I tell Hubby.

I check Twitter, Facebook, and my email. I am lost.

“Did you want to go pick up that package before I leave so you don’t have to drag all the kids out just to go inside the post office?” Hubby asks.

“They don’t open until eight…” I said.

Blank stare from Hubby. I glance at the clock. Crap. I grab my keys, go pick up what turns out to be several DVDs I ordered for the kids, and finally come home, lecturing myself (aloud) on the proper use of time and such. Realize too late that I forgot (again) the package I was going to mail to my mother.

My kids don’t want breakfast. They want to watch the DVDs. Fine. I’m not going to shove breakfast down your throat, but don’t cry to me in half an hour when you’re starving and it’s not time for lunch. Hubby leaves for work, dog chases his feet to the door, I distract her with her favorite toy.

We play tug-of-war for an hour. Kids are starving. See…when I said don’t cry to me in an hour what I really meant was the second your movie is over everyone run to my room (one at a time, three seconds apart) to tell me you’re hungry. I feed them because I’m pretty sure it’s illegal NOT to, and decide I should probably eat too. I’m not hungry (but let’s face it, I’m never hungry during the day) so I choke the food down the best I can and inhale another Dr. Pepper. Life is grand.

Kids are doing assignments, with only the occasional, “Hey, Mom, help me with this.” When I realize that I have a few minutes to spare, I sit down to write. And by write I mean I caught up on my Twitter feed. Yep. I’m a rebel, remember?

Lunch time: they’re starving again even though they just ate, but I feed them anyway because I’m a good mom and they wouldn’t have shut up if I would have ignored them.

I sit down at the computer when they’re finally at the table, and decide that NOW is the time. I will write. I open my story. Or, I won’t write. I’m in the middle of a rewrite on a scene that was probably perfectly fine the way it was before I went and ruined it. W is being held against her will in C’s apartment (yeah right, she knows she loves it) and I stopped right in the middle of a particularly juicy argument between the two of them. I’m stuck. I have to read the entire chapter to remember where I was going with this crap.

Finally remember what I was going to do. So, I start to type. One paragraph. Two. Three. Another sentence. Someone bites my foot.

Sabrina has to go outside. All right, but only because I don’t want to clean up your mess.

Kids are still at the table, and the dog gets distracted on the way out the door. I pick her up (again) and carry her outside. She’s after the chickens again. Nope. I’m not having this. I carry her to the other side of the yard. Neighbors wave at me. “Oh, new dog?” No. It’s a fish. I’ve just been bringing it outside every ten minutes for the last few days so it doesn’t get the tank messy. You’re brilliant.

I carry the dog inside again (because we have to walk past the chickens, and I don’t trust her now). Kids have disappeared. The house is quiet. I am scared (for myself) and I’m tempted to run back outside and get as far away as possible.

I find my children because (again) I’m pretty sure it’s illegal NOT to. Each one has finished lunch, washed up, and gone right back to their school work…willingly. I start checking for fevers. We’re good. Nobody appears to be dying. I’m so impressed, I tell them that when they’ve finished their assignments, they can take the rest of the day off. I’d planned a short day anyway, and the other two things I wanted them to do can be tacked on the end of tomorrow’s work.

I also decide that when I go to pay the bill Hubby asked me to pay that morning that I was almost sure he already paid, I’ll take the kids for ice cream before we go to the park. I’d already decided to take them to the park. They didn’t know this. When I tell them about the addition of my ice cream plans, they freak out and they spend the next ten minutes screaming at the top of their lungs and doing celebratory dances on and around the furniture. It’s cool. I can let them be crazy for a minute.

I go back to my computer. Twitter, Facebook, slap myself…what are you doing?!

Writing. And writing. Then, “Mom, can you play this with me?” Littlest Dude approaches with a puzzle. How can I resist? I question him about school work, he tells me it’s in the completed work bin, I’m ready to get my puzzle on.

Puzzle done. Littlest Dude got bored halfway through and disappeared so I put it away myself. Glance at the clock (I have to learn not to do that) and realize that my to do list is probably not going to happen. There would have to be ten of me. This thought leads to an intriguing idea and a story begins to take shape in my head.

Common housewife with crazy mad scientist type husband. Husband’s inventions never work. He asks her to be the test subject for the newest one. She thinks, “Sure, because we both know it won’t work.” It does. There are suddenly ten of her running around the house and she has to become the dominate female in a pack of her. Wonder to myself if it’s already been done. Think it doesn’t matter because I’m not going to write the story. It doesn’t make my heart flutter. I’m not the author of that story (but if you are, feel free to write it, and I wouldn’t turn down a nod in my direction at the very back of the book for sparking your imagination…you’re welcome).

As I’m going through this story I’ll never write, the kids have all decided that RIGHT NOW they want to fight AT THIS VERY MOMENT for no reason at all. Littlest Dude and Little Dude have turned my living room into a boxing ring, Big Dude is pestering The Mini-Me while she yells at the top of her lungs about privacy and invasion of her personal space. I inquire about the state of their school work. It’s in the bin? All right, as you were.

My mom calls. I read her the latest rewrite, because she loves when W and C fight and because I wanted to know if I made it better. I did. Apparently. Because she’s my mother, I don’t really trust her on this issue. Everything else, we’re good. I trust her. Writing? Nope. She’s going to love anything I write. Even if it’s crap. (Note: If you’re wondering why I don’t just type out my characters’ full names, it’s because I’ll end up changing it. The only time I didn’t was one time when I typed out W’s name in a Facebook post and the only reason it’s still W is because I love that name too much. Not that you asked. Or cared.)

After the conversation with my mom, I got into a conversation on Twitter. In my defense, the post intrigued me because I’d just gotten off the phone with my mom and it reminded me so much of my mom that I HAD to reply. The conversation was also amazingly relevant to my troubles today. You know, because some of us have trouble ever being DONE with a story. (For more info, see above. Right?)

Then, I was thinking about the word procrastination. It’s one of those fun words to say. You know…the kind you have to let roll off your tongue, then repeat it but slower, then break into syllables, then slowly exaggerate each syllable, and then say it three times fast. And then you have to hide in the bathroom at Starbucks because everyone is staring and wait for an hour for that crowd to leave so another–hopefully unfamiliar–crowd can come in. I promise this has never happened to me.

And that’s it. My to do list. Gone. I have two hours to make that payment, and then I still have to make good on my ice cream and park promise and I’m going to find time at some point to finish this scene so I don’t end up stuck again tomorrow when I sit down to write. I also wanted to go to the library but that’s probably not going to happen today.

Maybe tomorrow. Dream big, right?

 

[For the record, I didn’t mean to make the first post on my new blog a rant. I was going to do something much cooler. Maybe I’ll write a short story with that Ten of Me idea as a follow-up. Probably not. You can still have it if you want.]

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