One More Crazy Day

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This is me, as interpreted by my granddaughter, Madeline.

This is exactly the look I have on my face today.

I can feel the tension in my jaw, the wild eyes, the grimace.

Deadlines loom, in the Spring of the year.

The need to do  too many things immediately has me stopped, unable to move in any direction, because I can’t go in all directions at once.

It’s my own fault, of course. I have taken on too much, set my sights too high, let in too many diversions and wasted too  much time.

Yesterday was a bonus day off, that I was going to use to catch up on everything. I had to go to town in the morning, to attend a meeting with my aunt. Afterward, I stopped at the little gallery  that carries my work in the summertime, to help repair a couple frames. I picked up mail, and went to the grocery store to stock my kitchen cupboards. Home, then, with the best of intentions. After greeting the dogs, I unloaded the car and put away groceries. I changed into gardening clothes. I made lunch: energy for the work ahead. I grabbed a beer, and headed out. It was too hot (TOO HOT! In May! On Beaver Island!)to work outside in the middle of the day.

That couldn’t be true.

I emptied the wheelbarrow. I pulled a few weeds.

No, really, too hot.

The dogs were languishing in holes they’d made in one shady corner of the flower bed.

Okay.

I put the drip hose in the flower bed, grabbed a book, loaded the dogs in the car and went to the lake.

The public access to Fox Lake is about two miles from my house. There is an array of rental boats on the shore, a little spot for a tent or two, a campfire circle and a picnic table.  Snapping turtles and loons can often be seen in the water.

While the dogs, wagging tails, checked out the new smells and tried out the water, I finished my book and my beer. There was a nice little breeze in the shade of the trees that line the shore. Birds were singing and dragonflies were flitting around. It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon.

I’m paying for it today.

Today was my day to get the lawn mowed. It still is. But, added to that is my almost entire list of outdoor  work I was planning to do yesterday. The list was too long anyway, and it was unreasonable to believe I could finish it all, even if I’d devoted the entire day to it.

Still.

There is only so much time, in the Spring of the year, to get everything done, before I just have to give it up. I can’t plant seeds in July and have any hope of a harvest. I can’t transplant anything once their blossoms have started showing. I can’t mow my tall grass if it’s wet from a rain…and I’ve heard it might rain tonight. I’ve cut back on my garden plan, adjusted my goals for this year, and still I’m behind. I’m almost ready to cry “Uncle”! But not quite yet.

I’ll see how today pans out.

15 responses »

  1. Ya know, we NEVER catch up, just do the best we can and do what we have time for; thats where our setting priorities comes from….we all need balance between our work and our relaxation….Relaxation is just as important as the rest of the things. None of us want to be on our death bed thinking “Wow, I sure got a lot of work done” lol.
    This is something I am still trying to get into my life, balance between my obligations and what I want to do (meditation without falling asleep; yoga, exercise, eating right, reading,taking Chakra swimming, etc., etc). It is difficult with working so much and having a huge yard, etc…..BUT I will get done today what I can and the 3 day weekend is coming up…I plan to just do what I WANT on those days….can’t wait!!! I want to share some good time with Chakra as she is getting older and give her my full attention, along with myself.

    GOOD FOR YOU taking them and yourself to the beach. You now have a wonderful memory of a day well spent! 🙂

    Now I’m
    back to mowing, weeding, weedwacking, cleaning, lol.

    • I know…it’s always a balance. Sometimes it just gets out of balance. Or maybe it’s that I am UN-balanced, I don’t know. But, as always, everything you say is exactly true. Funny, though, how even making time for ourselves is something we have to “work” at! Thanks for your comments!

  2. ACK! This is SO me today! Actually, it is so me on most days. My brain is currently in a flurry of chaotic thoughts, plans, and obligations. I can’t compartmentalize it all, and to make matters worse little emergencies keep popping up throwing a wrench in any plans I do actually manage to make.

    On this dreary Sunday I managed to pour some test beeswax candles, clean my bathroom, and drop off an anniversary card to its recipients. After that I was a total basket case with much to do and of course very little time to do it in. Husby helped me to focus on what my priorities should be so now I’m planning some menus for a holiday getaway with my family next weekend.

    Prioritizing, discipline, and focus are the keys to accomplishing a lot. Those are exactly the three things that challenge me. Surprisingly, everything works out well enough in the end, thank goodness.

    I love the picture of you!

    • Prioritize, discipline and focus! Exactly! This is really helpful. I just posted those three words on my refrigerator, to act as a reminder. That is my problem precisely. When you listed your accomplishments (pour candles, clean bathroom, drop off anniversary card), I could see myself, and the reason for my stress. We are clearly going in too many directions at once. Of course it’s difficult to focus! How can I possibly get into that “flow” state where good things happen in the garden or the house or the studio, when I’m always thinking of the next place I have to be. I did manage, yesterday, to get about half of my lawn mowed before the storm came through. Because it can’t be rushed, and it’s impossible to multi-task while mowing, I did manage to get into that zen-like focused state of mind, where I was enjoying the job and the accomplishment, and let all other things go. Thanks for your comments!

  3. on the positive side you obviously had a great time down by the lake, and maybe dare I say it, needed a bit of R&R. I know I will never catch up with the garden and allotment, and every now and then it does get to me a wee bit, but when reason returns (all too infrequently I may add) out go a few items on the list! Hope you have a bright positive week 🙂

    • Yes, Cindy, that’s about all one can ever do anyway…I don’t know why I make myself crazy trying to do so much more. Yes, Madeline is a very talented child. In fairness to her, I should have clarified that this drawing is several years old. Thanks for reading, and for your comment!

  4. I did have a great time at the lake, and it made me feel that I actually had a day OFF – not just a “not-working-for-pay” day. I do get caught up in all the “have-to”s and “should”s, and forget that I’m the one making the rules, here. Thank You, Claire, for your words of understanding and encouragement!

  5. Yep, can so relate. There is so much to do at this time of year–although I tend to go into overwhelm a bit more later in the summer when you have to do all that harvesting! Did you dip your toes in the lake? Can you swim at this time of year down there? In Superior the kids have been known to swim in May, but, brrrr, I can hardly bear it until a boiling hot day in August.

    • Oh, thank you for that independent interesting woman comment! That is exactly what I needed to hear today! Lake Michigan is way too cold for me, until August at least…though the kids go in early here, too. Fox Lake is not too big, and not too deep, so it warms up fairly soon. It’s a nice boating and fishing lake but a little spongy-bottomed for me, at least near the shore. Now that you mention it, though, I should have at least dipped my toes in. I can just imagine how cool and soothing that would have felt! Thanks, Kathy!

  6. Sometimes I wake up, think about what I have to do, and have to totally resist the urge to go directly back to bed. Is it just me or do women seem to have a longer list than the average bear? I hit the ground running in the morning and go until I sit down at night, pick up my book and fall asleep on the second word read. My mother is always after me to slow down, but she’s exactly the same way. The acorn, it appears, does not fall far from the tree. Nice post,

    • I think we – at least many of us – suffer from a fear of empty time slots. Something like the fear of empty spaces that caused the ancient Greeks to fill every bit of space on their ceramic ware…we do it with our calendars. Even when I look forward to retirement, I think, “because then I’ll have time to…” and a list ensues that will fill every moment of every day until I am in the grave. It is a crazy-making lifestyle, and I feel like I really need to get a handle on it…as soon as I get a chance. Thanks for your comment!

  7. One of the things I love about your blog, Cindy, is that so many people comment, saying the same things I want to say…It’s so good to be the company of so many wise, wonderful people. And so wonderful to be re-connected with you, after so many years!

    • Oh, Kate, I feel the same way! I am very fortunate to have re-connected with you and met so many others. My Mom used to say I was the most “anti-social” of all of her children. I think she actually meant asocial, in that I don’t need to be around other people the way many folks do. I enjoy these conversations so much, though, I think I’m seeing an entirely different side of myself! Thanks for your kindness, and your comment!

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