A day off opens like a gift. Possibilities seem endless. Then decisions, right from the start, work to take the shine off.
Do I stay up when I get up at 6AM to let the little dog out? Or shall I sleep in? Should I set the alarm, then, before I go back to sleep, so that I don’t sleep too long? Or count on the dogs to wake me up again?
As I go back to sleep, my plans for the day are vying for position in my mind. By the time I get up – at 7:30 – I am fully aware of the push-pull that’s been playing at the edge of my subconscious. Already, I feel the pressure of too many directions.
First, though, the dogs. They bring so much joy to my life, and get little in return. Two things I do for them. When I get up in the morning, I take time to give each dog one hundred strokes: a good belly rub and scratches behind the ears while telling them “Good Girl,” and “What a nice dog you are!”
When I come home – from work or another outing – after taking them outside, I sit on the couch, with one dog on either side of me. Darla sprawls out, with her big head in my lap, inviting more belly rubs. Rosa Parks nuzzles me and encourages ear scratches and back rubs. Sometimes I try to look at a magazine, or fill in my day-planner, but mostly the dogs keep my attention. We sit for one-half hour.
On days when the weather – or my energy level – doesn’t allow for a good walk, or when work, meetings and other necessary activities keep me away from home for long hours, these simple commitments help to allay my guilt. They also add a regimen of quiet and calm to my life. For that, I probably gain more from the routine than the dogs do!
After the dogs each get their morning rub-down, I take a couple pills with a big glass of water while the coffee is brewing, then pour my first cup. By that time, every thing I need to do is jostling for position with the things I could do, should do, and want to do. I pull out my planner to try to begin making sense of it all.
Sunday is my day for writing. After posting this blog, I have a list of articles to write today. Also for the Beacon, I have a few updates in subscriptions to add to the database, and several “second notices” to be prepared to be sent out to delinquent advertisers.
Sunday is one of the days I try to get a good walk in. I told Darla that she could count on it today. This is also the day I promised myself I’d start that new workout.
I have laundry and other weekly chores to give some attention to. In addition, the windows could all use a good cleaning.
I have work underway in the studio, and would love to spend some time there. After making some progress there last week, it would be great to keep the momentum going.
I have big changes in mind for my garden this year. I want to get out the graph paper and the garden books to start fleshing out my ideas.
I still have a long list of home improvements on my “master list.” Some are decidedly “in the future,” waiting for money or materials, but a few things could be accomplished today, with a little time.
As the snow melts, the yard needs to be raked. I could work on that a little bit each day – from now through infinity – and still never be finished.
I’m in the middle of a good book.
The most recent movie arrival from Netflix has been sitting unopened for more than a week now.
Finally, I have an invitation for dinner at Aunt Katie’s this evening.
So, if there is to be hope of a productive day, I’d better “get crackin’!”