I had all these plans when I quit my last job and began working from home. I was going to read more, exercise more, cook more, and deep-clean my house more. I was also going to do things like bake cookies and take them to the neighbors and go out to lunch all the time with my friends that I rarely get to see. Honestly, I don’t remember smoking a lot of crack when I was making all those plans, but apparently I was. How and when was I planning to work all of this in?
I really hesitate to express any frustration about this. I’m kind of a strong believer in the idea that we make the time for the things we truly care about. Take for instance the fact that I have not missed a single meal or snack for approximately the last thirty years. See? That’s commitment. As for the other things on my I’ve-been-meaning-to-do-for-the-past-eleven-months list, I’m afraid that deep down I’m lazy or just don’t want to. That terrifies me more than the thought of The Office being cancelled before Jim and Pam hook up and Dwight and Angela welcome the first of many strapping young Schrutes. I really believe that I care about those things. So where is the disconnect?
As for exercise, I do walk in the morning, which is a step up from my old routine of sitting on my rear end all day. Now I just sit on my rear end most of the day. I thought I would be able to do my Winsor Pilates DVD a few times each week, the one where Mari Winsor talks in a very calm and reassuring voice and says “tooshie” instead of “butt”. It’s only 22 short minutes long, but every time I think about popping it in, I remember something really important that has to be done. Like seeing if anything has magically appeared in the fridge, which can take upwards of 23 minutes.
I do cook occasionally, but not more than I did when I worked away from home. Maybe even less, if it’s possible. Dinner time sneaks up on me most days, and I’m finding it harder than ever to even make it to the grocery store.
I’m happy to report that the deep-cleaning goal has been resurrected. I have lit a fire under it and the fire is called The Likelihood of Having to Move Away. I hate moving, and I am working on my fill-a-garbage-bag-a-day (to donate or throw away) goal as a gift to my future self. (Dear Future Self, please buy me a really great pair of jeans in appreciation for all of my thoughtful consideration. Thanks, Future Self! You’re the best ever.)
But the reading! Or the un-reading, I should say. My reading goal is one that I really, really, really, really, really can’t get over. I love to read and hold books and get lost in them and stay up until the wee hours of the morning against my better judgement to finish them. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the last time that happened. Until I deep-cleaned my nightstand the other day, I had a neat stack of thirteen books that I wanted to read. Thirteen! My friend, Mrs. Smith, reads thirteen books every day. Before lunch. I have only cracked the cover on two of them, and then never finished. Sometimes I try to tell myself that I do read all day long. Part of my job is to read. When I’m staring at my computer all day, I’m reading. But then I remind myself that real writers read books. Stories. Stuff that has chapters and plots and new words to add to one’s vocabulary so that one doesn’t use the word “really” five consecutive times in order to express the magnitude of one’s feelings.
So today I did something. I bought an audio book on iTunes. And although I am not reading it per say, I imagine myself reading it while I am busy doing the dishes, filling my garbage bag, and checking the fridge for food. Already today I am on chapter five. It’s not the same thing, but it’s something I guess. I’m looking for small victories.
Now, if I can just figure out a way to get the same benefit out of listening to the pilates DVD…