The sense of calm I had yesterday about my ability to get all my work done, the house ready and my materials gathered up before I leave for SOAR has evaporated entirely- which really, now that I think about it, is far more sane. I have no idea why I wasn’t worried. None.
I lay in bed this morning, calm and sorted, and began to make my little mental list of all that I need to do today, and at first it was okay.
1. Write my wordcount for today. I have a book deadline looming. I’m slightly wound up about it. There’s nothing to worry about yet, but I have to meet my wordcount every day or the world will explode. Simple. That will take a few hours, but I can handle it, it’s my job.
2. Blog. That’s not so hard, only takes an hour or two. Look. It’s getting done right now.
3. Go onto the SOAR website and find out what materials I need for the classes, then pack them up, hoping the whole time that the fact that this place is practically a shrine to the fibre arts means that I have everything I need.
4. Spend a few hours working on Sock Summit, reviewing text, making decisions with Tina, reading email.
5. Eat breakfast.
It was number five that pushed the first panicky thoughts foremost in my brain. The minute I realized that at best, at my most efficient, caffeinated and moving like a seasoned knitter at a yarn sale, I was still looking at seven hours of work before breakfast – that’s when I started being able to hear the blood rushing in my ears. I modified breakfast to lunch and kept going.
6. Leave for meeting that I can’t change at 12:50. Do the meeting from 1:30-2:30, leave for home, taking the car with me.
(Note- I am ignoring that in order to leave at 12:50 with items 1-5 accomplished I would have had to start executing the list at 6am, and that I was making this list while lying in bed at 7:30am. Sometimes if you’re going to get through a tricky day it really helps to gloss over the details that stand in the way of suspending reality and the passage of time.)
7. Shop for groceries so that the family doesn’t starve while I’m gone.
8. Wonder if I shouldn’t really expect a full grown man and a 19 year old girl to be able to pick up groceries so they don’t starve by themselves.
9. Scratch #7 off the list, and realize that it’s misplaced maternal guilt because I feel badly that I’m going away for the weekend. Feel like crap about it anyway, and contemplate just getting "some" groceries.
10. Remember that the last time Joe went away, he didn’t grocery shop for me before he left.
11. Fill with feminist rage, wonder when equality is really going to show up anywhere in the world, briefly reflect on the statistic that women in developed countries work (on average) 70 hours a week, compared to 51 hours (on average) for men, once you include things like going to the grocery store.
12. Consider the argument that I am perpetrating the inequalities in domestic labour division by going to the grocery store, and that this may be less than faithful and decent to the concept of equality I am ultimately hoping will prevail in my lifetime.
13. Decide to skip the grocery store, only because it is the right thing to do.
14. Run several errands and book several appointments that have to be done before I leave or bad things will happen.
15. At some point before I go to bed, speak with my children and express concern, love and interest in their lives for at least 5 minutes each.
16. Go to the post office and mail some important papers that I have inexplicably procrastinated on until the moment when they would cause me the most stress possible.
17. Do laundry so that I don’t go to SOAR in clothes that are a) dirty b) out of season or c) mismatched.
18. Scratch c) off the list. I don’t care if I’m mismatched and neither does anyone at SOAR. Screw it. I’m just going to aim for having enough clothing on that I’m not cold, that there are no bizarre questions to answer at the border, and that Rachel H is willing to be seen in public with me. (She accessorizes. I feel like her standards are super high.)
20. Print directions, hotel info, SOAR confirmation stuff, find my passport and make sure that I find Daniel the GPS and all his cables and put him in the car. (I’m pretty paralyzed without Daniel. Of all the modern conveniences I own, my coffee maker and Daniel are the two best. It’s like a talking map. Bloody genius, that’s what it is.
21. Wonder if getting this all done before tomorrow is really possible, or if I’m deeply deluded again and I should just give up now.
22. Spend 25 minutes I’ll never get back trying to figure out what is on that list that actually doesn’t need to be done in a futile attempt to earn back a free hour to watch Glee tonight.
23. Resist the urge to defend watching Glee. I like it. I don’t know why. I know there are some feminist/ability/disability/racial issues around it and I think about them a lot, but I end up sucked in every time anyway. It’s like my love for Prince and Richard Chamberlain. (I blame the Thorn Birds) It is completely unfettered by any reality about them that may surface. I’m not proud.
24. Hem my pants, because grown-ups don’t staple or tape clothes. (much)
25. Look longingly at my knitting, and reflect that one of the wonderful things about it is that even when your life is mayhem, it is still possible to see forward movement in that work. Sure, I only got 4 rows done last night, and I’m not likely to see much better today, but that’s 4 rows closer to finished and nobody can take that away from me, even if my pants are stapled together and my inbox isn’t cleared before I leave. Knitting is the only work I can think of where getting a little bit done is totally good enough.
26. I love that, especially considering that it’s 12:40 and almost nothing on that list is done. I hope it all matters less than I think.