Careful What You Wish For…

This weekend was just jammed, and though I got a lot done, my list for stuff around the house is so long that I really felt like I needed an extra day or two. In fact, I thought about skipping church yesterday to keep plugging away at it. I concluded that was a bad plan, but I was thinking about it in church (very spiritually, I’m sure)— that maybe I should start taking a day off here and there, if I’m not doing something more fun, just to make headway on the house. I can keep it just short of utter chaos most of the time, but with a few more hours to throw at it, I can start making a real difference.

I thought about whether I could take today off, but concluded that there are some high pressure projects on which it would be good if I could make some headway in the office, and a meeting I’d miss today that I really don’t feel like I could afford to miss.

Fast forward to today. The sprinkler guy was supposed to come somewhere from 12-2. As happened last time, he called hours early and said he’d be there shortly. I let mom know, and asked if she wanted me to come home. She said yes— she didn’t know what to tell him about the sprinkler cycles. I told her that she should refer to the detailed notes I gave her about it, but it turns out she didn’t sleep much last night, so I jumped in the car.

I consoled myself that it was a good thing, because I had, as usual, failed to take something out to thaw for dinner, and tonight’s dinner (taco meat etc. baked into a cornbread Bundt cake, topped with green chile) needs more prep than I can do in a reasonable amount of time after I get home and before 9 p.m. if I’m also going to walk the dog. And the dog didn’t get walked yesterday, so… I got home, I prepped the cornbread batter, started meat thawing, took out ingredients, diced an onion and shredded some cheese.

And the guy wasn’t done. So I cleaned off the kitchen island, emptied the sink, ran the dishwasher and put away groceries (it’s a little passive aggressive, I’ll admit, but mom has stopped putting away her groceries, so I do it. I started only putting away the perishable stuff and my groceries and leaving the rest, but in the intervening two weeks my kitchen island has been buried and the whole kitchen is chaotic, with her paperwork everywhere and … don’t get me started. I put it all away. We need to have conversations about her putting away groceries and other conversations about the paper that’s taking over all of the surfaces in the house, but maybe those on a day when I’m not impatient and she’s not sleep-deprived.)

And the guy still wasn’t done, so I put away some stuff in the entryway, dusted in the living room, and rearranged the furniture mom has mentioned wanting rearranged. I still think four lamps in a room with two overhead lights is too many, and I think that one way to light the corner she says is dark is to put a lightbulb in the lamp that sits in that corner, but whatever. I moved the floor lamp next to the lamp without a lightbulb.

And the guy was starting to wrap up. After about two hours. Of which, I needed to be there for a specific 90 seconds, if you accept the argument that she couldn’t have either put me on the phone with him or referred to the previously mentioned detailed instructions I’d left for her. I kind of got my day off to take care of stuff around the house and the day in the office, simultaneously. When you pair it with some tidying up upstairs I did this morning before I left for work, not bad. Not a full day’s worth, but I still have my vacation time, so…



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