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Sorry, I’m All Booked Up

Here is what is making me smile (wryly) today. I already have my week planned and consider it booked full. I should mention this was already done last night before I slept: ran through the week in my head and determined it was fully booked – “negative Ghost Rider, the pattern is full” (for those Top Gun fans). Here’s the “busy” schedule: Monday, take wife to the lab to have some bloodwork done (did this at 7:15 this morning and it took 20 minutes tops). Tuesday, curbside pick-up of the grocery order. Wednesday, mow the lawn. Thursday, I have a 10AM doctor appointment. And Friday is really busy with curbside pick-up of groceries and send-out for dinner night. Yep – full up and no room to do anything else – the pattern is full!

What the heck even happened to me??? I used to get up at 4AM, run a department of over 300 heads responsible for the quality of nuclear submarines under construction, come home after 6PM, and still do everything I do now….plus more. Now taking her to the lab fills my day – no time for anything else. It is, of course, a mental thing – perspective truthfully. When you have little to tend to in your life, each thing you do have becomes magnified – larger than life – but when you have ten thousand things for which you’re responsible, the little things actually become even smaller, dwarfed by the really crucial things. Perspective!

Of course, I do more each than the tasks I claimed had filled my schedule! For example, I water the yard pretty much every day – especially with the month we’ve had of temp’s between 85-95dF, full sun, and no rain – the yard is parched and bone dry. I have a system and a sequence for doing it and not everything gets watered every day, I rotate the different areas. For example, the front lawn only gets watered Monday and Thursday, mostly because those are the only days I am permitted to water by town ordinance in the summer. And the front is….well, out front….so most likely to be seen by a nosey neighbor and called in were I to water it every day. The front is baked, dry, brown, and brittle now, but since I began watering it, some green suppleness is returning. Some days watering can take mostly the entire day in setting up and adjusting the sprinkler pattern for each area.

I pull the SD cards out of the trail cameras pretty much every day, transfer the pictures into the PC, and then sort through them looking for the good ones. Once in a while I move the cameras around the yard to monitor different areas as well; the animals that come take different routes at different times of the year and others only come at certain times of the year so I am constantly hunting the best spots to catch the critters rolling through. Great fun!

There is a never-ending supply of yard work here; weed whacking, branch trimming, killing poison ivy, cutting back briars, and a constant stream of branches to pick up as they fall from the trees. I also split wood several times a week. Once it gets a little cooler and the green begins to fade from the trees and bushed, I will get back to dropping more dead trees – I have at least a half dozen I want/need to take down. Hope to get to at least two or three in September or October.

But all these tasks are more like hobbies now, than the chores that they were when I was putting in 50-70 hours each week. They are work, they can be hard, they surely leave me tired and sweaty, but they are so much more enjoyable now than when I was working. But they loom “larger” in my daily planner as they are now the few things that I require of myself to accomplish.

I do write this in partial jest, dear reader. Should something come up needing my attention, it absolutely is folded into the schedule and is dealt with – and no, I don’t drop groceries or lawn cutting to handle it! But I truly do tend to dismiss days for making plans based upon the most miniscule of tasks scheduled for that day. As you know, I do love hiking but have not been out on trail since March. So I think about going and think ahead to the coming week and I begin dismissing days quickly, just as I discussed at the beginning of this post. Truly ridiculous of me! This all reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Jerry cashed in all his grandmother’s birthday checks, which made her account overdrawn, so she had to go to the bank to resolve it. She woke up and got dressed at like 5AM to be sure to be ready and then sat on her bed, waiting until it was time for the bank to open.

The other exciting news is that we bought a new sofa and love seat. They are each bigger than the old pieces; not a lot, maybe just a couple of inches, but enough that at first the room felt smaller. We moved some things around and it is settling into a more comfortable setting. But…the TV and the piece of furniture which it sits on still infringe on the love seat a bit, making it look a little crowded. My wife casually dropped a comment about moving the TV up onto the wall to allow a smaller piece of furniture under it for the cable box and Xbox, etc. Well, that was a comment I immediately latched onto, with the return comment that I thought that would be an excellent idea, but that the 45” TV might be a bit too small for viewing if mounted on the wall. I suggested a larger TV might be needed, a thought to which she quickly agreed. So I am now shopping for a new 65” TV, and that task has my planner busting at the seams!! Lots of research required before I select the new one!

Somewhere, sometime, among all these commanding my time, I will need to start thinking about Halloween – decorations, animatronics, etc. – and this year’s layout. The virus may have other plans, and we’ll adapt as we have to, but for now, for me, Halloween is only 12 weeks away and it is time to start adding that to my planner, regardless of grocery pick-up or lawn cutting. We don’t know if daily life will be more or less normal than today in 12 weeks, whether we’ll be welcoming many or none for our party. But I will have the house and yard decorated and decked out regardless. Stay well dear reader!

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