Saturday, 8 November 2014

Do the Math

The other day, I had a hissy fit. I’d just finished writing a blog about the monster in my inner closet, and Whoosh! It made an appearance. And it was all because I can’t do math, especially when math relates to time management.

A friend posted on Facebook a while ago that being creative is like being a computer with 2, 349 windows open ALL THE TIME. Every little stimulus could lead to another window opening up, with vast potential. I’m not as creative as Pippa, so maybe I have only 124 windows open, but boy, do those windows call out to me. Hey! Look! Cool! You can do this! Try it! And when I do listen and follow the call, time often disappears. I don’t know where it goes – maybe to Ottawa? Maybe they have a time bank there where Daylight Savings Hours go to wait for a recall. But I digress... (see what I mean? Another window opened up. I can just picture those hours having a good time, swapping stories about how they trip people up.)

Back to my hissy fit. We were having good friends over for supper, and I was keeping it simple. Lasagna – make it once, and you can have four dinner parties in the freezer. And gluten-free foccacia bread, also a simple recipe. Key word: simple. It never is...but I digress.

I was late getting started, because the blog that I wrote on Tuesday didn’t work out, and I had to do another one. That window refused to open till Saturday morning, but it looked like it might work, and if I started at 9 I might be done in an hour, and still make it to the fabulous annual fabric sale at St. George’s church. Ha, ha. Time management 101: everything takes longer than you think it will. Unfortunately I have lived for 66 years and still think I can beat the odds.

A few hours later, I was done, did some housecleaning which the resident sweetie had already started.  Sometimes (not this time) we invite company only so we’ll be motivated to clean the house – but again, I digress. Another window.

Time to do the prep work for the dinner. But I was short some ingredients, so that meant a shopping trip. Shouldn’t take long, and it was awfully early to start cooking.  (Time management 101? PHHHHT).

I got back. The RS had cut the grass while I was gone, and was back to cleaning. The monster stirred a little, attacking me in my weak spot: the one that grows guilt like leftovers in the fridge grow mould.  I pushed away the monster. I had work to do, and time was no longer on my side, in fact it was speeding up alarmingly. Then the wheels fell off. Couldn’t find the recipe for the focaccia bread. Couldn’t find the recipe for the lasagna. Couldn’t remember the proportions. The noodles didn’t cook right. There wasn’t enough sauce. And when would I bake the bread, if in fact I could find the recipe book? Theoretically, there was still time to do it all, and wash the floor beside. But all the possibilities of what could go wrong flooded my imagination. My friends would reject me if dinner wasn’t perfect, don’t you know?  The monster saw an opening. Hissy Fit of major proportions. Even a few tears. Ridiculous, but that’s the way it was.

Well, the RS talked me down. He dropped the vacuum cleaner and began chopping vegies while we discussed options. I found the recipe book for the bread. I began to feel some optimism that it would work out. “Look, take it easy on yourself,” he said. “I’ll go buy some bread.”  Great suggestion, but really, our favourite gluten-free foccacia doesn’t take that long to make. (By now you must be thinking, she is way out in la-la land, this lady is.)

“How long?” he asked.

“20 minutes,” I answered.

“Half hour,” he countered. True.

That’s how long it took. And the lasagna got done, and the house was clean, and the table set and the appies on the counter AND we had a half hour to spare, so that we greeted our friends with a smile and had a lovely evening.

But. I need to face the fact that I don’t do the math well when it comes to time management. In the last week or so, I’ve had the uneasy feeling that I have said YES to many windows that are all open and calling to me. Most of them I don’t have an option of closing. And there’s always the possibility that more will come up. With Christmas approaching (less than 50 days away) I reluctantly tell myself  – again – I can’t do it all.

A few of the projects piling up and needing completion.
If, in the next few weeks, the blogs come out only sporadically, you will know why. I am busy taming the anger monster in my inner closet by releasing some pressure in my life, and giving the resident sweetie a bit of a respite. He deserves it.

The studio where I'll be spending a lot of time in the next few weeks. I hope!


  1. Well yesterday was full moon and it affected me in much the same way.

  2. I never thought of it as a math problem but.......I have it, too. So glad to hear that we have company.