Tell me what is more satisfying than the kind of exhaustion that comes after a day of accomplishment. I dare you. On a recent Saturday, just before my mom headed out of town on a business trip, we had one such day. In an effort to encourage each other to complete all of the small tasks that get shuffled from list to list, we tackled them together, discovering that indeed, the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts.
09:17 – Mom says, “We need a list.” I smile in idiot-like glee.
09:18 – Armed with multi-colored pens, a protractor, and graph paper , we develop 3 lists: Out and About, Outside, and Inside. Each list has three items, satisfying my need for parallelism.
09:58 – Mom adds a 10th item. I fear the imbalance may cause a rift in spacetime.
10:04 – After deciding to do the out of the house errands first, we prepare to leave. But first: we’re going to need a picture-hanging kit later in the day, and are unsure if we’ll need to pick one up. A brief search commences.
10:10 – Picture-hanging materials secured.
10:13 – Actual departure time. We congratulate ourselves on our alacrity.
10:17 – We realize we failed to bring the schematic of our garden, which we’ll need to purchase seeds. We double back.
10:20 – We depart, more humbly.
10:43 – Arrive at the bank. I need to close my checking account and am told to sit in a waiting area and wait for a personal banker. There are two customers ahead of me. Mom (an accountant) wanders off to find things to look at. I
contemplate the wisdom of letting a numbers person loose in a bank. She returns with pamphlets on investing and seems pleased with herself.
10:53 – My turn! A nice woman named “Teri” tries to convince me to keep my account. I am resolute!
10:57 – Success!
11:06 – Arrive at the pharmacy. I need to pick up a prescription and change my insurance information. I’m convinced that there will be some kind of interrogation or alien probe. Mom is there for backup.
11:22 – The irony that it takes longer to change insurance than close a bank account strikes me. I feel this is societally indicative.
11:26 – Arrive at the seed store. (Mostly) resist the urge to look at baby chickens. We need 17 varieties. Seeds, not chickens. Unable to reach/see the seeds near the ground, I sit down on the floor while Mom rolls her eyes at me.
11:45 – We decide Rosemary may, in fact, be a tree and head for the register.
11:50 – Coffee stop. Obviously.
12:12 – We congratulate ourselves on a productive outing, and our ability to go door to door in under two hours. Apparently, the humility was short-lived. Heat up Smart Ones for lunch and revel in smug sense of healthy.
12:48 – Wardrobe change, time for outside. Tackle fall leaves from last 10 years. Smugness wears off.
13:07 – Decide a leaf blower is the best way to handle this situation.
13:10 – Fend off attacks from homicidal extension cord.
14:15 – Leaves wrangled and ready for burning, it’s time to plant our garden. This is the first year we’ve planted a eatable garden. I’d like a word with whoever decided that carrot seed should be microscopic.
14:53 – Open burning doesn’t start until after 4, so we head inside. Hang the aforementioned picture in the dining room in manner of experienced handymen. Smugness returns.
15:10 – Finally put away the last of the Christmas decorations. Whatever.
15:31 – Instigate non-list project of toilet paper roll corral. Mom will be relieved when Vacation Bible School is over and I stop collecting supplies. Until then, we’re the world’s weirdest hoarders. Time to work on deck building permit.
15:35 – Clean kitchen.
15:40 – Mom whines about permit. I insist we actually do it.
15:41 – Mild whining.
15:43 – Slightly more vigorous whining.
15:46 – Begin work on permit. Not as bad as she thought.
16:41 – Head outside to take measurements. Stuart decides to put on a show and rolls around in dirt in adorable fashion.
17:04 – Burn leaves. Pile the size of Buick becomes small pile of ash. Smugness is overwrought by exhaustion.
18:30 – Abandon Mom with small amount of remaining leaves to make dinner and treat sunburn. Everyone sleeps well tonight.
Banner Photo Credit: JD Hancock