Friday, May 14, 2010

Double-Booked

A couple of days ago, or maybe it was weeks, a dear friend who I miss very, very much and never have the time to catch up with on the phone, left me a message. Not just any message, but the kind of conversational message that two good friends alternate leaving each other when they know talking to each other for real is probably not going to happen any time soon. At the end of her message, she complimented me on this new endeavor of mine (yes, the blog) but sighed in this cute, exasperated way she does: "But honey, how do you find the time?"

It's a good question, and on the good days, it's one I get to be all self-satisfied and proud to answer: I multi-task. I double-book. I never do just one thing when I can do two. The bird in the hand is just one bird--why stop there when I can have the two in the bush?

So, I write blog posts while catching up on my favorite TV shows (Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Parenthood, Brothers & Sisters, Cougar Town, In Plain Sight, Burn Notice--a predictable list, I know, but damn I love watching TV). I make lunches while I am making dinner. I wash bathroom floors while my daughter is washing herself in the tub. I check my email while I am teaching class (both work and personal). I write email while I am teaching class (both work and personal). I grade papers and plan lessons simultaneously. I make phone calls to catch up with friends (at least, those who are available to talk before six p.m.) while getting some exercise pushing the jogging stroller up and down hills with the dog clipped to it and my daughter in it.

Of course, there are days this doesn't all work out, like when my daughter ends up in front of The Little Mermaid while I vacuum around her--hardly ideal, or when I forget to make my daughter's lunch or my husband forgets to bring her lunch and I am late to school because I have to either bring it to her or buy her a new one and drop it off, or when dinner is scrambled eggs or grilled cheese or worse--cereal.

There are totally days when I want to cry with frustration because I am useless after putting my daughter to bed, because I have no time to work out before 8 p.m. and can't imagine how any sane person could work out after 8 p.m. and be ready for bed by 10 p.m. I want to lose weight, stay strong, look good, and eat right--but haven't yet figured out how to find the time to both grocery shop and prepare healthy lunches.

But most days, my system works, and because I know I can't be productive after 8 p.m., I have double-booked and multi-tasked my way into a system of getting everything done before then, so that the next hour--if I can stay awake to enjoy it--is mine, all mine.

1 comment:

Ann M. Boyd said...

Hi Jenny,

I love your writing! I just discovered your personal blog. It's great. I completely agree with your double-booking philosophy here. I liked this article from Real Simple that had interesting ideas about the permeability of motherhood/work-life boundaries, thought you might like it too:

http://www.realsimple.com/magazine-more/inside-magazine/life-lessons/secrets-of-working-mom-00000000029974/index.html

Thanks for sharing your writing!