Not deferential enough: I'll be working, working

Posted Monday, September 30, 2013 in Opinion

Not deferential enough: I'll be working, working

by Gina Hamilton

"Can you come over for dinner or a drink?" a friend asked.  She'd also like some help with learning a new computer program and moving a large, heavy outdoor plant to my house for the winter where it will live inside, because her place won't be heated.

And the truth is, I'd love to come.  I'd love to take a break from putting everything to bed for the winter and spend the evening chatting with my friend.  But I barely have time to do things that absolutely have to be done, let alone anything fun or entertaining.  I made my to do list a week ago, and it's scary-full.  And some of it has to be done very soon.  Like tomorrow.

For instance, the chickens are getting out of their run.  I have to find the staple gun and fix the chicken wire on two sides, in the morning before I go to work.  I have to put a couple of cubic feet of soil down and build up the sides so they don't dig underneath.  I have to put down some more nesting material, get rid of some of the sumac fruits, which keep dropping onto the run, and clean up around the coop.  Then I have to let the chickens out and feed and water them, and collect their eggs.

And then I have to clean up myself and be presentable at the office by 8 a.m.  But that's not all I have to do in the mornings.  I also feed the dogs, cat, the parrot, clean up whatever messes they've managed to make overnight, make the bed, tidy up the living room, clean up the kitchen, hang the laundry that was washed overnight on the line, let the dogs out and back in, open the side door so they can go out on the deck, make sure they have water in their outdoor bowl, hang up towels and cloths so they don't go sour, make a sandwich for lunch, pull something out to make for dinner, and grab the mortgage bill to pay on my lunch break. It's late, so I'll have to run to the post office. On a good day, I might start the dinner in the slow cooker, but because I have to fix the coop, that won't be happening.  It's looking like a BLT night.  Do I have any bacon and fakon?

By the time I get home, it's time to bring the chickens in, fetch the laundry in, put it away, play with the dogs, catch half an hour of the news, work on a book I'm editing, make dinner, clean up after dinner, make sure the cat is inside once it gets dark, talk to my aunt whom I haven't spoken to since she went on vacation, and then check to see if anything else on my to-do list has been accomplished.

It hasn't, so I try to tackle one small room, maybe the baby's room or the upstairs bathroom, then work on one of my own projects, a novel I'm writing, perhaps.  Or maybe just sink down onto the sofa and read one of my free Kindle books.

Now, I know these are first world problems.  I know most people aren't complaining about having to change four pillowcases along with their sheets every other week or so.  I know most people on Earth never have to worry about that, because they don't have pillows, beds, or blankets.  And while I'm suitably chastened by my good fortune, and I'm not ignorant of it, having lived and traveled in other places in the world where life is considerably more difficult than it is here, it's hard to remember that when I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off.

And unfortunately, no time is worse for that kind of thing than autumn.

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