Please let it be Friday
I remember when summer days meant sleeping ‘til noon, lunching on a tomato sandwich and lolling on a beach towel in my parent’s backyard, the “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” album cover, encased in Reynolds Wrap, propped under my chin for maximum sun exposure. I’d heard something about ultra-violet rays causing wrinkles in old age but, since I was never getting old, I didn’t give that idea a spot in my teenage brain. Perhaps I should have, since it seems, in retrospect, that there was a lot of available disk space there.
Today a summer day is just about like every other day. Awaken, pre-dawn, to the clackety-clack of KYW NewsRadio, gulp coffee while making the day’s “To Do” list (must be written down, no more disk space), harass teenage children who will sleep ‘til noon regardless. And on and on and on.
I don’t have enough time to do all that must (a relative term, I grant you) be done. Some things, like deep sleep, a leisurely lunch and tanning just have to go. If not, when will there be time to earn a living, keep a house, raise a child? And shop on-line for the newest wrinkle cream.
But even eliminating activities hasn’t been enough. For each one I bury, two more pop up.
In order to solve the problem I’ve become a master multi-tasker, combining chores at every opportunity. Bill paying, for example. I like to sit at my kitchen table paying bills when I get those phone calls where my input is not required, or even desired. This can sometimes be tricky. You do not want to open your VISA bill and yelp, “There must be some mistake” at the same time your daughter announces that she’s been chosen valedictorian. Or mutter, “Dear Lord, Billy’s been shopping at Victoria’s Secret again” as your minister offers his condolences on the passing of your chihuahua, Little Ricky.
When not pretending to listen to the blather of loved ones as I sign the “transfer balances and pay no interest for 6 months” form, I find time to attend to my health and appearance, simultaneously. Every morning I run for 20 minutes while wearing those slimy Crest White Strips on my unbrushed teeth. If I go out early enough I don’t have to explain to anyone why I am slurring words and standing at such a distance. Not to mention that nasty cowlick.
Speaking of teeth, I’ve begun flossing and brushing in the shower as cascading water rinses the instant conditioner from my now-lustrous locks. It saves quite a bit of time and is so much neater than brushing while pulling my best silk blouse over my head.
As I plop into my mid-level seat at my multi-level company I continue my effortless juggling. I create a reservoir of confetti for the next office birthday bash by shaking the three-hole-punch vigorously, dislodging the thousands of small paper discs accumulated there. This has the added benefit of developing my biceps. Before I know it I’ve multi-tasked through eight glorious hours and, by so doing, accomplished twelve hours of work. I am, however, unfairly denied overtime.
The multi-tasking continues as I joyfully return to hearth and home. While tearing open the miracle of “salad-in-a-bag” I listen to Jim Gardiner so that I’ll know when salad-in-a-bag is found to cause cancer in laboratory rats. And after dinner, while I watch that funny show about nothing, I read the editorials of our local newspaper so I have more than nothing to talk about at the office water cooler.
But man does not live by politics and pre-cut roughage alone. I try to put a little spirituality into each day. That’s a tough one. I don’t like praying over my pastrami on rye at my desk or listening to my meditation CD (the one that requires you to close your eyes and empty your mind) on the drive home. Ditto on making my teenagers kneel and bow to the East just as MTV’s “Real World” is starting.
This presents quite a challenge for even the most seasoned multi-taskers.
But I think, after much experimentation, I’ve found the answer. Every morning, during those eight precious minutes of quiet after I’ve hit the snooze button, I force my thoughts to veer from “Please let it be Saturday.” to “Another day of reading while vacuuming and talking while driving and eating while typing. I breathe, I think, I smile. I am so blessed.”
“And please let it be Friday.”