Three and a half hours is a lot of time. I could do almost anything.
I could get to the grocery store and buy everything we need, and not forget salt this time, or baking soda. Or milk. I could put all the food away. Even the ice cream. I could even prep dinner. Lasagna. I haven’t made lasagna in years – why not? Today is a day to cook….
I could call my stylist and see if she could fit me in. I’ve worn my hair the same way since 1987. Maybe it’s time for a change. My right big toenail looks like it’s been chewed. I should throw in a pedi while I’m at it. If I get over there quickly enough, I could even squeeze in a massage….
Jogging. I’ve been saying I want to get my figure back. Here’s my chance. With all this time, I could warm up, stretch, run, cool down. Really stick to a schedule this time. Keep track of my miles. Wear sunscreen. Where’s the armband I got for Christmas that year? The one that holds a phone just so. No worries. I don’t even need music. It can just be me, my thoughts, and the open road. Of course, these shoes aren’t the greatest. I should probably zip out super quick for a new pair. No use injuring myself the first time out. What about a hike? Or paddle boarding? I’m always saying I want to get out of town more. Or I could just go for a walk. Walking is good. All those Blue Zone people walk….
But what about getting the house in shape? I finally have time to sweep and mop without the kids’ cereal interruptions. And the laundry. Is it me or do we have too many clothes? There are only seven days in a week. Why does my son have twenty-eight pairs of pants? I should really go through the kids’ closets. Get a bag going for the Salvation Army. Of course, I’ll need to move some of these toys. It looks like Iraq in the second bedroom. I tell them to clean up after themselves, and that I’m not their servant. Does it count if I just get the tidying started? Bag up some ratty stuffed animals and the toys under the bed. Except this is supposed to be my time. I should tackle my closet. Give away those oversized sweaters I’ve been carting around. And those overalls. Even if baggy clothes do make a comeback, is it really a look I want to rock?
Eggs. I run around all morning. I never eat a good breakfast. No wonder I’m so tired. I’ll scramble some eggs, add some chives from the garden, a little salt. I think we still have some salad from last night. Brew coffee. Maybe even have a second cup. Brunch for one. I wish we still got a paper. I like the feel of newsprint in my hand, seeing if the market is up or down. I wonder what that NY Times food guy is working on now. I bet if I Google him, I can find that salmon recipe he did a few weeks back. It’s too hot for lasagna….
With Henry in school two days a week, it is time to take the job search more seriously. I tell people I am a writer, but I make like $119 a month. Does that even qualify as a job? I have all these teaching degrees. What about going back part-time? Or there’s always nursing school. Nurses are such tough, steely people. I bet they don’t feed their kids cereal for dinner. Except if I get a real job, when will I volunteer in the kids’ classrooms? And what about that homeless lady at church? Will I forget to bring her sandwiches?
Why all this pressure? Henry will be in school for nine months. I don’t have to figure it all out today. I’ll make some tea. Read a book. Maybe even sneak a nap. I haven’t napped since our camping trip. That was fun. We should camp more. I wonder when the kids are all off of school again….
I am not entirely sure what became of the three and a half blessed hours that my son spent at preschool today. I did not hike or nap or jog or shop or water the garden or interview for a job or fold any laundry.
These were the first 200 minutes I have had all to myself in many, many months, and I have almost nothing to show for it. I wrote a little, paid some bills, made a smoothie. I froze in the face of all that possibility.
And I went over to the preschool 15 minutes early because I did not want to be late. And because I missed him.
Happy first day of preschool, Henry.
Maybe I’ll get my s*(^ together Thursday.