Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Full Palate



I woke up before 7am this morning, without an alarm or other stimulus. My body knew it was time to get up--to do laundry, and dishes, and get moving on the day.

My counters are overflowing--with dishes, yogurt over its date, empty milk cartons and mashed potatoes from four weeks ago. I'm cleaning out the fridge, and then taking out the trash. And the trash stinks, let me tell you.

By 9am I am in my all-day grad school class, presenting my final project...


I woke up just after 8am this morning, and quickly calculated the time it would take to continue my quest to return the house to a semi "normal state". I folded yesterday's now-clean laundry. I finished what was left of the kitchen. I straightened. I put away. I left by 10:20am.

After church and lunch I am back out running errands: dropping off an old road bike to get tuned up for a May triathlon, returning studded bike tires that were deemed unnecessary for Curtis's bike commuting, purchasing materials to paint our second bedroom...all in heels and a skirt. The lady that waited in line behind me while I held 29" studded tires was trying not to chuckle I turned and commented "I must look like quite the walking contradiction, wearing this outfit, carrying these tires. Have I lost all my outdoorsy credibility?"

She assured me I hadn't.

On my way home I updated Curtis, who was hard at work on overnight shift #2 of the weekend, on my progress. Turns out, he had zero patients and was contentedly watching my March Madness bracket fall apart while I ran around town being productive. I suppose there are some perks to being required to live at the hospital.

After a relaxed visit with Curtis, I was back home and hard at work taping, covering, moving and painting. With half the edging left, I headed to bed.


By the time I left the house at 7:10am I felt behind. There were ever accumulating pieces of paper to deal with: track physicals and roster, papers to grade, outlines to critique, and track practice for 150 to plan indoors--all while sharing space with other extra-curricular activities.

Because of a few parents late to pick up their students, I didn't make it home until after 6--only to find myself in the midst of a mess left by my almost finished painting project. The weekend's cleaning frenzy seemed to be invisible when surrounded by paint cans and drop cloths. I felt discouraged.


It has been a week since I've had a moment to compile any coherent thoughts, even as I jot down thoughts and observations as I go about my day. When I don't have time to write, I feel like I don't have time to process...I am just running around aimlessly, accomplishing whatever arbitrary goals have been set for me (or I've set for myself), checking items off the list and hoping they don't add up more quickly.

Today was just as busy: packing meals to eat on the go, teaching a full day, continuing on at practice, trying to squeeze in some personal exercise, and hitting the pillow with a list circling my head as I drift off to sleep. It looks a lot like tomorrow...and a lot like last week.

Some days I feel like I have to count down the 37 days of school in my head to convince myself that the energy reserves will last that long. Some days, 37 days does not feel like nearly enough to finish the school year off with everything I want to accomplish.

In the end, the busyness will ensure at least one thing: when the break for summer eventually arrives, I will be ready...for hours outside instead of under florescent lights, for projects that can linger and not be rushed, for meals that don't have to be stored in Tupperware and reheated in the microwave.

Until then, I hope I can enjoy this last push of chaos. As much as it is exhausting, there is still joy to be found and fruit to be enjoyed from the labor. Some days there is nothing more satisfying than a stack of folded laundry, an empty dishwasher, or the smell of fresh paint lingering in the evening.

1 comment:

  1. As different as our lives are right now, I totally relate to that last paragraph. I love your writing.