One bad thing you think you’re gonna kiss goodbye when you become a cedar rat is scheduling conflicts, particularly when none of the several things you’re supposed to accomplish simultaneously are optional. I’m certain you know exactly what I’m talking about if you live or have ever lived in a city: When other people are setting your schedule and priorities for you, conflicts will ensue and you’re just sort of expected to somehow gracefully make it all happen, and the impossible is not free to take a little longer. Or at least that’s the way my days often went.
In honesty, a lot of that is on me: I was a neurotic mess when I lived in the city and had a hard time saying no. I blamed others for my troubles at the time but as I’ve said, hindsight can be a harsh judge. If I’d told certain other people to go jump in a lake from time to time my life might have gone considerably smoother. And yesterday wasn’t nearly as bad as I used to let things get, in terms of scheduling conflicts, because of course it wasn’t. You can call my current life a lot of things, but ‘fast paced’ seldom fits. Mostly there’s always mañana.
But sometimes there isn’t, like yesterday morning. Basically I was running from five in the morning till noon, and the allotted times for required tasks sometimes clashed. When you’re already behind schedule at 7:15, you know you’re in for one of those mornings.
The first three tasks are all Tobie-related, of course, and the first one comes with a pretty severe penalty clause: He’s still just a big puppy, and he can only hold it for so long. The fact that, every single morning, I get a cold nose on my back within ten seconds of the first time I consciously stir tells me he’s been waiting impatiently for that to happen. So step one: Get dressed without delay and take Tobie for the first of two morning walkies. If he’s feeling patient, you can get the coffee water on the stove before you go out.
Step two: FOOD. Of course. Big puppy is a growing boy.
Step three: Second and much longer walkie. This can be tailored somewhat to the needs of the day but typically this walkie is a minimum mile and a half and takes about an hour.
For the past week, I’ve been driving across the eastern plateau and up T&S’s scary mesa twice a day, and I’ve been trying to arrive in the morning somewhere around seven am. This round trip can also take in the neighborhood of an hour depending on what chores need accomplishing (with this unexpected October rain I haven’t needed to water gardens [plural] so that’s good) so if it’s already quarter past seven and I haven’t left yet that’s bad, especially since yesterday I was supposed to drop off laundry at L’s house at eight. Since that pretty clearly wasn’t going to happen I switched things up and drove to S&L’s place first, leaving the hamper on their porch and texting an explanation of why I skipped the usual polite visit. I had to be back to the Lair at least before 8:30 because at any moment I would get a text from D&L who wanted to drive to the biggish town about 35 miles away for a visit to the Palace of Food. I happened to be flush with cash and didn’t want to miss that, but they might decide to leave anywhere from (typically) 8:30 to 9:30 depending on how their chores went, and I could either be ready to meet them or not. They usually but not always give me a heads-up when they know what the time will be. They’re doing me a favor letting me tag along and it’s up to me to be ready.
That, for me, amounts to a very unusually busy morning with everything seemingly needing to be done at once. And when it happens, I tend to fall into the bad old habit of getting all stressed out over it.
I was going to get home around noon, which would be just in time for Tobie’s lunch and mid-day walkie, and lately I’ve never exactly known what condition the Lair would be in when I arrive. I’ve gotten much more careful about where certain things are stored before leaving him alone for any serious length of time, but he doesn’t always take alone time very well and can be diabolically sincere about finding things to chew into pieces. Let’s just say I’ve grown happy about the Official TUAK Rolltop Desk, or I’d probably have found my electronics in pieces on the floor before now. I never used to bother closing it, but now I do so very carefully.
Happily, yesterday Tobie was a Very Good Boy and contented himself with his own toys while I was gone. Otherwise I’d probably have completely blown my top, and I hate when that happens.