Day-off Triathlon

Once a month, I get this one day. A weekday when I don't have to work, because I'm working during the weekend. It's a day where I have no work and Boy is at school and I can do whatever I want.

I used to make sure to do something fun on That Day, either going hiking up on the bluffs or to the Botanical Gardens, a massage, photography excursion or retail therapy or just some quality coffeehouse time... something fun, a mental health day.

Yeah. That doesn't happen anymore.

• Awaken to phone call from new client whose stuff I'll be selling online on consignment. This is my latest part-time gig, trying to raise money for Ze Wedding. I've been doing it for charity for quite some time; now I'm also doing it for money. Because if we don't find a way to raise more money soon, we have to postpone our wedding. Do not want.

• Receive email that someone wants to buy our old washer. Immediately assist Jimmy with removal of our back door, so we will be able to remove said washer from the house.

• Mad-dash shower.

• Church. Rehearse Sunday's duet with my fellow EpiscoSister, Diane. This is necessary because I missed rehearsal Thursday (again) due to being scheduled for work. And I'll miss the next two Thursdays as well. I am the Bad Choir Member. *shameface*

• Pop down to the undercroft to measure a coffee table I'm trying to sell for the church. Try not to look at 10,000 (!!!) books lying in wait for next weekend's Mayfest book sale. Booooooks...

• Back up to Henry's office, where he lets me insert a Relay for Life appeal in the parish newsletter even though I missed the deadline (again).

• Dash back to the house, grabbing Chinese on the way. Meet Katie, Queen of Snark, for lunch. Katie takes pictures of my ailing gardenia and ignores my flourishing rosebush, because she's mean.

• Find out Washer Person is not coming until Sunday. Debate what to do about door. Receive bid on old microwave. Check other ads and sales sites. Seriously, a brand-new 1GB RAM stick does not sell??

• Upstairs to the office, ostensibly to work on tomorrow's ethics speech, which needs serious updating thanks to Boston. I will be speaking at the SPJ Regional Conference in St. Louis on the practical applications of journalism ethics, which I've done many times before, and it's really important work that I've been intending to get to all month. But I make the classic error of checking the damn mailbox...

• Man needs doctor's appointment to satisfy life insurance company that he's not about to drop dead. Man has not made appointment. Call for appointment myself. Text Man to inform him. Tap fingers impatiently. Man assents to proving he's not going to die.

• Solicit donor for annual glow-stuff sale supplies for Relay for Life. Consider possible raffle prizes for our on-site raffle. Wish for another month to prepare.

• Attempt to upload documents to Insurance of the Damned to verify (for the fourth freaking time) that the Awesome Stepkids really do get to stay on our policy. Once again the site will not take my documents. End up on long phone call to apologetic agent at Insurance of the Damned, who eventually discovers that their site won't take documents from any browser except Internet Explorer. Which no one uses. Determine that faxing is necessary. Minus: Do not have fax capability, as office phone line does not work.

• Inform Boy of his responsibilities for the evening and remind him that playing ball in the back yard is acceptable; doing so barefoot in pajama pants is not. Does every teenage boy do these things?

• Go to bank; withdraw cash for weekend necessities.

• Go to local copy shop and fax documents to Insurance of the Damned, with receipt and verification sheet to prove that I did it. Again. For the fourth time. Man is still my fiance, we still live together and the Awesome Stepkids are still ours. Place in file in case we end up having to sue these bastards.

• Go to Pottery Hollow and pick up the stuff we painted at the Relay fundraiser last week, along with a check from the shop for the Relay team. Yay, progress! Sort of.

• Go to Walgreens and drop off Boy's prescription refill, which I have to pick up in person at the doctor's office and sign for it, then deliver it in person to the pharmacy and show my driver's license, because they like to make it as difficult as possible to get ADHD meds filled.

• Escape to coffeehouse, where I am supposed to be working on my book, and instead I will be working Boston into the ethics presentation. Procrastinate by writing bitchy blog entry about My Day Off first.

Yeah. April-May is the craziest time of my year, putting the holidays to shame. Everything comes due at once. Scout Court of Honor, SPJ board meeting, Boy's spring orchestra concert, college newspaper board meeting, Mayfest, the burgeoning Relay (gulp not ready) and final team captains' meeting, Boy's eighth-grade celebration (graduation?), a bridal shop visit I will probably postpone, our biannual yard sale, another author speak-n-sign and then we're off into the relative sanity of summer...

There was something running about online a few weeks ago, about "stop glorifying busy." It posited that people take on too much because it's "cool" to be crazy-busy. I don't know about that. I kind of miss being able to go for a hike because I didn't have anything else to do that day. And yes, I'd like to jettison some of my activities instead of taking on more. I'd certainly like to cut back on the work part too, since adding all my part-time gigs to the Daye Jobbe pretty much makes 2.5 full-time jobs, but there's this whole "rent" thing, plus the wedding.

But it's also pretty damn selfish to say no because well, I just need my manicure time. I pick what I do, and duck when I can because it's not fair to a group to say, "Sure, I can do it!" and not be able to follow through. Sure, I'd love to jettison a few things... but I also want them to keep happening. And you can't say, "This is a really good thing and it should happen!" if you're not willing to pick up the slack and help. The Relay team will bust through $20,000 this year for the American Cancer Society. I like to think that's making a real difference. The SPJ scholarship will help some future journalist go to college.

And a whole lot of other stuff is simply part of being a parent, which is an ever-increasing cycle of BUSY that yes, drives you insane, but also lets your kid have the wonderful, exciting experiences and explorations that make up his memories. You can't always be the parent who does the drop-n-dash; sometimes you gotta hand out the cookies, too.

I'll say this: once Boy graduates from high school, I think about half my Busy is going to vanish. And I might get a day off again. In the meantime, I've got this speech...