If it isn’t written down, forget it. It won’t get done. I live by my to-do list. It keeps me focused in a I-don’t-need-to-think-about-what-needs-to-be-done way, because everything is written on my trusty pad.
Without my pad, my days would be chaos. I wander around the house doing things halfway and then get distracted by Baby A or something else I see that I should do, only to come back to the first thing a half hour later and say, “Oh, yeah. That’s what I was doing.” Instead, my time sans child has purpose and is productive.
Without my pad, I would go to Trader Joe’s, CVS, Ralphs, Whole Foods, and even, the farmer’s market and walk away without whatever it was that drove me to go there in the first place.
Without my pad, I won’t have a growing list of books that I want to read, websites that I want to check out, or songs that I want to download.
And without my pad, article ideas, leads, and blog posts that come to me in the strangest places would get lost in the ether of my brain, possibly forever.
Life has been off since G. was admitted to the hospital. Plans have been thrown up into the air and every action has been based on the next test, the next surgery, etc. But amidst all this strange uncertainty, I’ve caught glimpses of solitude.
Most parents of young children know the ever-presence of their son or daughter. Since Baby A was born I can count the amount of times that I have been separated from him. As I was making my dinner tonight at my mom and G.’s home (awaiting word from the hospital and caring for their dog), it hit me. I’m alone. It is one of those rare occassions where I am by myself.
In adverently, I’m almost living a scene out of the book “Three Junes” by Julia Glass. One of the characters gets a hotel room on a regular basis so that she can be alone and read a book. Basically, she steals away from her children, her responsibilities and her spouse. While I’m sitting at this computer in my mom’s den, I miss my child, my husband and my kitties. I still have my responsilibities. But for a fleeting moment tonight, I felt that G.’s illness had stolen me away to a place where I could do anything I wanted without interruption of responsibility or courtesy or attention.
Four hours of uninterrupted air space can be magical. No cell phones. No Internet. Just me crammed into a seat with a couple hundred of my closest strangers flying thousands of feet over the earth. This seat allows me to read a magazine (or even a book!), nap, write or sit and do nothing. All of these things are luxuries—even when they occur on a turbulent, cross-country flight that is accompanied by a boy’s colorful commentary of dead pilots and us going down. Yay.
Despite all of this, I’m surprised how much I enjoyed my flight. As a kid I loved traveling by airplane, but as I grew older and flying changed in the post 9/11 era, my admiration dissolved. This leg of my journey hasn’t made me have a change of heart, but for now, I appreciate that I can sit down and do whatever I choose and not be distracted by all that technology has to offer.
It’s 4:30 AM and I’m petting my attention starved (and hungry) cat Lil’ Moo. I love the early morning when the world is still quiet. There isn’t a more productive time of day—no baby boy, no husband, no email pings, no phone calls. Just me doing whatever I want. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, even sleep.
I might trade it for a pill that allows you to exist without any sleep. This was the plot of a recent “American Dad” episode, the lead character Stan gets a pill from the CIA lab (where he works) that allows him to exist without sleep. So while his family snoozes away, he catches up on movies, reads “The Hunt for Red October,” a book he has been trying to finish for years (After one page, he normally falls asleep. I can relate.) and plays video games. His wife, Francine, also starts taking the pill. She takes up marine biology and spends her time tracking down an elusive squid. My husband and I both secretly wish it was on the market, just so we can get everything we want done—whether it’s going to the gym (ours is open 24 hours), reading a book, working or just petting the cat.
But until that happens, I’ll continue to rise before the sun.