(Reader, are you still there? I am still here!)
I was going to read Bruce Snider’s book Paradise, Indiana last night before I went to bed. I really was, because reading is basically writing, right? So I was going to, but then I realized the art book I’d borrowed through the Super Special Library Nerd Lending Program was (horror!) overdue.
I was going to read, but then I had to flog myself for being such a bad person that I end up with an overdue library book in my possession. And that took a little while.
And then I was going to have transcribed into my notebook all the 542 post-it notes flagged throughout the book with scraps of language and image jotted on them before the book was due. So you can see what kind of a fix I was in there.
Yes, I was going to read, but then I ended up having to transcribe the post-it notes. No complaints there, really. I’m glad I did it.
I was going to return the library book first thing this morning.
I was also going to get up early this morning and work on my fellowship application — which I actually did. Then I was going to write a blog post about… something. But then a child woke up — yes, you guessed it, Said Child woke up — and his chest felt uncomfortable. I was going to blog, but instead I referred to the PICC line paperwork, which said: For chest discomfort call 9-1-1.
I was so not going to do that. This child was not doubled over in pain, unable to talk, in respiratory distress, or looking in any way like he needed an ambulance. But I did call the PICC line nurse.
I was going to write a blog post, but she said, Go to the ER. I was also going to shower. But, y’know.
So I was going to return the library book second thing this morning, but then we were in the ER most of the day. Xrays were taken. Said Child’s PICC line had become dislodged. It needed to be re-lodged (new word). Xrays were taken again. Et cetera. Everyone was fine so I was going to drop off the book on the way home but the home instruction teacher was on the way to the house and there wasn’t time.
And then lord knows what I was going to do but there was homework to supervise and, well, my mom made dinner so I can’t use that excuse. I know! — I was going to make brownies for dessert. I really was. But I didn’t.
I was not going to cry when my mom and dad left to go back to the Homeland. I really wasn’t. But then I did, and it was the catchy kind of crying, so then a bunch of us flopped on the bed and had a crying festival.
I was going to take the library book back as soon as Husband came home, but it was right in the middle of the crying festival.
Finally, after baths and bedtime for the younger two-thirds, I was going to go to the library. Oldest one-third asked if he could come along. I was going to say Yes. Then I thought, Hell no! (I was going to be a selfless mother…… but I’ve given up on that).
I was going to pay my fines. And I did. And it was like a little jubilee for my psyche. I’m all clean again!
On the way home, I was going to stop at the store — just for some milk, and my tea, which I’m almost out of. I was not going to buy anything else. But then I did. I bought a dark chocolate bar with carmelized hazelnuts. I also bought dark chocolate squares with caramel.
I was going to stay away long enough so that all the kids would be asleep and the dishes done. Alas, I did not stay away long enough for that.
I was going to go to bed early every night this week so I could get up and work on my fellowship application. I remembered this during the dark chocolate. I groaned. I was just about to bag it. The application I mean. Who needs the stress? Why scramble for something I’m very unlikely to win?
I was seriously considering bagging it. Then I got an e-mail out of nowhere from a friend. It said, You have already done the work; you’ve been doing it for years. It said, You are as ready to send it out today as you will be on the deadline. It said, Give yourself a big hug.
That e-mail made me realize all this “I was going to” crap (well, it is) was and is unproductive. It made me realize I need one of those big red arrows that you see on maps: YOU ARE HERE. I want one to hang up over my writing desk. Because, I was going to so what!? You, my friend (I say to myself), are HERE. This is the ONLY place you are. Yes, there’s kid with a PICC line and a couple without but who still need you. Yes, an overdue library book and a general and persistent shortage of milk. Yes, it’s hard to get to bed early when early means 9:00. But YOU ARE HERE and that’s not going to change until death. So, I sez to myself I sez: You are here. And you can either do what you do here and now, despite the chaos and the crazyquilt landscape of life, or you can bag it.
[I pause here to say: Thank heaven for po-friends who give you a kick in the pants when you need one. A loving kick in the pants, of course].
So, Reader, I’m going to try to strike “I was going to” from my vocabulary (Wait, wait! I just need to do two more: 1). I was going to have my birthday thank you notes done long, long before now. 2). I was going to write my Aunt Anne a letter. In July.). I’m going to look for or make a YOU ARE HERE sign. I’m going to do what I do. I’m not bagging the fellowship application.
Whatever you were going to do, I hope you did it :). Thanks for reading.