Multitasker or Mental Disaster?

No time like the end of the year to pull up an old post and be reminded that sometimes you just have to say 'no.'   But those times for me are few and far between.  And considering that I've got another two week vacation coming up which is already booked with doctor and dental appts, painting the living room and hallway, shopping for a rug for the new room, haircut, botox and the after holiday sales -- I'll be begging to go back to work just to put my feet up and get some rest.   Maybe time to think about a New Year's resolution?   .....    nah.

I've always likened myself to the women I read about in magazines that seems to do it all. No amount of burden is too much to carry on their back or stall the 24 hour clock. Well, that is until this past week. For some reason a light went on and I started questioning my real abilities in this arena. Let me try to start at the beginning (which seems to be the essence of my folly today)...

I am on the last day of my nine day vacation. I know...I said I'd start at the beginning, but stay with me, it'll all makes sense sooner or later. In the past eight days, I have done pretty much nothing but prepare for my vacation. That and well, take on more than I could chew which overwhelmed me so I sat staring at my own life flashing before my eyes in slow motion on more than one occasion this past week.

Example numero uno. I don't know why, but I booked Dr. appts and shuttle rides to the ex's house to drop off the kinder on the other side of the hill almost every day. That's approximately 23 miles EACH WAY. By Thursday I was thinking to myself, 'what was a I thinking?!' I drive that route every day when I'm working. Could I not stay to the South for just a couple of days? Sort of defeated the purpose of getting away from traffic. On one of those trips I thought I'd drop into the largest membership store this side of the Mississippi - the day before July 4th! - just to pick up a box of blueberries that I'd seen at a friend's house a couple days before. "Why I'll grab some of those on the cheap, make some blueberry jam," when I'm not on the road of course. So after the twenty minutes it took to find a parking space, I realize I didn't have my membership card with me, so I stood in line for another ten minutes at customer service then went back outside to find a cart, and then back in line to get back inside. I'd been there just under an hour. And no, I had not even gotten my berries yet. Inside the cooler, I was overwhelmed at ALL THE OTHER BERRIES that this oversized membership store was offering that day. So I bought raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and of course, the blue berries. Why I'll make lots of jam! Why? BECAUSE I HAVE SO MUCH TIME!
Another 20 minutes to make my way to the check out, 15 minutes in check out, 10 to get out of the parking lot and I was headed back South. All in all the round trip only took three hours. But hey, I was on VACATION. Once home, I discovered that I really didn't have the jars and all that good stuff that is critical to making jam. My recipe books were loaned out, my kettle was in storage. But that didn't matter...why I had plenty of time to go back to the local grocery -- with the too small parking lot the day before the 4th of July -- and buy jars. Of course I hadn't seen a recipe so had no idea what sized jars I needed. I figured if I bought them all I'd have the right ones . Another hour gone. By the time I got home it was almost 3:00 in the afternoon. No worries, my dinner reservations weren't until 8pm which meant that I needed to stop and get ready by 6pm which meant that I really had just three hours to make a helluva lot of jam.

But wait, there's more! While fishing out the only book I didn't loan out - not because it's the best, but exactly the opposite, I found that I was missing another key ingredient, so what did I do? I started making berry syrup. Don't laugh. Everyone needs berry syrup. It sounded like a good idea at the time - handmade vanilla ice cream topped with fresh handmade berry syrup. Never mind that I don't have any ice cream on hand - BUT WOULD HAVE TO MAKE IT! Oh well, I started the berry syrup. Raspberry. The other berries could wait.

Example #2. The next morning, I realize that I'd paid no attention to the quilt I'm making. Not that I ever wanted to actually make a quilt, it was just that I was in the sewing center to buy a foot for my sewing machine and stacks of pre-cut fabric caught my eye. So $50 later, I was out the door with five stacks of the aforementioned pre-cut fabric. Never mind that I didn't have the backing fabric, center stuffing or top stitching thread or the foot for my sewing machine. I was going to make a quilt! Which brings me to

Example #3
Working on the quilt. Hmmm. Well, that sounded like a terrific idea, but I had jam to make. So I started that process again, only to realized as I was reducing my blackberry syrup that I needed to take back some silk climbing rose vines I'd purchased for another project too lame to mention here. I'd bought them on a whim - what's new you're thinking right now, aren't you - and when I arrived home found that there were so many roses and leaves missing that they almost could have passed for something I would have actually grown myself. Not exactly the look I was going for. So there I was with a dilemma - start the blackberry preserves or take back the vines. I did both. I started the preserves and then turned them off half way through so I could jump in the car and take the vines back - 12 miles away! The store clerks were very generous in time and effort and offered to fill the sickly vines out with new sprays of flowers. So out came the glue guns and off they went. That's terrific I thought, I'll just walk around while I wait. Which brings me to

Example #4
The fabric store next door to the silk florist which looked like a great place to squander the next 30 or so minutes. So I poked my head in and asked, 'do you have patterns?" "But of course," said a nice young woman with red white and blue hair. "Over by the window." I made my way through the rows and rounds of gorgeous cotton fabrics to a small table with two pattern books. No matter that I hadn't heard of one company and the other was one that I'd never even thought of sewing from. So of course I sat down, looked through and bought a pattern. Then I chose not one, but two fabrics, none of which were my first choice - I still don't know why - and then made my way home. My quilt was still waiting, the berries were still waiting, the rose vines were still in the back seat.

So I called my friend. "I think there's something wrong with me," I said.

"What now," she laughed.

"I swear, I can go out to buy a blue ball and come back with a polka dot pony"

"So make a list," she says, stil laughing.

"I do make a list. It doesn't matter. The polka dot pony always looks like the better deal. Even though I know I don't need a pony. I know I need a blue ball, but I always get the polka dot...." my voice started trailing off.

" I think I'm ADHD."

"Well," she said STILL laughing. "I guess it's a possibility."

I'm guessing that after the 18 plus years we've known each other that this might be something she's held back. She probably knew all along. I think the big giveaway was when I bough her the home beekeeping kit for her birthday one year. I'd started out to surprise her with a fabulous Prada knapsack, but beekeeping has always intrigued me and this kit came with all the bells and whistles, including the bees. She was stunned.

But then again, maybe it's ok she hasn't told me I was off my rocker and needed to be medicated. Probably a good idea since I wouldn't have bought the idea until now.

Why even this morning, I got out of bed, started to make coffee, but thought I'd check on the garden. Once there, I pulled out my moisture meter and made rounds, then thought, "Oh, I should water those pots over there, under the tree," but as I walked past the roses I felt an urge to do a bit of pruning, so I wandered back to the greenhouse for the pruners, then stopped to water the tomatoes in another bed that looked wilted, started back to the roses, but saw that there were suckers on my peach tree, stopped to cut those off, felt hungry for some of my left over suckling pig from my dinner out on Friday, went back into the house for a bite, saw my coffee cup still sitting empty, went back out to the garden, pruned the roses, left the cuttings sitting on the ground, because I thought maybe a piece of toast with fresh blackberry preserves would go great with my now cold cup of coffee, and then on my way to get out the toaster thought I should write this post.

In a nutshell, the water is running, there are cuttings all over the yard, berries to be made into jam, a cold cup of coffee on the counter, the toaster is out, there's a quilt that is half finished on the back of the sofa (OK, I confess, even in it's half finished state I used it last night), a bag of new fabric under my chair, a half eaten left over in the fridge, silk rose vines in the back seat of my car, and I'm glancing over at my list of things to do today, which don't include any of the above. In fact, I need to run to the Sur La Table and see what I can buy with my $300 gift card I got as a rebate on the expensive ice cream machine that I 'just had to buy' because my old machine - although it worked great - just wasn't doing it for me anymore. And yes, I do make at ice cream at least once a year, so it was a thoughtful purchase. NOT! I'm thinking I need a panini maker because we're going to have the salmon that I bought while I was at the biggest membership store getting berries and I need a cedar plank. OK...so.....

Multi-tasker or Mental Disaster? You be the judge.


  1. Oh. My. Gawd! You are a riot! If I did just a quarter of the things you accomplished in one day I'd consider myself superwoman! My brain isn't big enough to hold all the ideas you have!

    "And yes, I do make at ice cream at least once a year, so it was a thoughtful purchase." LOVE THAT!

    You are a terrific writer, even with a million project going on all at once.

    Hope your vacation is almost over so you can go back to work and get some rest!

  2. I'm going with multi-tasker. Your days off sound like mine.
    I go to work to relax!

    Nice to meet you BTW!


  3. Multi-mixer. Thanks for great slice of life post. -Jayne

  4. Brilliant! I do also feel a tad sorry for the Ex though. Did he perhaps leave to recuperate? Or was it that you just never get around to exchanging him for the polka dot one you really wanted in the first place?

    Very, very funny, well written post!