Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Thursday, April 11, 2019

J - Juggling

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter

J is for Juggling

If you are older, try to remember the many tasks your 25 year old self juggled in one day.   If you are still young - take a moment in your busy day to check out your future.  

Let see ... I pick a typical Friday when I was 25 years old, married, a grade school teacher and pregnant.  

Friday looked like this:
  • Pop out of bed before 6 am
  • Dress while sipping coffee (thankfully set up the night before.)
  • Feed the cats before breakfast - Clean the litter.
  • Feed myself breakfast standing at the counter making a bag lunch
  • Make a quick grocery list for food shopping (budget for the week was $20, ha!)
  • Quick review of Friday lesson plans 
  • Commute to work
  • Stop for weekly gas fill up on the way
  • (We will skip the school day where I juggle the hundreds of things grade school teachers do in 8 hours.)
  • Gather up next week's lesson plan materials and papers to grade. 
  • Commute to grocery store - Fridays were food shopping day right after work - and stop by the liquor store to pick up some cheap wine fizzy something.  Liquor wasn't a no-no for a pregnant woman 45 years ago.
  • Do a fast unpack of groceries, a quick clean up of the apartment upon getting home
  • Fix dinner, eat quick, and clean up
  • Prepare a few dips for chips and veggies for visiting Friday night friends.
  • Slap out board games and snacks
  • Grade a few papers while waiting for guests to arrive
  • Entertain until say midnight
  • Spot pick up after company leaves
  • Set up the coffee for Saturday morning
  • Hit the sack at 1:00-ish am.
  • Inserts bunches and bunches of bathroom breaks in-between other things (remember - pregnant!)
  • Off and running again for weekend fun activities and school work prep.

This is the 72 year old me - trying to remember what the 25 year old me juggled 45 years ago.   Exhausting to my eye now - but I don't remember being all that tired then.

That was then!


Some demands are gone, of course, and some are changed - no job, no commute, not pregnant for sure.  Still married - however, husband is disabled (legally blind), and needs more assistance.  Today a 72 year old me might prepare for a Friday - with company like this.  

Wednesday (Yes, Wednesday!!  Give me a break - I am older.)
  • First off, there is absolutely NO POPPING OUT OF BED on any day of the week!! 
  • Make a list of everything I need to do - without the list I would just sit and knit or read.
  • Vacuum and dust.
  • rest
  • Prepare the menu and grocery list for the next week and for Friday company.  This prep is exhaustive - checking cookbooks for recipes and reviewing grocery store sales.
  • rest
  • Cook Wednesdays dinner, eat and clean up.
  • Assist husband with finding an item he has lost, or searching Amazon for something he wants to purchase, or sending an email on his behalf, or problem solving a computer issues he cannot find on the screen, or picking up prescriptions on his behalf. 

  • Food shop - this takes all morning now - no fast spin through the grocery store.  There is more checking for cheapest prices, reading food labels to insure a choice is healthy, doubling back to previous aisles to get things I missed the first time through. (Lots of doubling back.  Sigh.)
  • Unpacking groceries and repacking certain items - freezing, labeling, reorganizing - making sure things are where my legally blind husband can find them independently.
  • rest
  • Begin to prepare food for Friday night company dinner.
  • Order take out dinner - which I pick up because my husband doesn't drive.  Reality check:  No standing and cooking tonight's dinner after food shopping and cooking for the next day.  
  • Assist husband again with something.

  • Compete food prep for company
  • rest
  • Do a pick-up sweep through the house
  • Do a liquor store run - for company and for us  - Yes, we have a nice cocktail once a day - one of the benefits of aging and not giving a sh*t.  (See?  It isn't all gloom and doom.)
  • Clean the guest bathroom so it isn't a health risk, ha! (I don't think I ever worried about health risks at 25 - remember, young ... I was going to live forever!)
  • rest
  • Set out appetizers (now I call them appetizers instead of snacks 😝)
  • Serve dinner and entertain until about 10:30 - fading out occurs about that time after company prep.
  • Pick up after guests
  • Collapse in bed around 11:00 pm
  • Recover!  Schedule nothing! 

So what lessons have I learned about juggling all the balls of life with this exercise?  
  • Thank God I am not trying to juggle a job as well.  Yea!!! For Retirement!
  • Lists were never part of my 25 year old life - my brain retained everything.  Everything I tell you!!   Today?  My brain still retains stuff like before, but the retrieval window is extremely short.
  • I can't abuse my body by eating crap appetizers only!  We serve dinner.  (Sigh, those were the good old days, when dips and chips were good enough!!) 
  • The cost of living is crazy more than almost 50 years ago.  Weekly food budget has increased from $20 to $120!!
  • Question of the Day:  When do I get to retire from cooking dinner!!!  My next life: Marry a chef, who wants me out of "his kitchen.".
  • Still taking lots of bathroom breaks - 72 years old, you know! 
  • I remember laughing at my mom who would schedule exactly one thing a day on her event calendar!  One thing!!!  I couldn't imagine why!   

I get it now, mom. 


Marie Smith said...

I can relate to the rest periods in the schedule. They are on my schedule too.

Lynn Proctor said...

Wow-- so clever- the lists of our lives!

Angela said...

Love these lists!!! Bathroom breaks ...a must for my list, every 30 min. :)

Anonymous said...

I solved the cooking dinner issue by saying that when my DH retired, we would share the cooking and household chores like we did before I quit working a decade ago. I still do more of the cooking, but he's getting good at making good food, and he washes the dishes better than I do.


Rasheed Hooda said...

Hi Elaine,

This put a smile on my face. Good thing you still have your sense of humor.

Remembering and retrieving, I can so relate to that. I tell people my photographic memory is grossly underexposed these days.

Anne Young said...

I like that you can recall a day from your 25 year old self. My grandmother believed, I thought, in one thing a day and I cite that to my children. My mother said to me, oh no she was always doing lots of things ... by things I mean if you are going to the theatre in the evening, you don’t try to have friends around for lunch ... so sometimes one might break it but it is a useful starting point to look at the diary and schedule only one thing a day and also schedule at least one thing a day to keep busy.