Time travel

My desk is a barometer of my mental health.  Wait.  That seems very dramatic and–if you saw my desk–describes a brain that is unraveling like a sweater with a snag that you can’t resist pulling, even though the hole grows with each tug.

The truth is that I feel too busy and I haven’t read a novel in a month.  I’m like a lung that expels but can’t expand.  I finished reading The Sense of an Ending a month ago and have felt distracted and unable to concentrate ever since.

When I can’t read, I know I am worried.

About a month ago, I received some news that knocked me off-kilter.  I would explain the details but since this blog comes up as the number one result when you do a Google search on my name, I can’t.  (Email me if you wonder, but it’s not that big of a deal.)

But my desk is something of a disaster.  It’s littered with empty Diet Coke cans (I know, it’s bad for me), three shades of nail polish,  coupons, folded laundry, mail, recently acquired books, empty bowls, seven hair bands, a Q-tip . . . even a squeeze bottle of “mouse attractant gel” which did the trick a few months back when I was trying to catch a mouse in my garage, although as I’m proof-reading this I remember now that the mouse didn’t take the bait until I switched to peanut butter.

There’s more, much more and tomorrow, I’ll have to purge and sort and clean and get this mess under control because a girl can only take so much.

(I also see pliers, an battery-powered screwdriver, a candle, someone’s belt, magazines . . . it’s just ridiculous.)

I decorated the house for Halloween on Saturday.

Today, my daughter had her very last orthodontic “retainer check.”

My mom moved in a few weeks ago.

We’re having an October heat wave which I do not appreciate.  At all.  Ninety-something degrees in October is wrong.  It looks like autumn but it feels like the surface of the sun or the backyard of hell.  Something hot.

Thursday I’m having dental work done which I dread.

Today, I did not reach my goal of walking 10,000 steps . . . I was in my car driving for almost two and a half hours this afternoon (driving to pick up my daughter from school, driving her home, driving her back to the orthodontist, then driving home . . . that took over two hours!).  I just thought to click my Fitbit app and see I walked 9,632 steps.  Boo.  I forgot to check earlier while I was working so I could walk around the house for awhile.


Oh, so I called this post “time travel” because I was going to talk about three instances of the impossibility of time travel but I remembered incident one and incident three but not incident two so . . . I rambled instead.

Incident One:

My mom asked me if there was a way she could fast forward through commercials using the DVR.  I explained that she could if the program was recorded.  But she kept asking about skipping commercials in shows she’s watching.  Finally, I had to explain that she HAD to watch commercials when a show is “live” because . . . we can’t time travel into the future to skip over what will happen in real time.  Wouldn’t it be nice, though, if we could time travel right past the sticky parts of life, the dumb, boring, painful stuff we don’t want to sit through?

Incident Two:

I’ll let you know if I ever remember.  Ha.

Incident Three:

For fun, sometimes I work as a “mystery shopper.”  The scheduler contacted me earlier today and told me that a particular team of shoppers won’t officially start working on a project until November, but if I’d like, she’d set me up with an immediate shop for September.

I told her I’d be happy to accept the assignment except that I would be unable to time travel (back to September) to do so. Hardy har har.

If I could time travel backwards, I am telling you right now that I would have become a Nurse or a Teacher or something that I could capitalize and use to introduce myself and rely upon to earn money.  I have a career now but I just fell into it.  It’s hard to explain to people and sometimes, I wonder what’s next and unfortunately (or fortunately), I cannot time travel into the future for a sneak peek and that, my friends, makes it difficult to concentrate long enough to read one of the dozens of books piled on my shelves.  (These stacks of books are double-parked in front of the books that are organized by author.)

I want to read.  I want to read all day, every day but instead, I hike an hour on the rattlesnake-infested trails near my house (I never see the rattlesnakes but I know they are there), I drive my son to college, I work five hours, I clean the kitchen and think up something to make for dinner (the very bane of my existence), I drive an hour round-trip to pick up my daughter from school, I cook dinner and then after all of that . . . I think that maybe I’ll read something but instead, I scroll through my phone, spend some time worrying, hang out with my husband and then try to nap before working my second shift of the day.

And then it starts all over again.  Summer turns into October which still feels like summer and it’ll be Christmas before we know it (Target tells me so) and then the year will be new and I will be old(er) and so it goes.

Time travels.




One thought on “Time travel

  1. If I could time travel, I’d go back to that day you were in Grand Rapids and chose to miss a lecture by Eugene Peterson to go thrift shopping with me. One stipulation would be that our future knowledge would be retained so we could discuss corrections that needed to be made that we could not see then. Deal? You figure out how to do it, and stop to pick me up on the way. See you later, or before.., whatever…


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