Those days when you don’t get anything done

A distraction. Definitely a distraction.

On the advice of a management consultant, I’ve decided to write down what I do every day, in the hope that I can hire some of it out and have more time to paint.
I set out with the goal of doing a small landscape sketch from my imagination, based on a trick of the light I saw at Harriman State Park on Friday. That is an hour’s painting, tops, so I should be able to manage it, shouldn’t I?
Here goes:
6:30 AM—I announce to my poor beleaguered husband that in five minutes I’m making our bed with him in it.
6:40 AM—I realize it’s not a school day, which means I can’t use the same threat on my son.
7:50 AM—I natter at said husband that he will miss his interplant shuttle if he doesn’t leave NOW. (This, I think, is displaced nagging because my son doesn’t have school.)
8:35 AM—I am called “honey” by a construction worker. Makes my two hours of daily exercise seem almost worthwhile, don’t it?
9:30-10:30 AM—I wait for Tony, whom I’ve hired to rake out the former year’s leaves for me; he doesn’t show.
10:30-11:30 AM—I dragoon my son into helping me clean floors. He vacuums; I mop. Normally, I would never do this on a work day, but he’s off school and I know that (like all teenagers) he secretly loves household chores. I want him to be happy.
11:30 AM-1:00 PM—a friend and former student, now in crisis, stops by to ask me to pray for her.
1:00-2:00 PM—I have an expiring rewards card from Mayer Hardware, and I’ve been saving it to buy quarts of alkyd paint for patching wall cracks. While I’m rooting around among my house-painting supplies, I take the tops off a bunch of old paint cans so they can harden in the noonday sun.
2:00-5:00 PM—People around here have been complaining because the only food left in the house is kippers, ketchup, and corn flakes. Yielding to pressure, I traipse off to buy groceries and paint.
Hard to see how I can hire much of this out. But I’m curious: why did I have more time to paint when my kids were younger?

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