I usually wake up at 4:30 a.m. Not because I have to generally, but because either the Big White Dog has bow-wow-wowed the paper boy off the front porch, or because I’ve had some vivid dream that is begging to become a blog post. Most of the time, I holler at the dog, turn over and wait for Jim Ed Poole and Dale Connelly to wake me up again after my sanctified 30 seconds of actual REM sleep. Sometimes though, I drag my lazy ass out of bed, make a pot of coffee-by-braille, tiptoe past the sleeping New Puppy and make my way down to my desk where, before I even look at my computer, I open my Franklin Planner and plan-plan-plan my perfect day.
In the dark of the new dawn, I am the perfect me. I will multitask by walking for 30 minutes and taking the dogs along. I will drink water throughout the day and shun coffee for green tea. I will clear my mind and energize my body by practicing yoga. And finally I will follow the advice of my inner perfect self to achieve all that I can. The day, like an open page, spreads itself out langouriously before me. I have eight unencumbered hours before noon even, to accomplish the menial tasks, hard chores and tedious details that have been banging around in my head from the previous night.
1. Planning I write in perfect longhand
2. Checkbook follows
3. Yoga is next
4. Write 500 words is my new goal and next task after the first three are completed and set aside.
What comes next in my to do list for the day can only be called Herculean in scope and Preposterous in feasability. This list takes uncompleted items from my unrealistic list made the day before and combines it with my unrealistic goals for the Today which seems to loom so clear and innocent before me. No problem, today I am strong and rested and invincible!
Oh yeah, some real estate client follow ups, oh and the dogs have a vet appointment, and then there is the eight-mile list of school supplies, the groceries and the odd construction accessory that needs to be purchased. The bills that need to be paid, the checkbook that needs to be balanced and the tax documents that need to be gathered. A few appointments scattered throughout the day, and oh yes, the function I’m required to attend this evening as Mrs. Downtown Dave.
By this time, The New Puppy has started her morning yodle, so I take her and The Big White Dog outside and grab that first cuppa java. Once the dogs have peed, they want to eat, and, after filling their bowls and replenishing the Cockatiels dishes, I notice that the people dishes from last night and probably yesterday’s lunch are crusting on the counter. So, since I, and I alone am apparently the only one who knows the super top-secret code for opening the dishwasher, I empty that, fill it again, and start it. Now the dogs want out again, and I should check the pool filter. So we trek outside. After I’ve cleared the drowned bunnies, the leaves and twigs and spiders out of the pool skimmer, and the dogs have pooped, we troop inside.
Time now for another cup of Joe, and to roust the sleeping Downtown Dave. Thank goodness it’s still summer vacation and I don’t have to wake the kids! I take a quick glance at the obituaries, the two comics I actually read, and scan the opinion page for something scandalous, flick the finger mid-coffee slurp at Downtown Dave in the shower hollering that Theres-No-More-Hot-Water, then play a little fetch and tug with The New Puppy. I take my vitamins, drink a big glass of water and now, since most of the clutter is again cleared from the day I make my way back downstairs to my desk.
6:00! How did it get so late!? The day is starting to slip away! Ok, start the laundry and iron a shirt for Downtown Dave. Crap, I forgot to put out the recycling and those sneaky little bastards must collect at midnight because all the other bins on my street are emptied and there, lined up neatly in my garage, sit my eight paper sacks of glass, plastic and tin. Oh well, I’ll schlep them to the drop off bins on my way to the vet.
Another mug of coffee and another 55 minutes are consumed before Downtown Dave is on his way and the dogs are gnawing their bones and I am able to resume my placid planning. What’s next? Ah yes, balance the checkbook online… another 45 minutes gone, since that task has been “deferred” for the last 3 days. Crap it’s nearly nine and I’ve got to get the dogs to the vet at 10. Is there time for yoga? “Make the time. Take the time.” coos my inner perfect-fucking self. “Read your email. Do some writing.” purrs the devil on my left shoulder. “Fold the wrinkly dry clothes, slop the molding wet stuff into the dryer, put in another load to wash, empty the dishwasher, clean up the New Puppy poop, vacuum the hairy stairs.” intones the freaking perfect angel on my right shoulder. I, of course sit down at my computer to quickly check my email, and make a couple of notes for a future blog post.
9:55! SHeeeit! I grab the dogs, their leashes and my keys and wonder briefly if I should pull on some sweats oh, and maybe a bra…. I herd my canine kids into my messy minivan and remember the recycling. Oh, I’ll only be a little late… so I open the side doors and start heaving in the wet and stinky paper bags of two week old bean cans, liquor bottles and plastic pop bottles. A couple bags bottoms give way but most of my ecological treasure stays contained.
One hour elapses, we have a clean bill of health for the pooches, and we are off to the recycling bins. Unbeknownst to me, due to Led Zepelin blaring, The New Puppy has found the weak bag bottoms and has decided to mix up my previously organized mess. No matter. Another 30 minutes and some pretty sticky hands and dog tongues later, we are on our way home to resume The Perfect Day.
Even though it is mere minutes until noon, I still believe that I can marshall those fleeting minutes into submission. A quick switch of the laundry. Now, what next? “Yoga.” calls my perfect self, as she sits crosslegged filing her perfect nails. A throbbing nerve in my spine quickly seconds the motion. A throbbing nerve in my head, speaking much louder than the spine, insists that we pour a few ounces of rum into a glass of Diet Coke and sit by the pool.