It could be glorious, but I’m betting there will be more stress than glory.
During my time off I’ll be spending two days at freshmen orientation at an unnamed university in Ames; purchasing buns, pop, water, plates, silverware, napkins, beans and decorations for a graduation party; decorating, hosting and tearing down said graduation party; conducting 3-4 interviews (yes, it’s work, but it has to be done); and writing a story (see previous duty). Yes, my head IS spinning.
I’ve known this party was coming for almost a year. I’ve had the date set since I reserved the pavilion last August, and I think I put out the initial Facebook invitations to family back in February or March. You’d think that would give me time to be organized.
You’d think so, but you’d be wrong.
Organization has never been my strong point. I put important – and some seemingly not-so-important – reminders on my phone so I don’t forget. Like my daughter’s graduation ceremony. My weekly meetings. A reminder to take my anxiety medications (yeah, you’d think that’s one reminder I wouldn’t need, right? Wrong.) When to tune in to watch “Master Chef” or “Hell’s Kitchen.” I get reminders 15 minutes before each event, just in case.
Apparently I need to add tasks, like, “Buy the buns for daughter’s graduation party three months from now,” or, “Make decorations for graduation party so all you have to do is put them up.”
I always find myself in this exact spot – wishing I could turn back time and do things better, be more organized, get prepared earlier.
My one defense is finances: As a single mom on a budget, with a once-a-month paycheck and no credit cards (I gave them up during the divorce), buying “extras” isn’t always easy, especially when there are plenty of “extras” that seem to come up: oil changes, registration tags, parking tickets (hey, they’re pretty pricey at the hospital where I work!), birthdays, drinks with friends … you get the picture. Budgeting is also not one of my strongest points, but that’s another blog post.
A second, smaller defense I have is space: Teen Girl and I live in a modest two-bedroom apartment with limited storage space – and two giant dogs. Keeping 12 12-packs of pop or 35 packages of buns on hand is no small feat, and could result in loss of space for dishes or cooking or sleeping or showering or any combination thereof.
Defenses aside, here I am. Eight days from now I will be hoping everything is put together and the rains don’t fall and the skies are blue and the burgers and brats and beans and potato salad and cupcakes and mints feed the masses. I just hope I haven’t pulled all of my hair out by then.