Saturday, August 16, 2008

Peace ... and progress

I spent a couple of hours tonight at Wal-Mart doing the weekly grocery shopping thing. The store is in the midst of a complete remodel (I'll save my very strong feelings on that for another post), and in the giant turnover that has relocated all health and beauty products just past the rows of school supplies, I found myself carefully navigating my cart between MANY buggies driven by parents obviously on a last-minute quest for crayons and pencils.

The whole experience brought back memories of last year and my 9 p.m. shopping trip the night before school started. The depths of self-loathing for my procrastinatic (is that even a word?) tendencies reached new levels. This is going to sound really judgmental, but I looked at the other people who had put off purchasing their children's supplies until they couldn't put it off any longer, and ~ honestly ~ I could not for the life of me see myself as one of them.

I vowed that night to get a grip, plan better, and not get myself in last-minute races against time that send my blood pressure into dangerous territory.

A year later, I can't say that I NEVER put off important tasks, but there's a whole lot less of that nonsense going on that ever before in my four decades of living.

Some noteworthy examples:

In May, at the end of the school year, I had my grades ready THREE DAYS before they were due in the office.

I now plan all meals a week in advance and make one grocery trip each weekend. It is very rare that I make a mid-week trip to the store for something I forgot or we ran out of.

Last year, I'm sure I bought at least a dozen new books for the Fayetteville Public Library with all the overdue fines I paid. We haven't had an overdue library book since April. (I began writing down due dates in my planner and scheduling library trips in advance instead of waiting until overdue notices started showing up in my mailbox.

My kids' school supplies were purchased two weeks ago and have been bagged and labeled for the first day of school.

Now ~ my next big goal ~ to get them all to school ON TIME for an entire school year. Ambitious? Yes. Attainable? We'll see!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The devil made me do it

Posting has been sparse these days, because, frankly, I've been feeling whiny. Each time I've been tempted to sit down and complain at my keyboard, the words of my mother echo in my mind, "If you can't say anything nice, it's best not to say anything at all." And since I haven't been able to think of much that would be edifying, I've just chosen to remain silent.

In case you're wondering what's been getting under my craw, here's a brief summary:
  • I underwent major surgery seven weeks ago yesterday.
  • I was discharged from the hospital with a large open wound.
  • I was started on a wound vac about 10 days after surgery.
  • The wound vac did its work in nearly three weeks.
  • It only weighed about 7 pounds but by the end of the day felt more like 40.
  • The next mode of treatment came with a prohibition against getting it wet.
  • Sponge baths in the hottest part of summer don't really cut it as far as I'm concerned.
This morning as I was preparing to flip my hair over the side of the tub for its daily lathering, something overcame me that I could NOT resist. I tried, I really did. But the fact that I was going to see Nurse Nancy at the wound clinic in less than an hour dispelled any concerns I might have about soaking my bandages. Gleefully, I jumped in the shower, and oh. my. goodness. Intoxicating is the word that comes to mind. I stood there with the water flowing over me, realizing again just how much we take for granted in the normal course of life. I've had some amazing showers over the years (the ones after long camping trips are the best!), but this one took the cake. I emerged afterward feeling cleaner than I have in, well, SEVERAL weeks.

When I saw Nancy a little while later, I confessed before she even had a chance to see how mangled my dressings had become. Her response? "Good for you!" She even gave me instructions on my way out the door to enjoy another shower before I come in and see her Friday morning.

I wonder if that was her very kind way of telling me that the sponge baths aren't really cutting it in this 100-plus infernal Arkansas heat??