Procrastination Station

See these two bins full of winter coats and boots? I pulled them out of the garage more than two weeks ago, and there they have sat ever since, in our living room. I am not sure why I am having such a hard time hanging these coats in our mudroom, but I can’t bring myself to do it. I sit at our dining room table and stare at the boxes and get more and more irritated that they are cluttering up our house. I tell myself, ‘Tomorrow is the day. Tomorrow I will definitely do it.’ And yet tomorrow comes and I get busy with other things and I don’t touch the bins, and those magical elves don’t come in the night and put everything neatly away like they are supposed to. And now my family is getting used to those boxes in our living room and they are starting to pile their sweatshirts and jackets on top, like that is the appropriate place for them.

It reminds me of when our poor cat Cozmo (God rest her soul in kitty heaven, may she have endless couches to scratch) used to throw up on the floor, and my family got so used to it they would step right over the puke, never once bothering to clean it up. The puke would sit there for days, staining our carpets, before I finally cursed those dam elves who, once again, didn’t do their job before finally buckling down and cleaning it myself. It’s like the bins full of coats and the cat puke becomes a permanent fixture in our house, a new piece of furniture or a nicknack, that becomes so normal no one questions why it’s even there.

My 10-year old, Kaya, has recently become obsessed with cleaning the house, and will throw a fit if all the blankets in the living room aren’t perfectly folded and the pillows aren’t just so. This is a wonderful development. I can’t express in words how amazing it is to come home at night and find the living room looking as if we were expecting the Queen of England to pay us a visit. There is one caveat, however. Kaya likes to hide things. All my papers and mail that I have carefully laid out on the dining room table to remind me to deal with them will suddenly go missing, only to be found days later in a pile on Siig’s hurricane of a desk or tucked under a chair.

My favorite sweatshirt has been missing for three weeks, so yesterday I decided to do the only thing left to ensure its safe return: I offered a reward – $5 to whoever finds it. I know it’s in one of two places: somewhere upstairs where Kaya unconsciously hid it in her flurry of tidying, or, even worse, in my bedroom, where I deal with the opposite problem – a husband who has massive piles of clothes littering our room. Drawers and closets don’t seem to work for him, so I let him have his piles. But I treat his mounds of clothing like I am fighting the Cold War. I am the United States and he is the Soviet Union and I am just trying to contain his piles so they don’t spread their evil communism to the rest of the house. We are currently in a state of detente.

If I could bring myself to open those bins stuffed with our winter coats, maybe I would find my missing sweatshirt. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kaya put it in there to get it out of the way. And yet, sometimes, procrastination just feels so dam good. Have you ever skipped going to the grocery store purely because it was the last thing in the world you wanted to do, and it felt positively luxurious? We may have nothing in the house for dinner, but dam it, driving right past the grocery store feels like a small victory. A victory against what, you ask? Responsibility. Being responsible all the time can be exhausting. And so, I fight my battles where I can, like avoiding going to the store or booking that flight or making that doctor’s appointment. Or unpacking boxes of coats.

And that’s when I realize: I am not a procrastinator. I am a warrior.

But before I go off to battle, I need to check Facebook first.



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Dam You, Facebook Memories!

Hello, blogosphere, I am back! It’s been a long time, about five years to be exact. I last had a blog from 2009 to 2011 (MountainMommaMusings), and it was very different times back then. Back then, I was a mother of two little kids and pregnant with my third. It’s funny what happens when you feed your children – they actually grow! Now I am the mother of two tweens and one 6-year old, and it’s a completely different world. Gone are the days of bottles and diapers and sippy cups and disgusting car seats covered in milk and animal crackers. I have transitioned from a mother busy with kids at home to a mom with kids busy outside the home. That’s fancy talk for basically being a chauffeur. By morning, I have my life to myself: I hike with my dog, I try to work on my book or better yet, avoid working on my book, I am busy doing stuff for our movie theater, the Tahoe Art Haus & Cinema. But once 2 pm hits, game over. I get into my limo (i.e. permanently dirty Honda Pilot) and prepare to schlep my children around for the next three to four hours to dance, gymnastics, soccer, and in between all that, I basically keep every local ice cream shop and bakery in business as we kill time in between pick-ups and feed my increasingly hungry 10-year old with our weekly dose of croissants, muffins, and cookies (Sugar Pine Cakery, I’m looking at you!).

They say as your kids get older you have more time to yourself, but I actually find the opposite to be true. I have more mornings to myself, but back in the day when the kids were in daycare I had until 5 pm to work! Today I am lucky if I make it to 3 pm without having to stop what I am doing to get in my car to take someone somewhere to do something. On the other hand, something absolutely glorious has happened in the last year – we can now leave our kids alone, no babysitter needed! We don’t, of course, leave the 6-year old by herself, but if one or two of the older kids is home – FREEDOM! Being able to say: “Bye kids, back in an hour. Going to take Coco for a hike. Please don’t kill each other, watch too much TV, or use the oven while I am gone” is an amazing feeling of pure liberation.

This has come none too soon since Siig and I now own a night business – a movie theater. It would get really, REALLY, expensive if we had to get a babysitter every time we had to run to the cinema for an hour or two. Of course, this does not mean that I don’t get a frantic phone call every 10 minutes when I am the theater that goes something like this: “Mom, when are you coming home? Nakita is bugging us!” or “Mom, can I have a piece of candy?” or “Mom, Kaiden won’t let us watch what we want on the TV.” The phone is an amazing invention, it allows us to check in on our kids and lets our kids feel we aren’t far away, but it’s also annoying as shit, especially since my 6-year-old learned how to dial my number and calls me with any and all questions and basically just needs to hear these 10 words, “OK sweetie, I’ll be home soon. Tell her to stop” which, translated into adult speak, means, “Stop calling me! I am watching a movie, dam it! Leave me alone!”

Time moves quickly when you have school-age children, and sometimes I can’t believe that I am already out of the baby and toddler phase (which seemed to last forever!) and am getting ready – Lord help me! – to enter the teen years. And dam those Facebook memory posts that pop up on your page and remind you just how fast time is speeding by: “Melissa, we care about you and the memories you share here. We thought you’d like to look back on this post from 5 years ago.”No, Facebook, no I don’t really need to be reminded of how fast time is flying by and that sometimes I can barely remember when my kids were little and that I have no idea how my babies are now almost teenagers! And I definitely don’t need to be reminded of what this all really means – that while my children are growing and getting older, so am I. If you really cared about me, Facebook, you would post things like this: “Age is just a number. You are as young as ever. Savor this moment. And, by the way, you are looking hot today.”

Now excuse me, I have to go drive my kids somewhere.



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