The thing about living on one’s own is that no one nags you about anything. This finds expression in any number of activities. For instance, the imperative of washing the dishes fades into insignificance when it has to compete with picking tomatoes, or experimenting with making raisins from a surprising abundance of grapes in one’s back yard.
I say for instance, because other competitors include general housework, keeping one’s office tidy, washing clothes, sweeping summer dust out the door, and, dare I say it, actual work, in exchange for which clients enable me to earn a living.
Work of the gainful employment kind frequently can, and does, interfere with the smooth running of one’s household. When you live alone, this can be of no importance at all for days at a stretch, or until it becomes of utmost importance, such as when you might be expecting a visitor, or you suddenly realise that you have only ten days left before you have to leave the said household for the purposes of travel, whichever is the sooner.
What occurs next is a slight timetable train smash. But that’s okay, because you have handled such convergences before. You reconfigure your fast disappearing leisure (another word for sleep).
You can do this by simultaneously popping raisins into your mouth while e-mailing a client telling him that of course you have space in your schedule (My poor tomatoes! Jam-making is immediately cancelled.) to squeeze in the translation by (his words, not mine) “as late as Sunday night, if need be” of one more paper that he is still busy writing. You even add a calming, positive note to this assurance. For whose benefit such calm words are is up for debate.
A short debate, since there is little time to dilly-dally. A list of priorities – which hitherto has not been a priority, must be written. Order in all things, and cleanliness neatly in its place next to divine qualities, becomes incomprehensibly important. Important and urgent.
There is no more rattling around within these four walls to be had, and certainly none without, unless one counts hanging clothes on the line as an outdoor activity. Operation Get Real has just swung into action.
It will all get done, I know it will. What’s the secret, you wonder? Easy. I simply pretend my mother will be coming to visit. It works like a charm, every time!
©2018 Allison Wright