A shower takes me seven minutes. The actual shower part, that is. The post-shower routine (hair and tooth brushing, moisturizing, etc.) also takes about seven minutes. Abraham, my fabulous husband, thinks this is too long. (This coming from a man who can spend upwards of 20 minutes in the bathroom for non-shower reasons).Granted, his shower may take two minutes – no joke. (I sometimes question how clean he actually is.)
I know exactly how long tasks will take.
A trip to the grocery store, including drive time, takes an hour and a half at best. I really, really dislike going to the grocery store. I didn’t mind it when I lived in New York City. I walked there with my shopping cart, stocked up, and walked home with a heavier shopping cart (or had it delivered for just the price of a tip to the deliverer). Shopping in the suburbs of Washington, DC, has a whole different feel – especially with a toddler in tow. The grocery stores are huge. Have I walked a mile or more by the time I am done? I am usually exhausted and a bit dazed – and I can go out and run 10 miles at a moment’s notice!
Walking Iz to his babysitter takes 15 minutes each way, so a half an hour for drop off and a half an hour for pick up means an hour gone.
In a given day, if I want to go for a run, get some editing and writing jobs done, make sure Iz is fed well (which is a trick in itself – the kid hates eating) and not totally neglected, keep the house in some semblance of livable neatness (and my standard of “neat enough” has dropped way down), get myself fed, and perhaps run one errand – there is no way I can get it all done:
- Running (or other form of exercise): up to 2 hours (including preparation and recovery)
- Editing and writing: 2-4 hours
- Feeding Iz breakfast and lunch and a snack or two: 2 hours (including preparation)
- Entertaining Iz: 4 hours (which is usually quite nice)
- Maintaining livable neatness: 1 hour
- Feeding myself breakfast and lunch: 45 minutes (including preparation)
- Completing any one errand (post office, supermarket, etc.): 1-3 hours
- Total: 12:45-16:45
And I didn’t include dinner (which Abraham, thank god, deals with most of the time). Or my shower time. Or maybe watching a TV show or reading a newspaper article. But I often abandon the errand or livable neatness completely.
So I have started waking up at 5:15 a.m. to run before Abraham leaves for work at 7 a.m. That makes me feel a little more on top of things. But tired.
I know I don’t have a bad life. Clearly, many in this world have it worse. I have a pretty good life.
My awareness of how long everything takes, however, can make me a temporary, but recurring, basket case. (Even more annoying – Abraham has no clue how long tasks take. He thinks a grocery trip takes half an hour – completely forgetting drive time and wandering quotient.)