Saturday, February 21, 2009


Feeling rather proud of myself as I followed my happy, red snowblower down the sidewalk, I paused to wave at my neighbor. Placing my gloved palm back on the handle, I moved forward again, flinging fluffy snow in a sparkling arc toward the street.

“You’re doing this the hard way,” I shouted over the rumble of the machine when I got closer. Nancy was using a shovel to clear the eight or so inches that had fallen on her driveway and sidewalk and I made quick work of her remaining surfaces while she watched.

“I have a snowblower,” she shouted back, moving closer when I paused. “But the cancer makes me too weak to push it.”

I blinked in surprise, frantically searching my memory for any mention that she wasn’t well and finding nothing concrete. “Mine is self-propelled,” I finally said, motioning rather obviously toward my Christmas gift. “You’re welcome to borrow it or I can come over to take care of the snow.”

“No,” she shook her head. “The kids usually do it, but they’re with their dad this weekend.” I nodded in understanding and stood for a moment, feeling like the self-centered twit that I likely am.

“We should have dinner,” I suggested and Nancy immediately accepted. “Tommorrow?” I asked. “Around 4?” I held up the correct amount of fingers. “I’ll bring something over and we’ll talk.”

“I’d love that,” she said and I waved once more before making may way back toward my own drive, throwing snow once again to clear the way to the corner.

I had no idea that Friend’s mom was having surgery. I angrily exported my feeds from Bloglines, bitter over its failure to update me of new posts. I was traveling, then busy, then sick. But always self-centered, I decided as the familiar weight of guilt settled.

“You’re going to drop the ball,” a colleague said. “There are simply too many of them to catch so you need to identify the important ones, keep them in the air and try not to trip on all the ones rolling around on the floor.”

I’m trying to prioritize at work. I have a spreadsheet where I enter tasks and when I find time to work, I consult my list and handle the most important item. I’m going to start a list for home. Ask Friend more specific questions. Arrange trip to Hawaii (mid-April. If I can last until mid-April, I’ll get to take a break.), schedule a massage (I’ve had a gift card for months).

Tonight, I’m going to curl up on my couch and read a book. Tomorrow morning, I’ll spend some time in prayer. In the afternoon, I’ll find something to cook and take for dinner with Nancy. And I’ll work very hard not to resent the time spent away from professional email.

(Yes, I do realize my last posts have re- titles. I just noticed yesterday and was ridiculously pleased by the fact for some reason. We'll see how long I keep doing it.)

1 comment:

Psych Post Doc said...

Good for you Katie. We need priorities all around or the work ones just take over. A trip to Hawaii sounds amazing!!

Post a Comment