I am headed to the beach tomorrow (today), and while I am mentally ready; I am nowhere near ready ready. I have this funny tendency (that I get from my Mamacita– here’s a photo of Mamacita as a ‘shout out’ even though she’s in Puerto Rico right now and is more apt to be spending her time al fresco on a porch than in front of someone’s computer seeing that I gave her a shout out. I bring her up here because I always tease her for walking through the entire house the night before she leaves for a trip and frantically cleaning every surface when she hasn’t even begun to think about what she is putting in her suitcase) before I go on a trip to get hyper-productive, but it is really just a form of procrastination. And so here is how today’s productive procrastination went down: I went and bought one of my niece’s Baptism gift (she is not being baptized until September, mind you, but I already have at least four gifts for the occassion) and then proceeded to buy her a Christmas present (or two), a birthday present (for May 2008) and another ‘just because’ present since it will soon be fall. A girl’s got to have something new for fall. Even if she is only three months. I then had to even out the spoiling so I promptly bought my girl’s big brother (my little doppelganger, I like to think, although it is becoming harder and harder for me to convince people of this when his hair keeps getting lighter) some things for his first venture into Mother’s Morning Out this fall. I have fairly reasonable sensibilities and tend to space out their gifts, make sure everything I buy is practical and not in some way duplicated, check things out with my sister first, etc, but even I had to call her when I left the store to say, “I have officially gone too far.” Looking at my watch, I saw that my planned forty minute foray had promptly turned into two and a half hours lost somewhere between Barnes and Noble (how could I have forgotten about the Harry Potter madness?) and Gymboree (and the Gelato place).
Back home, I packed my toiletries and sheets for the beach and piled clothes on the dresser. I then made a comprehensive list of what I need to get done between July 27th and September 3. When that wasn’t enough productivity, I color-coded it. I worked on articles that are due in weeks and months and not on the one that I needed to turn in before I leave for the beach because it is due while I am gone. I wrote out three different resource lists that I need for workshops in mid-August. I filed the papers that had collected on my printer, read the newspaper so it wouldn’t be waiting for me when I got back. And who knows what else. And, finally, when I was ready to force myself to sit down at the computer and write the article that I had to write, there was a knock at my door. I was surprised to find Nana, my 85-year-old grandmother (via my husband), there on the porch, a bit flustered. Turns out that Nana’s low fuel light had come on in her 1982 Toyota Camry, and she needed help. Nana has never pumped gas in her life because there is a little full-service gas station in our town that has been here for ever. But the owner (who has fixed all of our cars for decades) decided to retire (who can blame him?) and sold his land. The shop’s not closed yet, but the gas tanks have been gone three weeks (the amount of time it took Nana to use up the gas in her tank), and Nana didn’t know what to do. So I hopped in the Camry with her and the two of us drove off into the sunset (a very bright sunset, too) to the self-serve gas station around the corner where Nana pumped gas for the first time in her life. It was really the best part of my day, and so with my soul all happy after getting a dose of Nana, I came home, banged out my article, edited it and turned it in. I am headed to bed now in anticipation of really being ready ready to go to the beach tomorrow.