Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The busiest people get more done

I once knew a doctor’s wife in a small town who had a busy life raising and showing prize dogs. One day she astounded me by saying she’d just taken the job of switchboard operator 3:00 to 11:00 p.m. at her husband’s hospital. I asked why in heaven she’d done that, and she said, “Busy people get more done.” I’ve decided she was absolutely right.

Last week I had an empty desk, and I dawdled the week away with Facebook, emails, and reading. I cooked a little, napped a lot, and generally fiddled around. And I didn’t feel good about myself. This week everything has landed on my desk—edits to my October manuscript, a manuscript to evaluate, ideas for future projects, and a book I’m reading and absolutely cannot draw myself away from. So I’m back to normal, with a potload of stuff to do…and it feels good.

Last week also I had some lunches scheduled but no morning activities (afternoons are reserved for naps and, too soon, Jacob after school). This week, every morning has something on the calendar. This morning it was tile shopping for the re-do of my bathroom, an outing I dreaded because I always feel insecure about such things. My friend Jean went with me, because she has sound judgment and has re-done bathrooms. We went to a marble and tile place.

The first young man who showed us around was clearly interested in selling me marble, granite, or quartz, though we both kept saying the pieces he showed us didn’t look like my 1922 house. Then Jean asked the question I didn’t know enough to ask: “Could you show us some ceramic tiles?”

He clearly lost interest and turned us over to a lady who got it right away: I have an older, modest home and don’t need fancy frou-frou tile, etc. She showed us ceramic, worked with me on putting a slight pattern in the shower tiles using a lovely blue tile, gave us samples and promised more at the end of the week, and was generally cheerful and helpful—and appalled that I am stepping over the edge of a bathtub to get in and out of the shower. We chose a hexagonal tile (bigger than what I have) for the floor, subway tile for the shower, all in a pale taupe shade called of all things Urban Putty. Just as we left, Jean asked about soapstone for her kitchen counters, and we ended up looking at Silestone, where we found a piece we both liked—for the top of the built-ins in my bathroom and the counters in her kitchen. We left feeling we had really accomplished something.

So tonight here I sit, faced with all the work on my desk—I think I’ll read that book. But it has been a good day.


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