Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Totaling up the day—or being compulsive

Do you ever feel the need to sum up your day, figure out what you’ve accomplished? I feel that way all the time. Today would get a medium—I’d been calling a doctor’s office for days with no answer, so today I went out there. Seems they’d changed their phone number but had not notified any patients. Cancelled my upcoming appointment—but that’s another subject. Did a fairly big grocery shopping and got new ink cartridges to have on hand since I replaced them all last night. I’d been fighting with my printer—and losing. It told me low ink, then it told me damaged cartridge, counterfeit cartridge, and previously used cartridge. Finally when I got them all replaced, it seemed content and purred away, but I want to have more on hand for the next time it pitches a fit. Ink cartridges are not cheap…and my printer requires five or six.

Came home and sorted out all the papers from the signing last night—my dining table was lined with different piles of paper. Fortunately that was easy to deal with. Tonight I have to tally up. And then it’s a quiet, early evening with a book—I am so sleepy and tired. Had an early dinner with a friend—but neither of us had much appetite nor much to talk about.  Can’t blame it on the weather—it was a beautiful day, though I could feel the cool in the air.

I wonder about this compulsion to feel I’ve accomplished something every day. What would happen if there was a day I did nothing but watch TV (not my style—it would bore me) or read a book or frittered away the day with lunch with friends and a long nap? (I’m not a good shopper, so that too would bore me.) I doubt the world would end. Hey, I’m retired. I should do those things. And yet, I always feel the need to have meaningful work—mostly on my desk, as I ignore that laundry that should be done and the like.

I think I lovingly blame my father, who early on instilled a work ethic in me. Thanks, Dad, but now I’m trying to overcome it. At the same time I find myself wanting to instill it in grandchildren—homework before TV, etc. My oldest son got the work ethic so strongly that it worries me—he’s a workaholic; some of the other can fritter away hours. Reminds me of the time I was visiting my oldest daughter and at eight o’clock I asked what was for dinner. “I haven’t the foggiest idea,” she replied, which sent me scurrying to the cupboard and freezer to cobble together spaghetti sauce. I’d have had the menu in my mind for days.

Some habits die hard, but I’m trying.

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