Friday, April 12, 2002

There's nothing like taking a few vacation days to drive home how little time there actually is in any given day to get anything of value accomplished. If I really want to depress myself, I make a list.

Today I made two lists. One of things I should do this weekend, and one of things I want to do. I figured that since there's no way I'll get everything done, I'll just pick a few things from each list and round out the weekend a well-balanced, semi-fulfilled, sane human being with a semi-clean house.

I forgot to figure in the baby factor.

The baby factor is based on a complex mathematical formula designed to calculate the precise ratio of household tasks to the time required for each. Where T equals the task to be accomplished and X represents the age of the baby, this formula can be expressed as:


You can get a less precise estimate simply by assuming that for any given task on your list, you'll be able to devote approximately 8 minutes to it throughout the day. Broken down into 30-second intervals.

One task. On my "should do" list are things that I really should do. Things like laundry. Mop the floors. Clean the bathrooms. All worthwhile. Nothing frivolous here. My "want to do" list was supposed to be things that would be fun if I had the time. Kind of a wish list, like buy plants for container gardening. Scrapbook. Take the kids to the park.

Well, life is all about priorities. As more and more important should do things climbed onto the list, the fun things moved farther and farther out of the realm of possibility. And pretty soon I noticed that I was adding things that really weren't even fun to the "want to do" list. Since when is "revise budget" something I want to do? And gee, I'd sure like to be able to pack away the winter clothes and dig out the shorts!

If someone said to me, "Hey, I'm taking the kids for two hours so you can have some time to yourself," I'd say, "Great!" and blissfully proceed to reorganize the tupperware cupboard. My god, what have I become?

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