At any given time, on any given day, there are approximately 97 thousand things I should or could be doing. Laundry, updating vaccination records, working on another novel that will probably go nowhere. Super fun stuff, right? I mean, hell, my wedding photos, which are nearly 19 years old, still aren’t in an album. My taxes aren’t done. I’ve been meaning to order a gift for someone for the last two months. I’ve needed to go to the dentist since December.
Now, faced with unending stretches of free time in Casa de Corona-No-No, you’d think I’d be all fired up to start crossing things off my list willy-nilly.
Suddenly, it’s not the stuff on the list, or even the things that should get done, but the most ridiculous things that I MUST AT THIS VERY SECOND DO.
I mean who needs to get all the financial stuff in order when you can clean out the craft cupboard, right? I bet you didn’t even know I had a craft cupboard, did you? Well, I do, and it’s a mess.
Vaccination records? Pah. No time. Good golly, man, there’s an entire wall of picture frames to be rearranged!
Instead of methodically crossing things off my Bumper List of Crap and Shit and Stuff To Do, I organized the pantry. I’d like to say I reorganized it, but it was never really organized to begin with. I also learned that no, I do not need any more rice. Also… left scratching my head at how I ended up with four different bags of opened flour, a sushi mat, three half-used jars of Kyrgyz honey, and two rolls of unused contact paper and…damn I KNEW I had lentils!
But… that pantry is a thing of beauty.
My husband, in the midst of disinfecting all the surfaces which hadn’t been disinfected in the last half hour, got sidetracked by something in the junk cupboard. Half an hour later, he proudly showed me that he’d gone through all the foreign change we have laying about and put it all in one place.
Good to know that if Death is a Corona Ferry Man we can pay him to cross the River Styx in 16 different currencies, doncha think?
He also found the “big” tape measure, two plastic funnels, thirty batteries whose provenance remains unknown, and a stash of lightbulbs we’d forgotten we had. Score!
To Do? Please. Who needs to order that gift when it suddenly becomes urgent to go through the 15 different drawers of that apothecary chest in our bedroom?
Dentist appointment? Nah. I think I’d rather Facebook message everyone in my contacts list in alphabetical order.
Instead of taxes, I spent the better part of an hour organizing my computer drive folders, gleefully deleting things and moving others until everything was pleasantly residing in nice, little blue folders.
We need food? Not before I scan all of our passports, birth certificates and other important documents, we don’t! Lunch can wait!
Are there things I should be doing? Sure. But clearly they are not as important as making an inventory of things in our storage space, are they?
No, I didn’t think so.
Kids need help with their homework? Suddenly it is waaaaayyy more important that I organize every spice jar in the cupboard. Where was that label maker again? It used to be in the craft cupboard…
Clearly the reason I am resisting spending even more time with my children, is not because they drive me nuts, but because it is very, very urgent I find new receptacles for the recycling. There’s no time to sit together on the couch watching movies, because it is of the utmost importance we rearrange all the furniture in the other room.
What’s that? Not NOW, I’m looking up the how much water I need to dilute this bleach solution because I must know right.this.second.
As we were spraying and scrubbing and rub-a-dub-dubbing, it reminded me a lot of the nesting I did right before I gave birth to my children, when the desire to clean every baseboard and dust every corner took over and turned me into a gestational cleaning dervish. Back then we were getting ready for a big change.
Of course here we are in semi-lockdown getting ready for something big as well.
We just don’t know what it’s going to be.
I can tell you this, though. Whatever it is better not mess up my pantry.
To hear other posts like this in this series, head on over to Soundcloud and check out my micro-pod about life in lockdown: Demented and Sad, but Social….Distancing