My husband is going out of town for 3 days this week. We’re both looking forward to it! While he’s gone, I’m going to get so much done. I rarely get the house to myself and know that it’s going to be peaceful, clean and organized. I won’t feel rushed; I’ll do plenty of yoga; I can have salad for dinner. My hair will look good and my outfits will be darling. I’ll read books and do exactly what I want to do, when I want to do it. I’ll even play tennis in the evening. In fact, my days will have 26 hours, plenty of time to get everything done and still relax.

Joe is my favorite person in the world and while I wouldn’t want him to be gone for long, this change of routine will be nice. It will free me up. I will be productive yet relaxed, structured yet spontaneous. Or at least I will try.

 Day 1

The morning he left, I got home from working out around 8:15 a.m. I needed to be downtown for a meeting at 9 AM. No problem.

Before hopping in the shower, I wanted to print a couple of documents for my first meeting. Unfortunately, the printer wasn’t working. I tried a few fixes, but no luck. My technical expert (Joe) was out of town. Maybe those copies weren’t so important after all.

Suddenly I had 15 minutes to shower, put on make-up, blow dry my hair and get dressed up. I had a new haircut, but it was humid and my hair looked weird. Oh well. Nobody cares what my hair looks like. I raced downtown, found a parking spot, walked a couple of blocks and made it in the nick of time.

After a couple more meetings, I returned home and was ready to power through some tedious and time-consuming tasks. I needed to complete a grant application, prepare some meeting agendas, edit a timeline, etc. I would set the timer on my phone for one hour and take breaks on the hour. These things don’t need to be hard; I’m the model of calm productivity!

The grant application was long and after spending 40 minutes on it, it became difficult. I didn’t have all the documents I needed and our project didn’t exactly fit the criteria, which is kind of stressful. I was tired and needed a break. I took a nap.

After I woke up, I went back to my desk to wrap up some other things. My computer began acting up. I couldn’t download documents from my email. Our wi-fii wasn’t working either. Still, no printer. Unfortunately, my IT expert was on a golf course in Nebraska.

Before I knew it, it was time for an early dinner so I could go to tennis drills. I looked in the fridge and there wasn’t much there. Of course I wanted to cook, but there was no time. I made an egg salad sandwich and ate some leftover chia pudding. I put on my tennis clothes, packed my bag and headed out the door.

As I backed out of the driveway, my phone beeped with a text. Tennis drills were cancelled.

Living alone, my day was going to flow like a river with birds chirping and Vivaldi playing in the background. I was going to bask in peace. I would be the paragon of efficiency. I was going to have time for everything. But it didn’t work out that way. Sigh.

Oh well. Tomorrow’s another day.

Day 2

I woke up to a lovely thunderstorm and did a short online yoga class. The house was quiet and I noticed I was talking loudly to the dog quite a bit. But this day was going to be great, I could just feel it.

My first meeting started at 10 AM and I went from one to another until 3:30 p.m. I exercised and suddenly it was dinner time. I had plenty of “to-dos” from my day. I also had some interesting stories that I wanted to share with my buddy Joe, but no can do.

This isn’t working out as I had planned. I haven’t cooked and I’m only on p. 18 of my new book. I haven’t been the model of efficiency and productivity. I have more tasks than ever to do. The day has had only 22 hours, not 26 as planned. But I did do a little yoga. And my outfits have been cute too.

I’m not optimistic tomorrow will be the nirvana I have been hoping for either. But I have fewer meetings and should have some chunks of time to work.

Day 3

The third day pretty much went like the earlier two. I didn’t get as much done as I had hoped. However, Joe texted me he’d be home in time for dinner so I finally cooked! By 8 AM, most of dinner was in the fridge, ready to go.

For some embarrassing reason, I blame external reasons for getting done all that I want to do. This time, it was Joe. He’s low-maintenance. We go our separate ways and meet up in the evening for dinner. Why would I think that my life would be different if he were out of town? It’s not. I have the same challenges, maybe more, and I face them alone.

Next time I want to feel less busy, I need to look in the mirror. She’s the only one that can make that happen.

However, the weekend IS approaching. I am going to get so much done. I’ll be efficient. There will be plenty of time. My days will be dreamy, unstructured, yet productive. I will read, cook, play tennis, do yoga, see friends, you name it. I’ll even brush the dog’s teeth. I will do it all. Or at least I can try.