I have twenty minutes of quiet. Twenty. Twenty minutes before the noise starts again, twenty minutes until the weight of ‘have to’ descends back on me.
Right now, I have a clamoring of ought to, but the have to column is empty until 2:00.
I have been cleaning all morning, shoveling out the filth from the children’s bedrooms, vacuuming, mopping, cleaning the new bathroom fixtures, handling random bits of paper with notes scrawled on them. Buy this, fix that, bring a plate of cookies here, and we would appreciate it if you could help us with…
I have calls to make and bills to pay. The laundry needs rotating. I still need to put away the autumn dishes, and put the soup ingredients into the crockpot for dinner tonight.
I have Christmas knitting to do.
I have dozens of things I ought to do.
But it’s so quiet right now. Nobody is interrupting me with endless cries of ‘mommy’ or ‘honey’ or ‘excuse me, ma’am, could you please come look at this, it’s gonna need a $2,000 part to fix…’ No appliances are beeping, or timers chiming, or alarms reminding me that I have eight minutes to get from here to there.
Hard to work up ambition enough to do what I merely ought to do.
It is raining outside, cold and gray and wet. The water is running along the outside of the house, which is making small, surprised noises to find itself covered with the stuff. It’s been a long time since water came from above, filled its gutters and slickened the tiles of its roof.
No point in washing the hall tiles, then. They’ll just be covered in a sheen of muddy water, in an hour’s time.
NASA, Cocoa Beach and points north
4 months ago