S. sent me a message in early March. She wrote that she had just started making meals three times as large as needed and freezing two-thirds. She remembered that we had complained of our long days creating a pinch on time in the kitchen. She added that she felt obliged to let me know of her cooking project, so I, too, could get ready for May.
S.’s note was something of a human alarm clock. I wanted to press snooze, but her words were haunting. I told her I was getting over the flu, but she was right. Her warning gave me a two weeks in which to get started. I squandered that time.
May has started in late March. Emails and calls for native plants are coming in. Familiar colleagues, new names. It’s a good thing. I like people. I like talking to people, and I like talking about native plants and stewardship.
And so, S., I froze two quarts of bland yet odd tasting aduki beans and leeks. I found a lump of ham in the fridge’s freezer and a quart of cooked split peas in the chest freezer. This expedition into the spring busy season is never as dire as the Donner party. We will be chewing on reheated aduki beans and laying lentil eggs, while dialing for takeout sub sandwiches and tacos…hmm, I want to make a bad joke, but nothing is really coming to me, so I guess biting my nails and cuticles is as cannibal as I will get.
S. you were right. May is now.
Though S. was right, though spring is starting early, I am on top of my game. Wait, I had this feeling last March. Then May happened, and things went feral.
Let me just recount the good things in place before May:
1.) We partially finished our DIY kitchen remodel on a budget. Partially. Partially, but at least all the particle board is gone. Partially. The particle board is piled in the yard. I have to get rid of that before our open house in May.
2.) Email: I do not begin my days with email, except today and multiple days prior. Always a mistake. I get wired and take too much time at the e-box (computer) when I would rather be outside. I do not check email between tasks. Instead, I check at the end of the day, allowing about one hour, up to two hours, to go through emails. I also allow myself time to reply thoughtfully once to an email.
4.) I encourage telephone conversations instead of multiple emails.
5.) I encourage moving social media conversations to email. That way, I can respond thoughtfully in due time and keep track of conversations.
6.) I stay with a chosen task rather than interrupting myself.
7.) I hold my peace and do not interrupt Jared. (Hey, dear, reply in the comments if I am fibbing.)
8.) Jared and I have discussions while engaging in a simple dynamic task or going for a walk. Or, at least this is the plan.
9. I acknowledge my goals and motivations, prompts and carrots, frustrations and disappointments, successes and roadblocks, and I give myself space to respond as needed.
10.) I do similar tasks in aggregate rather than spread throughout the day.
11.) I spend time doing things that make me happy.
Bring it, May, because I’ll be hitting up #11 on this list.