Diary of a time waster
Posted: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 8:01 pm
I come from a long line of industrious people. Counselors say that humans tend to emulate the behavior of the same-sex parent. Oh, how I wish that were true. My mom is one of those women who is always busy. She never brags about her industriousness, but I find ways to get it out of her.
“Mom, what did you do yesterday?”
“Oh, this and that.”
“What kind of ‘this and that’?”
“Well, Doris came at 9 for her English lesson. Daddy mowed the yard and planted flowers. I went to the gym to work out at 10, tutored Jacob in reading at 11. Daddy and I had BLTs for lunch. He worked on building the back porch while I cooked for some missionaries who are in town. They have six boys and we all had a great time at dinner. Ate watermelon out on the picnic table. Daddy’s porch is really looking good. Of course, he did magic tricks for the kids. After they went home, we cleaned everything up, put in a load of laundry, and then just sat down in the recliners to be lazy for a while.”
“Lazy for a while? Mom, it was 10 p.m. by then, wasn’t it?”
“Well, I guess so.”
“Mom, I hate to break it to ya, but sitting in a recliner at 10 p.m. is not laziness. Take it from someone who knows. Laziness is filling the dishwasher half way and then sitting down to read ‘Woman’s Day’ before the task is finished. Laziness is hiding things under the bed.”
For the benefit of the highly industrious, I’d like to submit some excerpts from something I like to call “Diary of a Time Waster”:
8 a.m. — Just made my “to do” list. This will help keep me on track.
9 — Need to start checking things off the “to do” list in order to count it as successful.
9:30 — Third cup of coffee, can’t find the “to do” list. I think it was written on the back of a yellow furniture ad that came in the newspaper.
10 — Watched another hour of TODAY show. Kathie Lee Gifford sometimes cackles like a chicken. Wish I could be on the TODAY show sometime. Need to put that on my “Long Term To Do” list.
11 — Put in a load of laundry even though I wasn’t sure if it was on the “to do” list. Need to write a speech for next week. Can’t think of anything funny or insightful. Staring at blank page. Craving Honey Nut Cheerios.
12 — Made sandwiches for the boys and me. Something funny must happen within 24 hours or I will be forced to quit the speaking business for the rest of my life.
1 p.m. — I’ll never be funny again nor will I ever be able to think of another newspaper column idea. Might as well watch “Sleepless in Seattle” on TNT. Wow, Tom Hanks looks young in this movie. What would I have to do to be on the TODAY show ... other than something criminal?
2 — Felt guilty and turned off “Sleepless in Seattle.” Decided to have barbecue chicken for dinner and clean the back bathroom. Played cards with the boys. I asked them if they felt like doing something wildly funny in order to provide me with a newspaper column or speech illustration. Blank stares. Must stop putting unreasonable expectations on the boys.
4:30 — Put chicken in the oven. Sat down at computer to write newspaper column. Nothing.
6:30 — Dinner cleaned up. Sat down to write newspaper column. Wrote one boring sentence. Played with kittens on front porch instead.
9 — Reading National Geographic and learning about the fascinating history of Iceland. Feel extremely motivated by Icelandic people. Found furniture ad in newspaper and started brand new “to do” list. Going to bed. High hopes for tomorrow.
Editor’s note: Lisa Smartt’s column appears each Wednesday in the Friends and Neighbors section of The Messenger. Mrs. Smartt is the wife of Philip Smartt, the University of Tennessee at Martin parks and recreation and forestry professor, and is mother to two boys, Stephen and Jonathan. She is a freelance writer and speaker. Her book “The Smartt View: Life, Love, and Cluttered Closets” is available at The Messenger, The University of Tennessee at Martin bookstore or by mail for $10, plus $2 shipping. Send checks to Lisa Smartt, 300 Parrott Road, Dresden TN 38225. She can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.
Published in The Messenger 8.12.09
Lisa Smartt, Smartt View