What happens to my time? I make a plan and try to stick to it. I don’t surf. I don’t spend over ten minutes on Facebook to check for personal messages. I answer enough emails to maintain relationships, send enough to submit articles and keep wheels turning.
Specials. That’s what takes up my time. No, I don’t mean television specials—Christmas or otherwise. And I don’t mean sales, though there are times I’m enticed.
The specials that slow me down are special repair people, special delivery people, and special people in need.
J came to repair my garage door and stayed to chat a while, explaining how he predicts weather more accurately than our local meteorologists. (Can’t everyone?)
H is having a terrible day and needs some encouragement. (I texted, “Hang in there,” and she answered, “I’ve definitely got the hanging part down.”)
M emailed for help with a bereavement project that was overwhelming her (one someone else should have taken from the beginning), and I answered that I’d take care of the food part. I called L, who is handling the childcare part. M called to thank me, weeping with emotional exhaustion.
K came to sled and have a snow cream lunch, stressed at juggling all the parts of her life. F wanted attention and snow cream—an easy one for me.
I was trying to put together a nice Christmas surprise for F who donates her time and energy weekly to the children of the mothers in our Bible study, but it didn’t go well. The Walgreens website and I are at odds today. I’ve spent way too much time on something I thought I could do in thirty minutes. But at least it’s done. She’ll love it. They’re the only grandchildren she has.
Then I remembered I’d volunteered to order our desperately needed snow blower. Got it ordered to be delivered. S talked about it for weeks, did the research to get a reliable one, and then got too busy with his own specials to order it. At least it’s coming now. That in itself should stop winter in its tracks!
Worked on a special message for C who is moving away, but I’d lent my equipment for a craft night and forgot to pick it up when it was right beside me yesterday.
“Yesterday” reminds me of my Kroger shopping last night and another kind of specials—coupons. I believe in using coupons for items I’ll be buying anyway, but I spent waaay too long deciding what Pyrex dish deserved my dollar-off coupon. And though I had coupons for two kinds of coffee K-cups, neither of those brands offered decaf, which we’re needing. Search, search, to no avail. Coupons can take up so much time.
But the truth is that I enjoy all my specials! I love listening, helping, encouraging, weeping with those who weep, rejoicing with those who rejoice—my version of Romans 12:15. Someone often asks if I miss teaching. How could I? I’m still doing the same things: listening, helping, encouraging, weeping, rejoicing. You get the idea.