I’m feeling stressed these days, like I just want to curl up on the sofa with a big bag of salt and vinegar chips and watch Shirley Temple movies all day. My problem stems from the fact that I am not an organized person. Wait! There’s more. I am not an organized person, and I have a memory like a sieve. I rattle my mouth off and get myself deep into things I’ve said I’ll do, and I really do want to do them, but I talk big about things I’m going to do and then can’t figure out how I’m going to fit them all in.
I know there are things I’ve agreed to do that I can’t even remember. If you nominated me for an award lately (I think three people have, but I can’t remember who they were or what the award was, so any dreams of fulfilling my obligation with the reward or challenge requirements is slim to none.) My husband, as well as many other d0-gooders, have told me I need to write things down. I’ve tried that, but then I can’t remember where I wrote them, or I just plain forget to read what I wrote.
I’d like to say I haven’t always been this way, but it would be pretty much a lie. Don’t get me wrong. When I was a teacher and then an academic dean, I did my job very well, made every meeting on time (early, in fact), met every deadline, and learned all 150 of my students’ names in the first two days of classes. I have no earthly idea how I could function so well in my professional life and can’t get a handle on my personal one.
If you think this was brought on by adding my novel writing to my list of to-do’s, you’re probably right. I feel sort of obligated to give it a go after I shot my mouth off about it. I already do the newsletter for Hampton Roads Writers, and now I’ve said I would do a newsletter for my YMCA, teach English to a young Vietnamese woman so she can prepare to become a naturalized citizen next year, and either write an article about a friend’s worthy organization or put her in touch with someone who could do a better job of it.
Now, on top of all my other “stuff,” I agreed to play violin once or twice a week with a fellow musician in my neighborhood. She needs a quiet place to practice because her house can get quite hectic. Since I’ve been so busy doing other things, I have been neglecting my music. I haven’t touched my piano in weeks, preferring to pick up my Irish whistle and play a quick tune instead, and my violin has needed new strings for three years. My fingers don’t even have the calluses on them anymore that I need to firmly press down on the strings. I’m quite nervous about this violinist coming over next week. I’m going to feel like such a dolt. I will be so embarrassed and humiliated at my poor skills while she will shine. I don’t know why I ever agreed to this. Oh, well, my mouth gets me in trouble yet again. Anyway, how great can a five-year-old play the violin anyway? She hasn’t even picked up her bow yet and is still working on her pizzicato. I’ll wipe the floor with her.