“There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want.”

This morning has been a busy one already. That’s what I get for waking up earlier than usual. I got dressed and hurried to the post office to mail my Valentine’s cards and candy. The post office wasn’t open yet so I decided to get coffee, but the line of cars at the Dunkin’ drive up window was so long I gave up and went back to the post office where I parked in the lot. I figured I’d pass the time by reading my papers, but I couldn’t. I hadn’t put on my glasses. After 15 minutes or so, I finally got inside the post office. I first addressed the padded envelopes then got in line. I was number 8. When I left, the line behind me was even longer.

Today is cold, 28˚, but at least the day is sunny with a mostly blue sky. Henry loves the cold and is outside a long time, several times during the day. His fur is always cold as are his ears.

Today is laundry day. I can procrastinate no longer. My mother would say it was growing legs.

I haven’t a to do list, laundry maybe but nothing else. I am free to do whatever I want. Despite evidence to the contrary, I am not fond of to do lists. They make me feel obligated, but I’m slowly getting passed that. I used to cross each completed item off with a bit of a celebration, a clap maybe or hands in the air, but now I am just as happy to do nothing.

When I was in Ghana, I had a routine. I taught 20 hours a week. When I was the tutor on duty for the week (once every couple of months or so), I had to check the dorms to make sure the students had cleaned them and made their beds, wander the cafeteria during breakfast, break, lunch and dinner to make sure students were using forks, not their fingers. I never understood that one. It was contrary to the culture. Ghanaians always eat with their right hand. I had to patrol during evening study time, and, finally, I had to make sure lights were out on time. Afternoons I coached during the volleyball and track seasons. That was it for obligations. The rest of the time was mine, and it was a lot of time.

I went into town on market days. I always visited my tomato and egg ladies and wandered around serendipitously. Once I found a watermelon. Sometimes at night, my friend Bill and I went into town to buy snacks, not what you might think of snacks but the Ghanaian sort. We bought yam or plantain chips, toasted coconut balls, chin chin, a sort of pastry, kabobs and Bofrot, my favorite, a sort of Ghanaian donut.

It’s getting late.

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12 Comments on ““There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want.””

  1. Birgit Says:

    Just today I wrote a to-do list. Last week I bought an old bike, nothing special but a good stable everyday bike and a real bargain. It will replace another old bike. I already fixed the main parts so I can use it and wrote down the minor repairs and improvements I still have to do when it’s warmer outside and less rainy.
    Singing in the Netherlands was fun but we didn’t see much of Maastricht as expected. The town is worth a trip so I should go back there in summer. I usually buy vla and salted licorice when I’m in the Netherlands, their vla is less sweet than ours and double-salted licorice isn’t available here.

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      When I have several things to go, I do write a list. Mostly it is to go to places like the dump or Agway. I keep a grocery list to which I add stuff I’ve run out of. I used to keep to do lists but haven’t of late. I guess the laundry would always be on it.

      I could put a bike to right but I’d need a whole bunch of help: Google here I come. I use it for instruction a lot.

      Our licorice never has salt. I wonder what a difference it would make.

  2. Bob Cohen Says:

    Hi Kat,

    It’s another cold, cloudy and wet day. The temperature was in the upper 20s this morning and has only warmed up to the mid 30s.

    I’m always amazed when we go to third world countries to teach them English or anything else we interfere with their culture in small ways like eating with a fork instead of the right hand. I always wonder what southpaws do in those countries since eating with the left hand is considered improper. In those cultures the left hand is reserved to clean their bottom after pooping. Even before the discovery of the germ theory ancient cultures knew to keep one end of the alimentary canal separated from the other end. 🙂

    To do lists just set me up to fail. If the list is too long then I just give up before even beginning the tasks because it looks frightening. If the list is short than I put off beginning the jobs because I have plenty of time. Time always has a way of just getting away from me.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      We had a really cold day, but the wind was the culprit. It was 29˚when I was at the post office. It will get downright cold tonight, in the single digits.

      One of the first things we were taught after we arrived in Ghana was never to use our left hands. Ghanaians always use their right. I’m thinking there were no lefty Ghanaians. I suspect they were taught to be righty no matter their natural hand. In some countries they used to chop the right hand off thieves so they could no longer eat as part of a tribe or community. No one would eat food touched y a left hand so he had to eat alone. That is the worst punishment as eating is done together.

      My to do lists were always fairly easily accomplished. I wasn’t married to the list so if I didn’t finish, it went on the next day’s list.

      I lose time when I read. All of a sudden it is two hours since I last checked.

      • Bob Cohen Says:

        I’m familiar with that form of punishment for theft and it’s still practiced by our ally Saudi Arabia. I assume that having your had cut off and surviving the injury was probably a higher priority over having to eat alone. 🙁

      • katry Says:

        Bob,
        Meals are taken communally often from a huge bowl in the middle of the table. It is customary to eat together as families. A thief is basically exiled, a horrific form of punishment in countries where family is supreme.

  3. olof1 Says:

    We’ll take it very easy this weekend, yesterday we didn’t even take a walk because Nova is rather tired after the surgery. Today we’ll take one or two short ones. I must go up at am every day to give her the antibiotics, I must give her them exactly every eight hours so thought was a good time since that’s when I get up on work days.

    I have some laundry to do but that’s it. I rarely do lists and when I do I usually forget to check them 🙂 🙂

    I had to see what Bofrot looked like and it turns out they have a Swedish name, Puff Puff 🙂

    Have a great day!

    Christer.: :


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