A Change of Focus
The pile of papers from the desk was now spread out across the table, leaving only a small window of workspace. Sheila sighed as she surveyed the mess. Summer was supposed to be a time of fun, of memory making. But all those spontaneous camping trips and meals out, long bike rides and road trips made it quite difficult - no, make that impossible - to keep up with the daily running of a home.
Thanks to her husband's playful scheduling, the mortgage payment was late, the bank statement was unreconciled, and the bill drawer was full. Laundry was threatening to take over the basement, dust bunnies were staging a coup on the kitchen floor and the hamster cage smelled like a neglected barn. So much to do - and now the kids were hovering around her, hungry little nestlings begging for food.
Sheila got the kids a snack, fixed herself a cup of tea, then sighed again and tried to focus on the bills. Focus. That's what she needed to do. Outside birds sang and the sweet breeze drifted through the windows. A hummingbird zipped up to the feeder on the porch. Then another male bird appeared and the two engaged in fast paced battle for territory. Suddenly, the pleasant scents from outside were clouded by the hamster cage "aroma". Sheila wrinkled her nose and pattered over the stove to reheat the kettle. She'd downed a whole cup of tea and had only managed to write two checks!
She plopped down in front of the computer while the water heated. After she checked her email she could design the invitations for her inlaws' 50th wedding anniversary. She steeled her will to stay focused. Focus. No social networks or blogging or forums. Just the necessities. Be productive. Catch up!
The phone rang. Sheila was toying with fonts for the invites, so she let the answering machine take the call.
"Hi Sheila, did you miss my message earlier this week? I hadn't heard back from you about the tea party today. It's at noon in the garden gazebo. I'm really hoping you and your girls can come. It'll be really sparse without you!"
Tea Party? No, Sheila told herself. Today you are staying home and focusing. Today you are getting things done.
But, the garden gazebo...It was so beautiful there. Breezy, fresh, cool and green. And the weather was so lovely, it did seem a shame to be all cooped up in the house.
No!! FOCUS! Sheila spun her chair toward the table and started a check writing frenzy. She just slapped the last stamp on the last envelope when both her girls slumped into the room. They were bored. They were hungry. They were whiny. Sheila looked from her precious little ones to the paperwork and back again.
To heck with bills, she thought, let's make some memories!
"Girls," she smiled, "Go put on some fancy dresses and hats. We're going to a tea party!"
By Penny Dreadful