It is a mystery to me why I have not yet been tapped to run the space program. It probably has something to do with budget cuts, or possibly my algebra grades. But if someone did ask me to run the space program, I would probably say yes and then I would just write it down on my to-do list under "finish screenplay" or "finish a single cup of coffee without interruption."
Which brings me to the point of today's topic: How I Manage to Get So Much Done Despite Near-Constant Sabotage By My Family Members. Also the neighbors.
I'm sorry... what was I saying? I was interrupted by a neighbor calling to complain about a Margarita hangover she believes is my fault. Which is another story that I am not going to get into here except to say that I told her the Margaritas were too strong and she just laughed at me and called me by an anatomically-derived vulgarity. But who's laughing now?
My point is that despite having been diverted from an important errand to a Mexican restaurant last night, I am still ahead on my to-do list. When Mary showed up in her minivan and insisted I get in, I was on my way to replace the ink cartridges that my children used up printing out important school assignments that they later abandoned all over my office and which I will be asked to locate at some point a little closer to my next deadline. But rather then let myself get behind, I simply write "Margaritas with Mary" on my list and then cross it off.
This morning I have to buy the ink before I can get started on the rest of the list, which, allowing for interruptions, I will complete sometime before Christmas. But rather than focus on the fact that I must have been insane to volunteer to help build sets for the middle school production of "Weekends Spent Painting," I simply go to the part of my list that says "buy ink cartridges" and change it so that it now reads like this:
134: ink cartridges (black)
135: ink cartridges (magenta)
136: ink cartridges (yellow)
137: ink cartridges (cyan)
Then, when I return with the ink cartridges, I cross four items off my list, which if you do the math, results in three more things accomplished than if I had not had Margaritas with Mary last night. Then I add "do the math" to my list and cross it off too.
Perhaps you are thinking that this is more an exercise in delusion than accomplishment. But that would be completely missing the point. And the point is this: Delusion is the underpinning of organized family life. At least on paper.