Saturday, December 29, 2018


On Christmas Eve we scheduled a meal with a friend in the evening. I'd been suffering from allergies and I hadn't put it on the calendar but, in the back of my mind, I knew that Albert & Gage would perform at the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar at noon. (This is an event with sale booths showing art and gifts, booze for sale and bands performing constantly.) We decided to go. That's fun to just do something impulsively even though the timing has been in your head all season. We've gone to hear this band at this time for several years. An impulsive tradition?

What if I didn't have a schedule? What if I didn't invite people over or agree to go to events or buy tickets or make dates for meals? When I see a blank day on the calendar, I breathe a sigh of relief. I see myself getting things done. I see myself getting organized. I see myself getting rid of magazines and newspapers because I've read them.

Yesterday wasn't blank. We had a lunch date. Also appearing on the calendar was a haircut. Not for me, but for the husband. It was on our calendar. He also put a sticky note on the back of our door where he'd see it when he got his coffee and oatmeal. Because it was at 9a.m. and he didn't want to forget it if he got up a little late and didn't look at the calendar! We also tentatively decided to go shopping after lunch for the ingredients for apps for an event we were invited to tomorrow. (And accepted, obviously.) It's one of those musical events with bistro seating where people can bring food and buy booze. The music is that of Ella and Louis. (If you have to ask, you aren't a jazz fan.) We did go in the afternoon to Whole Foods. Bought endive, zucchini, smoked gouda pimento cheese, country paté, nice olives, and little crispy toasts from which, adding some crackers and Bousin style cheese and maybe some salami that we have on hand will make some random apps to take to the party tonight.

Not having any commitments? What would that look like? Of course, there are always things hanging over my head on the real calendar or the one in my head. Tax duties, make quarterly payment, pay bills. What if someone else did that for me?

Most days I keep to a bit of a routine in the morning. I get up, make coffee, check our computers, extract the Arts section from The New York Times, look at Facebook memories, try to work the puzzles in the Times, all while watching CNBC if it's a day the stock markets are open. If there's time, I read the articles that interest me in the Arts section. (Or sections on Friday.) A twist on Sundays is that the puzzles are in the Times Magazine so I make a couple of copies of the page with the Ken-Ken and crossword so that FFP (the husband) can read the magazine when he gets up if he likes. If it's a tennis day, I don't always get the puzzles done before time to drive to the tennis courts.

I guess these routines give a hint to how I would spend the day if I didn't schedule things and if, by some magic, someone else completely took care of my bills and taxes and such. Maybe I'd do more than work puzzles, play tennis, read. Maybe I'd take even more random serendipitous walks. (We do that a lot now, but I've been staying inside a lot due to allergies and such.) Maybe I'd get back to doing some gym time.  Maybe I'd write. Not just blog but write short stories, essays, and books. Maybe I'd take up computer programming again. Maybe I'd learn Python and advanced WEB development.

Fact is: I could do any or all of the things on my calendar and fulfill my (admittedly not so difficult) duties to finances and bill paying and also add the writing, learning, more walking, more reading and exercise I talk about.

Just got to start on it. Once I start something, I almost never finish! But I do make progress.

Yesterday, I did read. I did carefully go over some tax stuff I have to deal with immediately at the new year. (Info for forms the CPA will do for mortgages we own and Quickbooks copies for her for our business and its tax forms for income, Federal Unemployment and such.) I watched mindless British crime drama. I watched a couple of Jeopardy episodes. And news.

So just start doing those other things. The ones that aren't scheduled and that involve learning and creating and exercise and not taxes and accounting (and housekeeping!).

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