Down came the plates: Confessions from a multi-tasking flunkie
Is it just me? When I wake up in the morning, I immediately start this wonky plate-spinning circus act. Remember, before the gymnasts that balance their entire body weight on one finger became vogue in the circus world — it was just fun to watch that guy spin a dozen plates on thin sticks racing to make sure each one stayed perfectly balanced. But one missed step, one plate goes too long without attention, and they all come crashing down.
We all have so many THINGS to worry about and STUFF to do. Things and stuff rule my life. Well, this is a story about how THINGS got all messed up when I let too much STUFF get in the way:
I was already on red-alert for recent multi-tasking failures. Our children’s Halloween performance (the one they’d been practicing for the entire month of October) was at 10:00am on the 31st. I showed up at 11:30 with video camera in hand. I wrote it down wrong. I didn’t read one of the 20 emails with the correct time. So there was me: camera charged and confused. And there were my kids, both tearful because the performance I promised I would be there for — I missed. For no other reason than I had a busy day at work and I entered the wrong time in my calendar. My heart is still broken remembering their disappointed tearful faces saying, “Mommy, you missed it.” Mommy guilt is a bitch.
I vowed to become the Calendar Queen. Yep, that’s me! No more missed performances! I and going to keep all the THINGS and STUFF organized.
Then, just yesterday, the plates I had spinning started to wobble. I was up early, as usual, to pack lunches, snacks, sign homework sheets, send a few work emails, try to convince a 4 year old to brush his teeth, and the other 97 things one does in the morning. Lola’s cheeks were flushed, she had a fever and needed to stay home.
I juggled my work schedule to be able to manage tasks from my kitchen table while keeping an eye on my baby girl. I then made a quick dash to Target for some ibuprofen. People were looking at me. “That’s weird,” I thought. It crossed my mind, “Well, maybe they recognized me from our silly videos. I wish I had worn makeup. Wow… why are all these people staring?”
I got home and Lola started giggling.
Nope, the people at Target didn’t recognize me from YouTube. This is what they were staring at:
Those pockets? Those are supposed to be in the back. And that tag? Supposed to be on the inside. My pants were on backwards and my shirt was on inside-out. Well, I hadn’t missed anything technically — so those plates, though wobbling, kept on spinning.
I monitored Lola, participated in conference calls, wrote scripts for clients, checked on Lola, checked email, sent email, wrote a proposal, and heck, I even made a service appointment to check out that “thud, thud, thud” sound I hear when I drive my car. PLATES! SPINNING! THINGS! STUFF! I WAS DOING IT ALL!
At the end of the day I started packing for our trip to Florida (HSN is crazy enough for letting us appear on live television on November 7th). We were supposed to be flying in today. Right now. Well, here’s where the plates came crashing down.
I went to check in online, I saw our reservation and thought, “That’s weird Delta doesn’t have record of a trip to Florida. Why are they asking me to check-in for a flight to New York? THEY must have something wrong.”
The plates started to really wobble. I started sweating. A frantic phone call to the Delta revealed I had, indeed, booked FOUR tickets for our family to New York City. I booked tickets to the WRONG STATE. FOUR of them. Wha? Why? NO! NO! I had THINGS to do and STUFF happening. We all needed to be in Florida early the next morning. Instantly, dinner started to burn triggering the smoke detector, Penn Charles was screaming for me to wipe his butt, and Lola started crying thinking we weren’t going to be able to make the trip.
That crashing sound you hear? That’s the sound of all my plates hitting the ground.
Penn, my darling husband poured me a (large) glass of wine. I started emotionally sweeping up the mess of all that dishware that tumbled to the floor. For a hefty fee, we are re-booked to the correct city. I’m embarrassed but world keeps spinning. We will arrive just in time for our HSN pre-production meetings.
No one is hurt by my multi-tasking mishap. So I’m going to give myself a break just one more time.
Everything is going to be fine. Well, except for my car. That “thud, thud, thud” sound I was hearing apparently will NOT wait for my scheduled appointment next week. After being towed to the repair shop, I’m writing this from the waiting room.
Here’s to more things and more stuff!
How do you guys keep the plates from crashing to the ground? And don’t say wine. Because I’m doing that and it’s not working. I’ll take any hints and help I can get.