A Day In The Life: the TL;dr version

Many years ago when online journals were still a thing and I didn't appreciate how much free time I had on my hands, I used to occasionally post detailed accounts of a typical day, from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed. I actually always really enjoyed jotting things down as they happen.

So I decided to do it again. Here, for your enjoyment, is a glimpse into a typical day in the life of a gimpy single mom with brain damage and her adventures in running a business, wrangling pets and children, and reclaiming music. 


6:30: Child blasts into bedroom asking me to unblock her from the router so she can check Instagram. I fish my phone out from under my pillow, and un-revoke her MAC address without really waking up. 

7:45: My alarm goes off. I curse and hit snooze.

8:04: I swallow a handful of pills, find a pair of jeans and a tshirt in the mountain of clean laundry that hasn't been put away, and head downstairs where I retrieve the lunch I packed last night from the fridge, add an ice pack to it, and herd child out the door.

8:17: Arrive at school. Escort kid inside and supervise dispersal of lunchbox, tote bag, and hoodie. Hug child, wave blearily at teacher, escape without having to pretend to be awake enough for a conversation. 

8:26: Drive to favorite bakery and purchase a muffin, then succumb to the temptation of a half-price whoopie pie ice cream sandwich.

8:39: Return home. Let dogs out of their crate and out to the yard, bring in mail, put ice cream thing in freezer and muffin on my workbench. Put most of mail in the recycling bin, let dogs back inside. Sit down at workbench.

8:47: Piano tuner arrives early. Dogs are overjoyed! Dogs are very fierce watchdogs! Dogs are certain the piano is being stolen by an ax murderer! Dogs would like to help tune the piano!

8:53: Put dogs in crate, apologize to piano tuner for badly-behaved dogs. Go back to workbench and eat muffin while answering emails and tweets. Get distracted by shiny objects.

9:24: A piano string breaks. This is more excitement than I was expecting. Also I am very tired of hearing the the very highest note on the piano that apparently won't stay tuned. I don't even use that note.

9:30: Start printing shipping labels and packing slips. Make tea while both printers are doing their thing. Unload dishwasher while tea is doing its thing.

9:41: Piano is gloriously in tune! A cat makes a dive for the inside of the piano. Cat is thwarted and slinks off sulking. I spend a few minutes chatting with piano tuner about how old Steinways last forever while writing out his check.

9:46: Grab packing slips off the printer and pull beads for today's Earring Club shipment. Each subscriber has a little paper envelope where I drop the beads and the appropriate type of earwires.

10:07: Owpain. Realize I haven't taken pain meds yet today. Go do that, then finish pulling beads for earrings.

10:15: Owpain intensifies. Can not brain anymore. Time for a nap while the pain meds do their thing.

12:30: Alarm goes off. Curse and angrily smack at phone. Naps are the best thing ever. Waking up is the worst thing ever.

12:39: Stagger downstairs, heat up lunch (leftover Thai curry) while doing prep for tonight's dinner (vegetable eggrolls) and sending the robot to swiffer the living room. Inhale lunch while responding to text messages.

1:00: Sit down at workbench. Turn on audiobook (Dragonsinger by Anne McCaffrey, which I've re-read about a million times since I was a 12-year-old girl with a guitar) and get back to work. Such earrings. Many swoop. Much earwires. Wow.

2:01: Pause to remove cat from beads.

2:09: A fight breaks out on the dining room table, which reminds me that it's time to give Lailah her Kitty Prozac. Lailah does not want her Kitty Prozac and expresses her opinion with a great deal of flailing. Quinn decides to be helpful by running in circles, pausing occasionally to bite Maggie in the face. Lailah is now nine pounds of sheer profanity. I eventually succeed in pilling her and she bolts for the stairs in fury, foaming at the mouth and vowing to kill me in my sleep. Since I'm already up, I move the robot to the front hallway and return to earrings.

2:30: Lailah walks up to Quinn and smacks Quinn in the face. Quinn responds by joyously trying to lick Lailah. Everyone is angry now.

2:46: I accidentally come up with a new earring design and set that pair aside to go on the website. I find replacement beads for the subscription and carry on. Earrings forever.

3:05: Only a few pairs of earrings left to go. Time for a stretch break and an English muffin with peanut butter. I put a dozen eggs on to boil while I wait; Claire's school has just become peanut-free so I'm desperately trying to find a replacement for our usual afternoon snack.

3:08: The toaster works better if it's plugged in. I snap photos of the new earrings and upload them to the website while I wait for my English muffin. It comes out slightly burned.

3:18: THE EARRINGS WILL NEVER EVER END. I am resigned to my fate. I also remember that I'm boiling eggs.

3:57: EARRINGS ARE DONE. So are my shoulder blades, and also the eggs, although that was a while ago. I take a few minutes to do part of a background check on a potential housemate.

4:05: Quinn thinks she might hear the UPS truck somewhere in the neighborhood and begins running from window to window, barking fiercely. CONSTANT VIGILANCE!

4:14: Potential housemate gets absolutely wonderful recommendations from both a former boss and a former landlord, so I offer her the room and she accepts. I write a note on the whiteboard to notify the other housemates, then go pull the shipping labels off the thermal printer and start packing orders.

4:43: The shipment is ready to go and if I leave now I can make it to the 5:00 drop box on the way to Claire's school instead of battling traffic across town to the post office. I grab the bag of packages and call the dogs to follow me out to the car.

4:44: Maggie gracefully leaps into the back of the car. Quinn bellyflops halfway in and halfway out with her back paws dangling in the air and stays that way for a minute, looking confused. I hoist the back half of her into the car with some effort, close the hatch, and back out of the driveway. Dogs are overjoyed! OH BOY OH BOY CAR RIDE OH BOY

(It should perhaps be noted here that I drive an older Subaru Impreza hatchback. It's a very low-to-the-ground vehicle. Quinn is a big dog. She's also klutzy and dumb as a bag of hammers.)

4:46: The packages are now the responsibility of the USPS. Before pulling back into traffic I queue up the recordings of the Torah portion I'm going to be chanting on Yom Kippur and listen to the third verse - the only one I haven't learned yet - on repeat for the drive to Claire's school. I learn another two words of it by the time I get there. I'll probably have it memorized by Yom Kippur. I hope.

5:04: I've collected Claire and her school stuff and she wants to play Pokemon Go on the way home. I realize we need to stop for gas because tomorrow I have to go straight from school to our synagogue since I'm helping lead the music during the kid's service and then wrangling the rabbi & cantor's 2.5-year-old daughter during the regular service. Dogs remain thrilled to be in car. OH BOY OH BOY.

5:38: Home. Maggie gracefully leaps out of the car and Quinn narrowly avoids faceplanting on the driveway. On the way into the house I pull the previously prepared dinner components out of the fridge to come up to room temperature and then head to my room for my next round of pain meds and a brief rest while Claire FaceTimes her grandmother.

5:44: The UPS man has come to kill us all, or maybe just to deliver the Apple Pencil the business ordered a few days ago. Quinn isn't sure, so she sounds the alarm fiercely while flinging herself at the door. The UPS man leaves without murdering anyone, so she considers herself victorious again.

5:50: Apparently I fell asleep. For, uh, a while. 

7:00 - 9:45: A blur of cooking, arguing with the child about the necessity of eating protein and vegetables, arguing with the child about bedtime, kitchen chores, litterbox scooping, and attempting to figure out how to use Notion and the Apple Pencil on the iPad. Most of these things are at least twice as difficult as they should be.

9:46: I resolutely sit down at the workbench; I'm $154 of new inventory away from being on target to finish my work week by Friday afternoon, which would mean I can spend the weekend learning new repertoire for my various musical endeavors and napping.

9:53: I am extremely uninspired. Perhaps an ice cream sandwich will fix that.

10:20: I'm no longer capable of symmetry. I make a pair of earrings anyway.

10:38: I make another mis-matched pair based on the accidental new design from this afternoon.

10:51: Made a rainbow skull pendant.

11:01: SO TIRED. Dogs are circling like furry sharks, looking meaningfully at their empty food bowls. All I want to do is sleep. $76 from my daily goal. My pain meds have worn off but I can't take my bedtime pain meds until I'm actually in bed because they make me super stupid.

11:11: Dogs are fed, Claire's lunch is packed, I should really do one more wipe down in the kitchen but I'm too tired and one of my housemates is cooking anyway.

11:12: When all else fails, try labradorite. And maybe some garnets or something, IDK?

11:38: Yep, that works.

11:48: One more pair of earrings takes me past my daily goal, and it's not even midnight. I send the dogs to bed and take the iPad and my Torah study pages upstairs pretending I'm actually going to work on trope and/or music theory before I fall asleep.

11:56: I may fall asleep in it, but I run a bath anyway, because owpain, and also I didn't have time for a shower this morning.

12:33: Pills, pjs, make sure my morning alarms are set, into bed. Except now the bedtime insomnia hits with a vengeance, so I do indeed work on both trope and music theory until I realize that it's nearly 2am and the iPad's battery is almost dead and I am so going to regret this in the morning. Post extremely TL;dr blog post.

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