I just found my handwritten itinerary for yesterday in a pile of homework. It looks more like a scratch sheet for geometry than a list. This particular to do list emerged from Parkinson’s-induced anxiousness around 3 AM. After trolling videos of tiny bats eating fruit and babies giggling about nothing in particular, I finally resorted to Decartes, then Kant...for that soporific effect.
Instead of slumber, what followed was an in-depth search into the concept of “ghost in the machine” that wasted hours but led to a sweet music playlist. My unstoppable stream-of-consciousness sends everything into streaming playlists. These music compilations are the modern equivalent of the mixed tape we offered someone cute in high school, hoping they’d associate us with the epic collection of love songs. I do so enjoy lists ...and listening!
The original list:
5:45/6 AM Stretch, brekkie, walk dog, meditate
7:30 AM School drop off, get mail, dry cleaning, drop off donations, schedule medical appointments, check on SB, call Mom, schedule deliveries
9 AM Groceries, wash car, deliver package, pay and mail bills, dishes, laundry, etc.
11:45 AM Return calls and find passwords for hotmail, Comcast and gmail
12:45 PM Y class, pick up study materials for certification
2:30 PM Handyman?, prep meeting, dinner (get ricotta and parsley)
3:15 PM Edit research for PwP org, send invite, RSVP to wedding, girl’s night, bday parties, graduations, test dates, etc.
4-6 PM Kids to voice, dance, track, cheer. Find passwords!
6:30 PM Dinner, homework, class
9:15 PM Groceries, clean fridge, fix hot tub
10:30 PM Catch up on reading, paint nails
11 PM Melatonin?
6:59 AM Wake to barking dogs, a roaring sound (leaf blower?) and slamming doors. Alarm has been going off for 59 minutes and no one is pleased.
7:30 AM World’s shortest shower under a mere dribble of cool water. The more I rush, the slower my body responds. I shave only one leg and leave conditioner in my hair and dry off with a bathrobe. My brush, lotion and toilet paper have gone missing.
7:50 Panic sets in: “Shit, I’m making the kids late for school, still waiting for meds to kick in and the tank is empty.” Siri replies without prompting that she “Doesn’t understand”. Perhaps siri would understand the concept of moving through cement.
8:25 AM Without traffic, you’d be there by now.
8:50 AM Sign in with a tight frantic smile that resembles The Joker, because I finger-painted my makeup on during two consecutive one minute traffic lights. My sweet teenager is staring down at her phone to avoid dealing with my “not cool and totally embarrassing” outfit.
9:15 AM Sit in car and burst into tears, then feel incredibly silly about such first world problems and dig through glove compartment for mascara, which makes everything better. Cut hand. Find no band-aids and wrap hand in a maxipad.
10 AM Hijacked by a squad of type A Stepford Wives and forced to endure monologues about summer travel plans to Tahoe homes, Bora Bora and European countries I had forgotten about after memorizing world maps in 5th grade. They are horrified by my makeshift band-aid.
10:30 AM I forgot my wallet and must slink away leaving bagged perishables at checkout while an entire line of hostile suburbanites shakes their yoga mats at me:
“You have 17 items and this is the express lane!”
11 AM Return home too late to let the dog out. Shakily I remove the soaked couch covers for the dry cleaners and accidentally put them on top of the clean laundry. Water every plant in the yard and save a butterfly caught in a web instead of finally starting the laundry.
12 Three Wise Men (no frankincense) arrive at my door. One MIA handyman and two zealous young men in suits thrilled to tell me “The good news of The Lord!”
1:45 PM Pay the handyman for not fixing the leaky pipe. Wonder if it was the snake collection or the massive amounts of religious icons adorning my home that sent the missionary men packing. Icons are easily misunderstood: Kali
2:15 PM Fall down stairs while simultaneously texting and carrying a plunger. Pop up shouting, “I’m OK!” to no one. The dog looks embarrassed for me.
2:45 PM Call the YMCA manager to apologize for not teaching class. While on hold, I put the phone down to google “how to fix a hot tub” and end up watching a splashy porn scene based upon the initial search. Did I accidentally type in “naked acrobatics in hot tub?”
2:48 PM Realize too late that the volume on speakerphone is up high enough that the Y manager (in a group meeting and also on her speakerphone) can can hear everything. Panic and hang up.
3:40 PM Consume entire bag of chips while rooting through 834 emails for a scrip.
4 PM Close email and shut computer down without saving the last chapter of my epic novel in progress. Frantically search trash and purchase useless recovery applications.
4:30 PM Eat a chocolate bar from Easter (or Christmas?) and some leftover fries. Remember to take morning PD medications.
4:40 PM Cancel evening class because of stomachache and engage in an epic email battle with a random acquaintance about a club I no longer belong to.
4:59 PM Find 20 texts from my daughter who needed an early pick up. Remember mom? Mom? MOMMM?
5:05 PM Limp back to the car and lurch out of the hidden driveway into traffic. Pass the handyman en route and wave back. Realize too late that he was waving to tell me to turn off the house alarm for him.
5:45PM Arrive at school. Throwing shade at your Mom is the new black.
6:30 ish Use time waiting for teens wisely by posting terrible jokes on Twitter.
7:30 PM Arrive home to smudged post it on the door that reads, “sorry hurts ears”. The alarm is still going off. Neighbors are revolting. Police arrive.
8 PM Invite co-worker who arrives unannounced in for a drink- because I happen to be in a robe, he takes it as a hubba hubba invite. No good deed goes unpunished.
8:45 ish Dinner burns. Let them eat soup.
9:20 PM In a vain attempt to get one thing accomplished, I shout vague commands at “Alexa” in spite of her consistent reply of, “I don’t know about that.”
9:30 PM Badger kids about chores. Son interrupts with questions about car insurance due to a “Little fender bender”. Check credit limits. Listen to messages while digging in purse for my phone.
10:15 PM An acquaintance calls to share intimate details of her latest cleanse. While on the phone an anonymous text arrives, “Where were you? I waited.” I have no idea.
11 PM Begin preparation for a nervous breakdown by listening to “Meditations of love and peace.” A better idea: guided BS meditation
11:30 PM Observe the neighbor’s dogs taking turns pooping on the new deck chairs, to the sound of water trickling down from the leaky pipe as a guided meditation repeats, “Accept what is.”
12 AM Shove unfinished paperwork aside and fall into bed. Set alarm to get up early to take medications. Lie there contemplating how much tomorrow will suck sans sleep.
2 AM Fall asleep on pile of paperwork and a pen leaking ink. Raccoons raid pantry through the dog door while I am finally resting. They only appear cute and harmless.
One day bleeds into the next when you have Parkinson's Disease.
3:45 AM It’s a new day! Wake with a bolt, keen on progress and sharing new ideas. Who drew these ink blobs on my left cheek?
4:15 AM Leave 10 consecutive facebook posts on someone else’s wall by accident. Fall asleep searching for passcodes to get into my laptop.
5:30 Hit snooze and slowly roll out of bed toward the carbo levodopa and coffee.
6 AM Limp to the garage to quickly switch laundry.
7:15 AM Emerge from garage with journals from 8th grade, Ann Lamott books and a gigantic pile of children’s books for a friend. Alarm is still going off. Throw the clock into the cold hot tub and shake son awake.
7:50 AM Tragedy strikes! No caffeine and no butter. How can anyone live like this? Write faux suicide note in head that begins, “She loved coffee.”
7:59 AM “Mom I missed the bus, how fast can you get me to school?”
8:30 AM If it weren’t for traffic you’d be there by now.
8:55 AM En route, my teen glances up, stating, “I need $300 more for cheerleading and none of my shoes fit Mom. Also, your shirt is on inside out and backwards.” Seek revenge by blasting Good Vibrations (Yes, The Marky Mark version.)
9:05 AM Howl like a wolf alone in the car. Forget windows are open. An entire class of my teen’s peers stop a dodgeball game to stare at the crazy lady.
9:06 Wave like the queen and blast No Problem as I peel out of the parking lot.
And so it goes…….
How is your day going? I'm all ears.