We – this family that runs 1-2 loads of laundry a day – have been without a washing machine for seven days now. What is more worrisome to me is that it took us a full five days to get organized enough to even stop and look at what the problem might be. Now we have a large box in our front hall containing a replacement door gasket from GE and no immediately visible opportunity to install it, even though we’re heading into the weekend.
I am lucky enough to work in a therapy clinic where we have a small washer and dryer (how many of us can say that about our workplaces?), so twice this week I have trooped in and out of my office, hoping not to be spotted by my clients, with baskets of laundry. I’ve managed to do three loads there total, which has essentially skimmed the overflow off the top of each chock-full hamper and kept everyone in clean skivvies.
At some point this afternoon, while stuffing another load into the washing machine at work, I allowed myself to look at the full picture of this week momentarily: Baxter’s birthday, preparing for his party tomorrow, getting the treasurer’s report done for the condo meeting, my work day at Lyle’s nursery school and the fund-raising that was due this week, the fact that Matt has been out of town on business, all the work I have yet to complete, trying desperately to remember that I need to buy milk on my way home, and yes, hauling the laundry back and forth. Some people call this multitasking, I thought, but to me it’s nothing more than leading an extremely fragmented life. And it’s definitely not good.
I wrote as much to Kristen in a brief email exchange this afternoon, and she responded by pointing me in the direction of an article in the November issue of Atlantic Monthly which tells us that multi-tasking kills brain cells. While I don’t have online access to the full article, I can already tell you that I don’t disagree.
4:30 pm found me at the door to the clinic, running back in to pick up the last load of laundry and bring it out to the car, trying to be quick enough that I could make time for a milk stop on my way home. I stood there grumbling to myself about the damnable key that simply was not fitting in the door, and then snapped out of it long enough to recognize that in my distracted state I had chosen the wrong key for the door I wanted to open – for at least the fifth time this week alone.
And all I could think was, She’s right. I’m already there.