Pause

I have a few hours to myself each day when the kids go to preschool.  I usually spend the time between drop-off and pick-up doing the following (in no special order): exercising, grocery shopping, writing, showering, dog walking, Target-ing, banking, post-office-ing and other errand-ing.  The time goes by so fast that sometimes exercising and often showering fall off the queue.  Sad but true.  Today was no exception.

After dropping the kids off at school, I went to Publix to stock up on milk, cheese, fruit squeezers, bananas and a few other food necessities for the little people who live in my house.  Then I went home, put the groceries away and printed out a draft of a guest blog entry I’m working on (more on this soon) to bring with me to the vet because Harry was overdue for his shots and isn’t welcome back at doggy day camp until he’s had them. 

Off we went to the vet.  They took a stool sample, did blood work and poked him with all of his annual shots, and the entire visit only cost $330.  That was not a typo.  It actually cost that much.  Mike’s in New York for work again and I’m pretty sure his plane ticket cost less.  I like to shop and kids are expensive, but in my house, I think it’s the dog that costs the most.

Next, Harry and I drove home and I spent the next hour at the computer editing the aforementioned guest blog entry.  At noon, a half hour before I had to pick up the kids at school, I decided an iced latte was the only thing that would get me through the afternoon.  It was either that or a shower, and I choose wisely.  I’d been up with both kids since 4:00am – a story for another day – and felt like I was moving in slow motion through mud. 

I haven’t walked into a Starbucks in a really long time, and although I felt a pang of Shopaholic guilt for splurging on such an expensive cup of caffeine, I felt I deserved it.  And guess what, I found a Starbucks gift card in my wallet that still had $17 on it.  Bye-bye guilt, hello latte! With ten minutes to kill before I had to get back in the car to get the boys, I decided to sit down in one of those big comfy, coffee shop chairs for just a few minutes.

What happened next was fantastic.  I slurped my latte and did something I haven’t done in a long time – people-watching.  I put my phone down, sat quietly and became suddenly aware that I wasn’t doing seventeen things at once.  What a relief.  I just slurped and watched and listened.  I saw laptops, cool shoes, and sign language, and I listened to cool music, people speaking foreign languages and newspaper pages crinkling.  It was like someone hit the pause button and I stopped and took in the world around me, or at least the Starbucks around me.  Then I checked the time on my phone and realized I was late for pick-up.  Oops. 

And off I went to fetch my boys at school. 

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Filed under shopaholism, time management

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