I’ve got things to do

When I don’t have any particular plans on a weekday night, I like to spend a portion of the day figuring out what I’m going to do with my time. Making a mental list of what I’m going to do after work helps me avoid getting on the computer or sitting in front of the TV all evening: if I tell myself, “Tonight when I get home I’m going to put my laundry away and sweep the patio,” I’m much more likely to do those things. I’ve found I can be the most productive when I pick just a few chores and intersperse them with more interesting things. No matter how many times I say, “Tonight when I get home I’m going to clean my whole apartment,” I’m probably not going to do it; it’s too big a task and it sets me up for failure.

Last Thursday I didn’t have any plans, and I’d bought an old teak bar cart and some sandpaper on my way home from work. I decided that I would unload the dishwasher and pay the electric bill, and then sand and oil the bar cart while watching “Lost.” When I got home, a friend called and asked me if I wanted to take a dance class with her that evening. I told her I couldn’t go because I had plans, and then I wondered if sanding and oiling a bar cart while watching TV really counted as plans. Was I really so nerdy and reclusive that refinishing old furniture sounded better than going out?

I know people who go out a lot on weekday nights. Hell, I used to go out a lot on weekday nights. But I’m slowly realizing that it’s all right if I’d rather stay in; just because other people want to go out every night doesn’t mean I have to want that, too. I like sanding teak and I like watching “Lost,” and it’s okay for those things to count as plans.

Here are my plans for tonight:

  1. Go to the farmers’ market.
  2. Go to Room Service and maybe Uptown Modern or Home Girls to look for a coffee table (the bar cart, though beautifully sanded and oiled, is likely too tall to be a coffee table). Uptown Modern will probably try to murder me in the wallet, though.
  3. Unload the dishwasher and vacuum the carpet.
  4. Use the iTunes gift card I got for my birthday.
  5. Finish sewing cloth napkins while watching a PBS documentary.
  6. If there’s time, finish writing my ultra-bitchy post about Iron Man.

Depression: Out of the Shadows

“It’s a poverty of the English language,” he says, “that we only have that one word, depression, that’s used to describe how a little kid feels when it rains on the day of his baseball game, and it’s also used to describe why people spend their lives in mental hospitals and end up killing themselves.”
Tonight I’m going to watch this while sewing my own cloth napkins in a singlehanded attempt to prevent the coming apocalypse.