I double-booked myself. For an entire day. Actually I had a third option for the morning. Somehow I had enough presence of mind not to plan to be in three places at the same time while not seeing the contradiction of continuing to think I could be in two places.
One was an all-day event at church to hear a speaker who I knew slightly, whose writing I admire, and who I thought I would enjoy hearing. I knew the date a couple of months in advance. No problem. I could set aside my usual Saturday writing routine and go learn something.
In a parallel universe, my engaged daughter was planning an excursion for her wedding party and another friend to join us to go dress shopping. A couple of months in advance, she found a date that worked for everyone. No problem. I could set aside my usual Saturday writing routine and enjoy this much-anticipated day.
That these two events were on the same Saturday did not occur to me until about two weeks before the date.
Clear choice, of course. I went dress shopping. It was a successful outing all around. Bonding with my daughter’s friends. Seeing her look gorgeous in gown after gown. Plunking down my credit card for the one that made her tear up.
But why didn’t I see the scheduling conflict coming long before I did? That’s the question that niggled at me.
First of all, I’m a creature of habit and on most Saturdays I’m in a coffee shop in the morning and the library in the afternoon clacking away on my latest contracted book manuscript. In between might be outdoor exercise, garage sales, errands, housework, yard work or other typical Saturday stuff. But it’s all routine.
Second, I didn’t write stuff down. Zero calendar entries for either event. I just said, “Sure, I’ll be there.” What was I thinking?
There will be another outing for the bridesmaids’ dresses. When my daughter floats a date past me, I’m going to pay better attention!
In the meantime, I don’t want to be so caught up in writing about the lives of my fictional characters—or over-committed to pressing deadlines—that I am not present for the real life season unfolding in my daughter’s life.
What about you? In what ways do you risk double-booking yourself, whether in time, energy, or emotions? Who helps you make the choices that keep you fully present to the things that matter? Living in healthy, joyful ways is something we can all help each other do. Let’s do it!