Saturday, August 25, 2007

The System

Ok, I admit. I'm a little weird. I love organizing, lists, checking things off of them, etc. I have a system - or routine, whatever you'd like to call it, for almost everything. If you follow the 'system', then things don't get screwed up. If things are organized and you keep it that way, they tend to stay organized; thus less chaos. With as busy as our lives are these days, running from one thing to the next with little down time in between, systems are more important than ever to keep things functioning smoothly. So last weekend, I didn't follow my usual system. Thus, the entire next week was completely screwed up.

How did it start? Well, every Saturday, I fill up my Denali with gas (Costco) whether I need it or not. This way, during the hectic work week, I don't need to stop for gas anywhere. I'm the type of person that just doesn't have time between one place to the next to stop for gas. I cut it to the verrrry last second. I know that it takes precisely 22 minutes to get to work; from my garage at home to the parking garage at the Triad Center during morning traffic. So I leave with exactly that much time and not a minute sooner. I absorb every possible second if not getting ready, cleaning something, feeding the baby, organizing mail or papers, watering plants, whatever needs to get done. At lunchtime, it takes precisely 17 minutes from my garage at the Triad to my garage at home (I usually come home to feed Jane and get her down for her afternoon nap). Anyway, I digress, back to the Saturday routine thing. So amongst lots and lots of other things, part of my Saturday consists of getting gas, cleaning the car, and grocery shopping. Last Saturday I decided to paint Jane's room. I've been meaning to do that forever. It was one of those impulsive decisions - I walked in her room, looked around and sighed at the cream walls and wanted to make the room more 'princess'. So off to Wallpaper Warehouse I went to get the Benjamin Moore / Pottery Barn Kids purple 'Lilac Haze' color that you can only get there. Long story short, 2 nights in a row up until 2am painting, it was finished. (and so princess!) To get to my point, I didn't get to Costco to get Gas. I also didn't clean out the car. I also didn't get groceries. I didn't follow the system. I paid big time every day of the next week for that.

Monday. I had lunch with a client scheduled. Nothing unusual about that-other than I have to go home to feed Jane a tad earlier which means she probably won't go down for her nap. I figured if my lunch was at noon on 45th, I could leave about 11am and that would give me enough time to head home to feed the baby, hang out for a bit and be at lunch by noon. So, 11am as planned I'm driving home and get a call from my client. "Hey Jana, my car is in the shop and I wondered if you could swing by the store and pick me up?" (The store is on Wasatch Blvd!) "SURE! Be there at Noon!" I replied (I rarely say no to anything which is a huge problem and entirely another blog). The second I hung up the phone it all hit me. "FREAK. My car isn't clean, the inside isn't vacuumed. Shoulda done that Saturday like usual." Oh well, I thought I'm superwoman, it's no big deal to swing by the car wash quick and do a quick spray and vacuum. YA RIGHT! I drive in, (keep in mind I'm in a freshly dry cleaned business suit and high heels) throw in 2 bucks, and start spraying. 11:05am. I'm a madwoman getting it done fast, realizing that not much dirt is coming off and I need the foam brush. Switch to the foam brush. Scrub Scrub all over the car. BEEP BEEP everything turns off. $hit. My car is covered in fluorescent yellow and pink soap, do I have more MONEY!? I find a stash of quarters in my purse (phew, I'm glad I followed another system of keeping all my change inside a little coin purse in my purse for emergencies). So I put in a couple quarters hoping to spray 'er down and get out of there. Nope. Need two more freaking bucks to start it again. FREAK! So I deposit $2 in quarters and get spraying again. I have only 3 quarters left. Spray spray spray, boy I'm quick in these heels but wow does 2 minutes go by fast! I SWEAR those timers go a few seconds faster than the atomic clock. It's all a big conspiracy to rip us off. I only have 1 side left. I'm thinking, wow I'm running out of time, I gotta go feed Jane FAST or I'll be late for lunch (I can't STAND being late for anything, I think it's incredibly rude to the person who is waiting). Only 1/4 of the car left, BEEP BEEP BEEP!!! CRAP! I drop the sprayer, run over to the machine, only 2 seconds left to deposit my quarter to get 25 more seconds without having to pay $2 more dollars. PHEW! Grab the sprayer, I can crank this out in 25 seconds. BEEP BEEP! WHAT? That was like, 10 seconds! I barely got to spray ANYTHING! Crap. Open the car door, get another quarter! FAST! RUN! PHEW! 25 more seconds. This is really ticking me off at this point. Spray Spray, almost done, just the tire now. BEEP BEEP! YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME! I'M GOING TO BLOW THIS PLACE UP! My last quarter. @##$@#!! Finally. I finished, looks great. Except for my freshly dry cleaned SUIT PANTS, that now have fluorescent pink and yellow car soap streaks right on my thigh!! Freak, when did I do that? Better change clothes after I feed the baby. 11:25. No time to vacuum the car. Better just shake the mat and clear out the passenger side. How the heck am I going to get home, feed the baby, and be on time? If anyone can do it, I can! 11:30, home. Where is the baby? Where's Audria and the kids? Oh yeah, I should have TOLD HER that I was coming home earlier than normal! (differing from the system!) Oh well, I guess I'll be a triple D for my client lunch and be miserable. Mean time, perfect time to change and shake out the mats in the car. There's Audria! So somehow, I got the Baby fed and was in the car, leaving for lunch, 11:45am. Pleeenty of time to get to lunch without even being late. BEEP BEEP! What? I'm almost out of GAS!?? Freak. Just my luck today. Well, I have like maybe 2 minutes to spare if the stop lights aren't bad. I'll just pull into Maverick and put in a couple gallons real quick. In the meantime, I somehow SPILLED GAS on the pant leg of my OTHER PANTS! Would someone just shoot me now? Of course it wasn't my fault, the handle was faulty! 12:06 I pulled in to pick up my client. Thankfully my car was dry and hopefully my car and me didn't smell like GAS. The client appointment went just fine, closed a nice business deal. Had to hurry though because I had a station meeting at 1:30. The rest of the day? Pretty much a blur.

Tuesday. I'll spare you most of the details, except that I spent the evening at the grocery store. Two different ones in fact, (different story) but all because I didn't do it Saturday because I didn't follow the system.

Thursday. Heading home from work for lunch to feed the baby. Realized, oh yeah, the low fuel light has been on since this morning. Ah, I've got plenty to get me off 45th. The range low light isn't even on yet! I've got at least 15 more miles! Then car which was going 72 MPH suddenly quits responding. Hmmm that's wierd, couldn't be the gas, could it? No way, I've never run out of gas before! After all, every car has at least a gallon in reserve that they don't even show you on the fuel light in case of emergency, right? ;) Nope. I had to think fast because my car was dying in a hurry. Left lane was too crowded and I could tell there was no way I was going to make it to the 33rd off ramp. The best I could do was the small emergency lane by the carpool lane. Then my car wouldn't move at all! And the back end was slightly stuck out in the commuter lane. Gee I HOPE people are paying attention because if one person isn't they can clip me and send my little butt right into the median and then I'm toast. Thank goodness for OnStar. Oh wait, they can't give you GAS over a satellite! (I really knew that). Thankfully my husband to the rescue. He left work, stopped by his parents to grab a gas can, ran to the gas station, hopped on the freeway and met me on the OTHER side and hopped over the median. Phew. That was a very nerve wracking 20 minutes though, every car that passed at 80 MPH blew my car a little and came clooose.

Sigh. None of this would have even happened, if I would have stuck to the system. So needless to say, I will be recommiting myself to my systems. No running out of gas next week, no 5 minute stops at gas stations, no spilled soap and gas on expensive suit pants, no near death experiences on the side of I-15.

At least Jane's room got painted!