5 ways to preserve my proverbial steam

I recently returned to work after a brief week-long hiatus.  On D-day eve (the D is for Dang-I-gotta-go-back-to-work?! of course), I sat in bed pondering ways to sustain my refreshed feelings and prevent the extreme burn out that precipitated the hiatus.

Here are the few things that sprang to mind.  They may prove helpful to you too:

1. Be hands on.  I know we’ve all heard the advice “get everything together the night before!”  I even scoffed at it with righteous indignation, “well duh!”  But I’m sure the lifestyle-guru-home Ec-ky-Martha-Stewart-disciple type didn’t have my version in mind when first she offered those words of wisdom.  In my version I virtually assemble the items–that is I know where they are (I think) and it’s just a matter of  getting them together in the morning.   5 year old’s socks: under living room couch (well one of em is),  my day planner: under newspapers on kitchen counter, 7 year old’s sweater:  in the dryer…    

2. Eat your oats and feel ’em too.  I typically don’t eat breakfast.  As previously disclosed, I barely do mornings and since breakfast is a trapping of that merciless, early ante-meridiem hour, I don’t do breakfast.  This must end.  I’ve gotta fuel up to start the day, even it its only toast and O.J.  **funky fresh rhyme alert on aisle 3**

Get it in!

3.  Leave the excuses and take the stairs.  My journey to work includes public transportation.  And the train station that I use daily to get to work boasts a 100 step escalator.  Most days I just ride but on the days when I tackle them I find myself oddly refreshed.  I’ve fueled up with breakfast so I guess it makes sense to rev the engine a little eh?

They loom before me every morning...

4.  Stop plowing thru like the end is in sight.  If the end is in sight that means R.I.P ville right? Not so good—unless you’re into that sort of thing.  Sometimes I get into this lather, rinse, repeat mode and forget to stop and smell the—well the laundry.  Speaking of laundry, this bit of advice kind of stems from a scene from that movie American History X.  You know the scene where the little, funny yet sagacious black guy scolds Edward Norton’s character for angrily plowing through their laundry duty.  He said something to the effect of  ‘The work doesn’t stop so quit doing it like you’re gonna get to the end of it. Chill!’  Chill indeed.

5. Come ready to work, ready to do the job you’re paid to do.  That way you’re not annoyed as annoyed when your boss interrupts your Facebooking or WordPressing.

image from jezebel.com

Salut ladies and gents!

***********************

I owe like 13 books but I’m too ashamed of my slackerness to put up all those images.  Each picture would be an accusatory glare.  I’ll just give a list of titles and we’ll call it even.

Days/titles 90-102

  1. Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
  1. Saturday – Ian McEwan
  1. On Beauty – Zadie Smith (OMG! Love this book!)
  1. Slow Man – J.M. Coetzee
  1. Adjunct: An Undigest – Peter Manson
  1. The Sea – John Banville
  1. The Red Queen – Margaret Drabble
  1. The Plot AgainstAmerica– Philip Roth
  1. The Master – Colm Tóibín
  1. Vanishing Point – David Markson
  1. The Lambs ofLondon– Peter Ackroyd
  1. Dining on Stones – Iain Sinclair
  1. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
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Pulp and Circumstance: A Tale of Breakfast

Hiya party people!

Once upon a time there was a short, chocolate, Muslimah Queen. She had many talents, including blank staring, doing impressions of herself and she even maintained a blog with a modest following. This Queen appreciated a challenge as much as the next person—so long as it didn’t interfere with or alter her daily routine in the slightest—but a challenge wouldn’t be a challenge if it didn’t…

The chocolatiest Queen I could find with a Google image search. Always liked Arthur so I'm cool with it.

The latest challenge in this Queen’s life was the addition of her eldery father-in-law to her household. She recognized it for what it was—a blessing AND a test. And she and her family adjusted accordingly. They fell into a rhythm. With the exception of breakfast.

The Queen had 4 children and a husband, the King, who was amazing 90.78% of the time (The other 9.22%? Well that’s a story for another time kiddies).  She hadn’t the benefit of wait staff or ‘help’.  Recession era.  Even the royals felt it.  But back to breakfast.  It fell upon the Queen to prepare the morning meal for the King’s father.  Breakfast had always been the Queen’s nemesis.  It combined 2 things which she utterly despised—early mornings and doing things in the early morning.

It's rootin' and tootin'!

She rarely ate breakfast and when she did it wasn’t ’til around 11ish.  As for the royal crumbmakers, she would normally only give them breakfasts which could be tossed at them to them as they headed to the car.  Toast, granola bars, bananas, orange slices; if you could chuck it at a kid, that’s what they ate.  Not so for the King’s father, a sweet silver-haired octogenarian with a twinkle to his eye.  For him the Queen had to pull out all the stops,  she used their best serving tray, the best dishes, if there was only one paper towel left on the roll—he got it with the best of the cutlery lovingly wrapped inside.  Hey! Regarding the paper towel no judgement! Technically that’s heresy…

I'm just sayin.

Ok where was I?

Oh yes, the breakfast.  Bleary eyed and the egg-shell shocked (more than a few eggs have rolled off the counter to their death) the Queen would stand in the middle of the kitchen for 10 minutes just looking.  And blinking.  Eventually, the fruit got cut, the coffee percolating, the eggs plated and the hot cereal bowled.  Each day the Queen tried to move a little faster, get started a little earlier, do something a little more efficiently; but try as she might the Queen could not shave down the breakfast routine time causing the children to be late to the Royal Academy, her to be late to her job (Recession!) and the King to be late to—Kinging. The Queen did 2 things, she issued an edict declaring all short order cooks (specifically those who worked the early AM shift) to be given a 50% raise. The second thing she did was put out a call for suggestions on streamlining her morning routine. Who will answer the call? Who will answer the call?

The End

Day/Title 87