Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Learning from losing

For the first time since I started my little experiment, I did not have Shabbos ready by chatzos on Friday.  In fact, I barely had Shabbos ready by candle lighting.  Now, I have had bad erev Shabbos experiences (think: stuck on a tarmac in BEAUMONT, Texas because there are storms around Houston and the plane couldn’t land… with only 3 hours until Shabbos, a 40 minute drive to make once I got to Houston, and some food to prepare once I got past the drive).  I can’t say that last week was like THAT.  It was pretty hair-raising, though. 
I won’t go into all of the gory details (kvetchy baby, messy kitchen, buggy romaine, oh my!), suffice to say, the stars were not aligned in my house and much that could have gone wrong, went wrong.  It was really a shame--things started out so good last week!  I had a few things done early.  I wasn’t planning a large crowd for either meal.  I was really making only one meal (and not a lot of fancy food, either).  I should have easily had Shabbos done by chatzos on Friday. 
SO WHAT HAPPENED??  How did I derail when I was doing so well?  How can I keep myself from making the same mistakes again? 
After some reflection, here is some wisdom that I garnered from my first chatzos defeat:  
ü  A journey of one thousand miles begins when you TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER, already!  A major part of my downfall was my failure to turn away from my computer on Thursday night.  I did not have that much to do!  I needed to just stand up and DO IT.  It is Facebook’s fault.  
ü  If not now, when?  I am still not clear what I was thinking, but I went to bed on Thursday night before I cleaned my kitchen from my cooking sprint.  I have never done that before.  Not even on a regular week night.  I woke up on Friday (late, mind you) and my kitchen was in no shape to make breakfast, let alone get ready for Shabbos.  Getting that room back in shape took a good hour while DS was at school.
ü  If not me, who?  B”H, I have a husband that likes to help get ready for Shabbos.  He sees bathing the kids as relaxing time.  He enjoys setting timers and the hot water urn ready.  But if he has worked a 30 hour shift, he is probably not the best person to rely on to get major things done on Friday. 
ü  Do not do today what can be saved for tomorrow night.  In other words, only do those things that MUST be done before candle lighting.  Everything else can wait until motzei Shabbos.  For example, folding the shmattas that are in the dryer (and have been there for at least a day) is probably NOT an efficient use of time when there are still salads to make, floors to clean, kids to bathe, dishwashers to empty and reload, ect.  Not that I would ever waste my time on Friday afternoon doing something so silly.    
I am going to take my new wisdom and make it happen.  I mean, I have a whole extra hour this week, right?  In the words of Bob the Builder, “Can we make chatzos?”   YES, WE CAN!
Sorry.  Sick kid means lots of Bob. 

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