Saturday, September 17, 2011

Juggling many balls

I was going for a record and feeling good about it.

The goal: Getting as many things out to the car in one trip as possible. These are the things I juggled: purse,  cereal in container, milk in covered cup and open coffee cup (I lost all of my travel mugs...I think they took off with the socks).

I didn't get very far. The coffee spilled onto my sweatshirt, and the milk cup tipped over and left a trail to the car. Somehow I got it all to the car anyway, but then I lost time by having to rush back into the house, throw the sweatshirt into the wash and grab another.

Why the rush?

Yesterday my plan was to get up whenever and take my time driving to New York. From there I would leave the next morning to a wedding in New Jersey, stay over night Saturday and then repeat the two-step trip back home by stopping in New York for a night and heading back Monday.

It was a way to avoid the hassle of public transportation while also avoiding the mistake I made last November when I drove the whole way to Philadelphia (about five hours) and fell asleep at the wheel on the way back, luckily doing no more damage than driving onto a sidewalk and getting two flat tires.

The rush was that tennis had called. If somebody asks me to substitute in a group, it's as though they've placed a mouth-watering slice of chocolate cake in my reach. I can't say no. Especially now, when we are still playing outside as the inside season draws near.

Yesterday was beautiful. A little cold in the morning, but with a clear blue sky. So of course I went.

The group met at 9 a.m. in Longmeadow, on my way to New York but kind of early in terms of the approximately 40-minute drive (30 if there's no traffic) and the fact that I had to pack and get everything into the car.

When it comes to taking a trip, I am notoriously slow at getting out of the house. I figured this deadline would at least jump start me, even though through the previously hot days I hadn't been sleeping well and could have used the extra time in bed.

I did well until the trip to the car. My juggling was in contrast to my rule this time last year during my falling-down period, when I told myself that I was allowed to take only one thing at a time out to the car. I guess it was a way of feeling back to my normal self. Oh well. I actually did make it to tennis on time, spills and all.

I have been playing with a lovely group of women. The tennis is good, and so is the sense of humor. When I first started back last season, I was, understandably, not up to speed and afraid that I would be a drag on anyone who played with me.

Now I feel normal. Sometimes my team loses, but sometimes it wins. "Pretty shot!" someone says to me.
They don't know how much that means.

After tennis, I love to roll the windows down and feel the breeze blowing my hair back. I did that yesterday while continuing on my trip, with a stop at Starbucks first, of course.

It should have taken about two hours. There were so many backups due to construction, I lost track of how long it took. I have been listening to Andre Agassi's book "Open" in the car, which is so interesting and a great way of staying awake.

I have a problem with long drives, and Emily suggested listening to a book. I haven't tried it since a long time ago when I listened to an old radio comedy tape in the car and laughed so hard I missed my exit. But this seemed like a good time to try again.

It worked, up to a point, but the trip was taking so long that I got drowsy and had to pull over and take a quick power nap, one of my great skills. I am able to fall asleep in seconds and wake up 10 to 15 minutes later, totally refreshed.

I stopped at a weird rest area in the middle of the Merritt Parkway, which always make me think of a time when the kids were little and we had hit crazy traffic on the way to the Old Country for Rosh Hashanah. The toilets flushed on their own, but one of the kids was so light that the toilet kept flushing while the child (no names here) was sitting on it trying to accomplish something.

Understandably, this was extremely unsettling, and the mission could only be accomplished when I came in and stood on the toilet seat behind the child. But I digress.

When I woke up yesterday, it took a minute for me to reassess and figure which side I had come in on. No way I wanted to go out the wrong way and have to circle around.

I did go the right way and arrive safely in New York. I even found a parking spot that was "good for tomorrow" on East 71st Street near Jeanne's apartment, where I would be staying.

Big rush of satisfaction, like hitting a winner.

I got to the apartment, changed into my running clothes and felt the call of the reservoir, almost like the call of that doubles game.

I ran to the park, around the reservoir and back.

By the time I was finishing the loop I realized the whole run was too long after that busy day.

But I got back to the apartment with no mishaps, still standing and happy to be my crazy normal self.


donna said...

Have a great weekend, friend!

Nelle said...

Sounds like a great weekend. Don't know if you have a Costco membership but that they these Contigo mugs that don't spill and are great holiday gifts. They have been two for $19 and are normally that much for just one anywhere else. I just picked some up for gifts.

Joanna said...

You are my kindred spirit. It is called "tennis addiction." It is a wonderful addiction, but an addiction nonetheless. I love this post. I can just see you juggling your cereal bowl so that you could get to tennis on time.

I listened to "Open" on audiobook, too. It is a great book for long drives.

I have shingles at present and cannot open one eye, but I have not gotten subs for the two leagues I play in tomorrow because I am thinking that sunglasses will cover the whole thing and I don't want to miss the games.

Anonymous said...

My Runder-Woman, also Kindred -- Sister-Friend...

i share your sense of direction! it must be a native-Manhattan thing...after all, it's so clear with Avenues and Streets...

Kudos to You for navigating in New England all of these years...