IMAGINE for a moment that you can’t drive for six weeks. But – and this is a BIG but- you still need to go to work every day, the grocery, do errands, get hair cut, eyebrows waxed, alterations, physical therapy and visit family. All without driving. It’s not impossible, but very inconvenient and frustrating. On the other hand, it’s manageable, comfortable and somewhat freeing. 

April’s post was about dealing with a new, dependent Bobbe, following shoulder surgery. Dependent Bobbe. That’s an oxymoron. I’m not good at relying on others. I’m just not. But I’m working on it.

Week six: still in a sling that holds heat like a scuba suit; still not driving. While this sounds awful, it’s not horrible. In fact, it’s been rather enjoyable. Clearly, the amount of time I spent running around in the car was staggering. Errands filled entire weekends, with little to show for the investment. In fact, it’s exciting to think about the amount of time and money I’ve saved while not driving. I’ve enjoyed curb service while dashing in and out of stores. Plus: I don’t lose my car in parking lots. However, gone is the dawdling at Hobby Lobby, when my sister texts, “I’m out front waiting…” Introducing: efficient errand running. Who knew?

Some people drive after two weeks post-surgery, regardless of doctor’s orders. With the amount of effort, energy and expense we’ve invested in my shoulder, it’s foolish to be non-compliant, in the face of impatience. Jeff, friends and co-workers have given me rides everywhere, which are so appreciated and many others have offered. ThAnK yOu!

It’s hard, though, for PLU’s (people like us) to ask for help. Basically, I have three options: dial-a-driver, delete the errand, or walk and do it myself. I’m forced now to prioritize errands. The rest wait or get trashed. Or ordered from Amazon, my new BFF. Ha! I’ve ordered everything from chocolate to coffee pods, to TIDE, to party decorations. My favorite color is “Brown” and I’ll NEVER be fed up with Fed Ex, or any thing else on four wheels that stops at the White house. Jeff has done 99% of the grocery shopping and 100% of the cooking, but there’re some things a recovering independent needs to do herself. The strangest thing I’ve done yet, is hire a housecleaner, since I couldn’t manage and Jeff was doing enough. I realized that Lily White, the black Lab, didn’t know Laura, the cleaner, so I had to have Jennifer, the dog sitter, introduce Lily to Laura. I imagined this is what it would be like to have people, like the rich and famous do. 

My daily lunch hour errands screeched to a halt. It’s taken adjustment; I’m working on that too. On my lunch hour, I’ve read a book in a park. Until a homeless dude was snoozing on my bench. Hmmph. Another day, I visited an art gallery. Very cool. I’ve walked to a manicure, had slacks hemmed; even walked to a funeral. 

What I know is this: when you’re objective about how time is spent, you’ll feel proud of your choices or ashamed at the waste. 

TIME is a precious commodity: there’re no refunds at customer service. “Excuse me, I’d like a do-over on today. I ran my a*s off and didn’t accomplish a thing.” 

“Sorry, we don’t give refunds. You’ve lost it for good. NEXT.”

TIME is ours to protect. Only YOU can prevent time thiefs. Back to the customer service counter:

“It’s not my fault a person took my time. I demand a refund!”

“Lady, it’s not OUR fault you aren’t assertive enough to protect your time. Now MOVE ON!”

The TIME of others is not our privilege to waste. Honestly, when I’ve wasted another’s time, It’s just plain rude. What’s worse, I used their time because I was most likely procrastinating. 

What I know is…there is value -but no do-overs- in how we spend our and other’s time. Prioritize it, then do it, delegate it, or dump it.. We get one shot at it every day. Go resourceful and efficient, or go home. 

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go visit my dad. How will I get there? I’m not bothering friends on a holiday. No way. I could walk, but my sling is getting sweaty. I may just call a cab. See you next time! bw