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In the short history of my blog, this has been the longest period that has passed in between posts. You have probably wondered if starting this blog was a passing phase in my life. No. Or perhaps that I grew tired of artfully arranging words to tell a story. No, wrong again. Kidnapped by monkeys while sleeping like Mowgli from “The Jungle Book”? Wrong again, although that would make for a great start to an interesting post. The answer has to do with pie, a metaphorical pie.
In everyone’s life, there are categories of things that take up our time each day: work, sleep, errands, exercise, time with others, chores, leisure, etc. If you are prone to mathematical analysis of information (as I sometimes am), then you can arrange your data in a graph, or a pie chart. There is also another category that sneaks into your day or week that steals time away. I call it the pie thief.
The pie thief is stealth. No one ever seems him, but you know he has been there because your slice of pie, the piece that you know exactly how big it is, is suddenly smaller. You look and look at this imaginary pie, the piece that you were getting ready to eat, and wonder what happened.
The pie thief is not only stealth, but selective. He will never take from the piece of pie that is the most undesirable. The perfect example is the chores piece of pie, with laundry that seems to multiply as fast as the weeds in your yard that you just pulled out. It does not taste as delicious as the others. Instead he will take from the slice that you are looking forward to the most. In my case, that would be writing, reading, playing the guitar and spending time with my family. Or in pie language: strawberry rhubarb, apple, mixed berry and coconut cream.
In addition to being stealth and selective, the pie thief is also shrewd. He steals some of your most mouth-watering pie and leaves new pie that you have never tasted before. Now, you are probably scratching your head at this, but let me explain, because remember this is a metaphorical pie, (although I am starting to crave pie after writing after writing about it for the last hour). What I mean is that this pie had not been on your plate before, never been part of your daily/weekly allotment, but now there it sits. And, it is not leaving, no matter how much you try to make it go away. You cannot even pull the old switcheroo like you did when you were a kid and a) feed it to the dog, b) throw it in the trash when no one is looking or c) put it on someone else’s plate (again, when no one is looking). You have no choice but to eat it. (Although I have found that this task is slightly more palatable when chased by wine or more coffee.)
So, where did this mystery pie come from? The thief, of course ( and sometimes it can come from a little problem I call advocating for yourself, but I’ll write more on that in a future post). In my case, he left me the you really have more things to do to prepare yourself as a new landlord than you think you do because your very first tenants are moving in at the end of the month pie and I need you to write creative content for my Logan Square Farmer’s Market information board pie. While I was initially excited about each of these pieces of pie, (because who wouldn’t want to be a landlord and I LOVE to write), I had no idea how much time they would take up. Just when I thought I had finished, I saw that I still had more of that pie to eat. (Had I been drinking too much wine with my pie??) I found myself so full of those pies, that I had no more room left over for the kinds of pie that I was looking forward to eating.
There are a few important lessons that I learned from this experience. The first is that sometimes you have to go with the flow and be flexible, because life will always give you new pie. The second is that, it is good to try new pie. It may become a favorite, like my Logan Square Farmer’s Market Pie. (In fact I welcome more farmers market pie, um, I mean opportunities to write for others). Third, there is only so much pie you can eat each day. When the pie thief introduces new pie to your plate, you may have to choose and reorganize your priorities to accommodate this new slice (or two).
As the weekend waits at my doorstep, I am looking at my plate of pie to make sure that not only do I have a slice of each of my favorites, but that I leave some room for when the pie thief comes around because he usually does.