Last night, I was sitting in a Walmart parking lot while the rain beat down on the van roof, snuggled under my blankets with the dog on my feet, and I was killing time. I was annoyed with myself for killing time, because there really wasn’t any need for it. I had everything I needed to use my time productively — to work on my book, to answer emails, to write a blog post, even to cook a healthy dinner.
But I just didn’t want to.
I was on my way from Boston to Allentown, my second day of several hours of driving in a row, and the rain was so oppressive that I’d pulled over to wait it out. That turned into spending the afternoon in a parking lot, which then stretched into an evening in a parking lot and a night in a parking lot.
And for whatever reason, I just couldn’t bring myself to do anything other than… wait. Kill time. I opened comfort rereads and closed them again. I played iPad games and quit out of them. I snacked on things that didn’t require dishes or cooking. I felt like was sitting in a doctor’s office, waiting for my name to be called, and I just couldn’t focus on anything. Or maybe in an airport, waiting to board the plane. I was too busy waiting to get anything done.
I was annoyed with myself. It’s not like I think every minute of my life has to be packed with productivity, but I’ve got plenty to do, including finishing a book. I think I can probably blame it on the driving — even though I’d only been on the road for three hours or so, driving tires me out. But I am on the road again and I do want to be productive while I’m on the road, so I’m just going to have to do better. No more killing time! (She types, having just spent at least two hours watching shapes drop from the sky in an iPad game. But at least I opened the computer up eventually!)
At any rate, today I left my parking lot, had a very pretty drive through a scenic area of the Catskills, and made my way to Allentown. The big event of the afternoon was that I convinced my niece (who just started high school) to cut my hair. As I said to her, it’s just hair. I envisioned her taking off an inch or two in about two minutes, snip, snip, snip. Instead, she was painstaking and careful, but I failed to warn her that wet hair gets shorter when it dries. I now have a very cute A-line bob and my hair is the shortest it’s been in many years. Ha. I can’t even put it into a ponytail. She did a great job, though. I might try to convince her to help me dye the tips turquoise tomorrow, if we have time.
On Sunday, I’ll head south. I’m going to go slowly — no miserably long driving days, just a few hours and then a rest day — in the hope that I can finish the book while I’m on the road. I’m so close. Another week would have done it, but traveling is such a distraction. It’s hard to write and drive at the same time. Oh, well, I’ll get there eventually — I always do!