23 Things I Could Be Doing With That Hour I’m About to Lose

by Deborah Copaken
Originally Published: 

Hold on. I need a few minutes here—spring forward, so that means I…um…—wait, I’ve almost got it…

No! Nooooooo! Please don’t take that hour away from me! Seriously, whoever you are, oh clock keepers of the world, I am a single working mother who is already so far behind on her chores and responsibilities that if I lose that hour, the pile of unopened mail on the shelf by the front door will definitely sit there for another month. If not longer.

In fact, herewith, a list of 23 things I could be doing (aside from sleep, duh) with that hour I’m about to lose:

1. Clean the house: We’re not just talking straightening. I mean my dust bunnies are giving birth to dust bunnies. In fact, they are probably dust bunny grandparents by now.

2. Take a bath: I actually don’t remember the last time I had enough time to soak in a bath. Probably when I was pregnant with my eldest. Who’s in college.

3. Read a book for longer than my commute to and from work: I’ve been reading Kim Gordon’s Girl in a Band on my tiny iPhone screen in 30-minute, squished-between-other-subway-passenger stretches. That book deserves a whole hour of my uninterrupted time, if not more. Have you read it? It’s so good! Well, at least the part I’ve been able to get through.

4. Do my taxes: No, actually, fuck that. I wouldn’t spend my precious extra hour on taxes. They’ll get done. Somehow.

5. Find a magic wand: Wave it over the taxes.

6. Have sex: Or at least go on a date that could possibly lead to such an activity.

7. Take my 8-year-old out for a walk: I live across the street from Manhattan’s only natural forest. You’d think the kid and I would be out there every day, channeling our inner Thoreau. You’d be wrong.

8. Shop for groceries: No, wait. First I’d have to…

9. Clean out the refrigerator: Wipe down all those unidentifiable stains. Oh my God, look at that! The mold on that lemon looks like a mix between Gorbachev’s birthmark and Florida.

10. Write something not related to my job: You know, like those long books I used to churn out, the ones that take a year or more to produce. Which we’re all too busy to read anyway. Oh, well. Enjoy the listicle!

11. Go to an actual yoga class—not the one in my computer.

12. Smell the roses: Or at least the daffodils. Here in New York, we know it’s about to be spring when the daffodils sprout in the buckets outside the delis. We’re super in touch with nature like that.

13. Make art: And no, doodles on the back of my kids’ homework while chatting on the phone does not count.

14. Go on a bike ride: Or, wait. That would require the streets to be free of snow. Never mind.

15. Organize my digital photos: So I can actually find that one of my eldest son wielding his sword in a pink tutu and birthday hat. Actually, I’d probably need 60 days for that, not 60 minutes. Hopefully I can find it in time for his wedding.

16. Sit down for my cup of morning coffee like they do in commercials—instead of downing it while standing up making breakfast, lunch, inroads into last night’s dishes, and a greasy mess on my phone as I simultaneously catch up on email.

17. Laundry: Or I guess I could just order some more cheap socks and underwear online.

18. Meditate: With the dog locked in another room, so he doesn’t lick my fingers. You think I’m joking? I am not. I have proof.

© Sasha Kogan

19. Watch a TV show: I hear there are many good ones on right now. I’m still catching up on old Sopranos episodes. What did I miss?

20. Sit on my bed and stare out the window. Seriously, I need to do more of this in my life. We all do.

21. Pick up the dry cleaning: I’m pretty sure there are items still sitting there that date back to the Pleistocene era.

22. Play/practice guitar: True story: My daughter and I started taking lessons together a little over a year ago. I already knew most of the chords; she had to learn everything from scratch. At the end of three months, she’d so far surpassed my abilities, simply by virtue of her having carved out the time to practice, it no longer made sense for us to take lessons together. That’s right, folks. I’m a guitar school drop out. And my daughter’s about to play a gig at Webster Hall.

23. Have lunch with a friend: If I still even have friends after the way I’ve been neglecting them.*

*Dear friends, if you’re reading this far, bravo. That was a long list! How did you have time to get to the end? Please, tell me your secrets. I need to know. Also, I love you. Want to have lunch with me? Not this Sunday: They’re taking away one of my hours. But soon. Very soon. I promise. When the last one leaves for college. Or when the snow melts. Whichever comes first.

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