Saturday, August 6, 2011

Past Deadline: Random Summer Math

Three weeks ago – that’s 21 days ago – I wrote a column about working from home while the kids were off for the summer. That was roughly 14 days into the summer holiday.

Here we are, about 22 days in, with about 34 days left to go. That’s 816 hours before school starts. I would go as far as to suggest that 238 of those hours will be spent sleeping, but that’s just crazy talk because everyone knows nobody sleeps that much around here – except maybe Groom-boy. I might be able to snag 170 hours of sleep, which sure sounds like a lot.

Incidentally, there are about 50,000 minutes until school starts, but who’s counting?

I’m not complaining, by the way, I am just doing a little math here. I love math. Really. Ask anyone.

I remember when I was a kid, my mother and her mother (Nanny) used to sometimes head off to Watertown, N.Y. for a week of shopping in the summer. Maybe it was because our dollar was doing really well against the U.S. greenback in those days; I’m not really sure and I haven’t done the research.

I remember my brother and I being intrigued by the fact Dad was doing the cooking. I remember him cooking fish and doing a great job. I remember Mom and Nanny coming back with food products we couldn’t get here and telling us about their motel and what they ate for lunch while hanging out to watch the Y&R. I also remember them telling us about how American restaurants served their lunches on platters and that they probably could have shared one meal and still come away with leftovers.

I don’t remember spending a lot of time dwelling on the fact that Mom and Nanny took off for a week. Maybe I did – I was a worrier and probably needed to know the exact details of the why and how and when.

Seven days away from home – that’s 168 hours. I betcha about 49 of those hours featured uninterrupted sleep. If you tend to eat breakfast, lunch and supper, that’s 21 meals cooked and served by someone else.

That’s zero dishes to wash.

Whoa. Now THAT’s a likeable zero!

Now, I should clarify, I am glad to be able to spend time at home with the kids over the summer, but as we get beyond day 20 and they start to squabble and squeal at each other more often, sometimes my last nerve gets exposed.

That’s never a good thing.

This happens because during summer holidays routines get dishevelled and, well, I am Type A. I like routine. It is hard for me to just go with the flow. I am not the poster child for living in the moment. In fact, my calculations show I can only relax approximately 2 per cent of the time (based on no one’s science but my own).

So, 2 per cent of one hour is 1.2 minutes. That’s 28.8 minutes of every day. This means I’m not even relaxed when I am sleeping, really.

( may have not noticed this before, but sometimes I am prone to hyperbole.)

Anyway, this does not bode well for the remaining 34 days. It works out to about 980 minutes of relaxation – a mere 16 hours.

A really good way to throw this math off kilter (besides having me do the calculations), is to add another variable: a vacation.

Good idea! Based on the above, one would assume that vacation should happen pretty much immediately in order to alleviate the relaxation deficit. In fact, it probably should have started about 11 days (264 hours, 15,840 minutes) ago in order to have been super effective and timely.
Except...the raving lunatics in this family (present company included) thought it would be a good idea to wait until the end of August to do it. That’s about 23 days away (552 hours, 33,120 minutes). I will be relaxed for about 11 hours of that time.

Incidentally, that’s about 69 meals left to serve before we go to a cottage where I will be, well, serving more meals – but at least it’s a change of scenery.

Oh and Mom? I totally get it.
Published in The Perth Courier, Aug. 4/11

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