It’s a Check! Yay! Crap, No It’s Not.

Last week, Pookie had the week off of work. This meant, whether planned or not, I took a vacation, too.

To be honest, it was a working vacation. We helped move/build the set for the upcoming production of Willy Wonka in which Kaye, Pookie, and I are all performing. We cleaned. We visited family (OK, that’s not really work, but you get the idea). We cleaned some more.

Notice what isn’t there? That’s right, not a whole lot of writing. I did get some plotting done and I wrote about 2,000 words for my WIP, so I didn’t skip it all together. But all of that happened in one day. The rest of the week? Nothing.

Today, Pookie is back at work, and my house is spotless. (We seriously moved all of the furniture out of every room, vacuumed and cleaned the floors, dusted/vacuumed the furniture, and brought it back in. Not a fun way to spend a vacation.)

Last night, I was excited, thinking about the week of writing ahead. I was motivated to write, excited to get back on track.

Then I looked at my calendar.

Today, I have most of the day free. Tomorrow isn’t too bad either, just a doctor’s appointment with my grandmother. No big deal, I should be home by lunch time. So far, so good.

Then came Wednesday. Jury Duty. Crap. Even better? In a county that always starts with number 1 when calling jurors, my number is 5.

I remember the day the summons came in the mail, looking very much like a check. At first I was excited, thinking someone wanted to give us money. Then I saw the return address—Jury Clerk’s Office. My heart sank. There was no money, just a demand for my time.

Now, I am torn on this. I have always wanted to serve on a jury. I have talked to many people who have been picked to serve on a jury, and they said it is pretty cool. So, a part of me thinks it may be not be to bad.

Here’s the problem. I am a planner. I plan my weeks out, usually on Friday afternoon (when I don’t take a week off). First I set a list of goals for the week. Then, day-by-day, I decide what I am going to do when in order to accomplish those goals. Without that plan, I tend to get nothing done.

I figured I would just plan around it. So, I looked at the information from the jury clerk. An average trial can last from one to twelve days.

Seriously? Really? I mean, that is no help at all.

At this point, I start to panic. How do I plan? Do I count on only being there for one day? The rest of the week? The rest of the month?

The answer: I can’t. I am going to have to fly by the seat of my pants until this is through. Hopefully I will only be there for a day or two. If not, I will figure it out. I can always write in the evenings. I will just banish Pookie to the back yard. Or I can hit Panera with Kaye. (OK, that may not be the best idea. We tend to have issues getting anything done when we are together.)

Heck, I’m an insomniac, so I can always write at 3 am. That may not help me stay awake during testimony, but it will help me meet my word count. 🙂

So, with less than 48 hours to go, I am vowing not to stress over it. I will ignore the appointment I have at 2:30 on Thursday afternoon. And the three I have next week. Chances are, I can still make them. For all I know, they could decide they don’t need any jurors at all this Wednesday. (HA!)

Can someone remind me I said this on Wednesday?

Are you a planner or are you more of a spur-of-the-moment person? If you are a planner, do you freak out when an unknown leaves your plans up in the air? For those of you who aren’t attached to your calendar, do you have any advice for me as I attempt to detach myself from my Blackberry and its little alerts that it is time to make dinner? (No, I am not really that bad. I let Pookie’s rumbling stomach tell me that one! 🙂 )

About Susi Borath

Susi Borath finds time to write between freelance marketing jobs, minor league baseball games, creating new cookie recipes, and juggling more laundry than any two people should be able to produce. You can find more about her at or follow @susiborath on Twitter.
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3 Responses to It’s a Check! Yay! Crap, No It’s Not.

  1. Kaye Peters says:

    Ever since I could remember I carried around a calendar and I would write down school assignments, rehearsals, practices, extracurricular activities and meetings, I would highlight them, too, in different colors so as not to get confused.

    I would even get excited if I had to cross things off and move things around because then my schedule looked like I had a life. 🙂

    I love to be organized and plan out my days. Thankfully for my sanity I don’t put too much stock into it. However, I try to keep things in perspective because with kids there is no such thing as a schedule, at least not in my house. We have what we call a “suggestive schedule”. Its a schedule that we’d like to keep but don’t have high hopes for following it.

    I’ve learned to let things fall as they may. If I can control it, great, if not, eh, there’s always tomorrow.

    • Savana Quinn says:

      I got into the habit of planning every minute when I was in school full time, and now I am having a hard time breaking it. I am trying, but not doing so well.

      On a positive note, it is going to be 80 degrees and sunny today. All the snow is gone. Perfect weather to sit outside and write. Or read. It will depend on what I get done this morning. (I am attempting to approach the entire week sans schedule. We’ll see how that goes.) 🙂

  2. Hilary Clark says:

    I plan things out…appointments on the calendar, writing and chores on the to-do list, but allow for flexibility if something fun pops up to do. If I’d received a jury summons, I’d immediately be calling anyone I had an appointment with and discuss re-scheduling. I’d panic if I got selected for the jury and had to call to change an appointment at the last minute. On the plus side, if you do get selected, just think of the people-watching and plot ideas that you can collect!!

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