Think of what words go along with the word “side.” Side-saddle. I like to think that side-saddle was the way that ladies of old England rode when they mounted their steed to follow after the hounds to kill some poor fox (unless of course if the fox out foxed the hounds). Tally Ho! Side-out. A basketball term meaning throw an out of bounds ball back into play from the side of the court to get a better chance at scoring—and scoring is a good thing. Side step. A proverbial political move, used when answering a direct and easily answered, if answered truthfully, question that sometimes is used to keep us mere mortals in the dark about things that will inevitably cost us in more taxes and fees. Shake all that off and let’s move along.
How about sidetracked? Getting sidetracked is something that happens when a task presents itself to me and that gets in the way of doing a task that I started off to do but didn’t get it done because I get sidetracked. For example…
I know I need to vacuum every week. But I really don’t like to. It isn’t that it’s hard, or not needed. It usually takes less than half an hour but it could take up to forty five minutes if I run into some hidden pile of—never mind. After this task is done the house looks better and if I use a shake-n-sniff product as I go my house could end up smelling like anything from baking soda to fresh squeezed coconut milk and Pina Coladas. I would be happy if my house didn’t have any smell to it! I am sidestepping and getting sidetracked.
A major sidetracking took place recently that you may just see yourself in… We recently had to go out of town to see some “specialty” doctor. Something that we seem to do more and more often as we, uh, mature! When we come home it is a whirlwind of activity. Unpack the car, unpack the suitcase, put away groceries, and clean the cat box… Then we just sit and fall into a welcome home coma for a while. When life comes back into our bodies the work begins again.
I don’t pay much attention to what he does because I am in my own world getting settled back into my own grove. And that is when I found how easy it is for me to get sidetracked. Visualize this…
As I get my second wind the next day and Judge Judy was ending, oh l could go on about her for what would be an overly exaggerated time, but that would sidetrack me. See how easy that happens? Step along.
I see that from the night before I missed putting away a pile of bathroom items and they were still sitting on the kitchen counter, right where they landed coming out of a grocery sack. A sack that I might add tore at the handles because the huge bottle of mouthwash was just too much for the flimsy bag. Sidetracked again…
So I head towards the pile to put away the toothpaste, earlier mentioned barrel size bottle of mouthwash, some bandages, shampoo, a six pack of bar soap and a new scrunchie for my hair that I bought because it was on sale. Two bucks! I usually make my own by crocheting these cute little things matching some that I bought in Mexico once. Oops, got sidetracked again didn’t I?
So on my way to the kitchen the phone rings, caller ID tells me it is my brother so I answer and talk to him for a while as I play with and mindlessly stack and restack the bathroom things on the counter while I sit on a stool. As the phone is cordless I moved over to the refrigerator to get something cold to drink and I saw a cantaloupe and a pineapple I bought like a week ago so I take them out to cut them up so we can have fresh fruit available when the urge hits us. Still talking on the phone. Didn’t get anything to drink. Started working on the fruit, conversation ends, good thing because I am using a freshly sharpened knife!
I cleaned the melon and cut the outside off the pineapple and put the peals and the throw away stuff in the trash that I notice is full since we filled it with packaging and bags and such from the groceries we bought on the quick overnight trip, so I thought I would run the trash out least it begin to make the house smell like old cantaloupe and sweet pineapple, like being in the islands, which would make me feel like I just vacuumed. See sidetracked back to the beginning.
How did that fruit get in the linen closet and how did that soap end up in the fridge! And there goes my other half with the vacuum. Life truly is a peach—or a pineapple!
Trina lives in Eureka. Her book ITY BITS is on Kindle. Share with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.