I love having a plan, a detailed goal that I can accomplish based on my own timeline. When I was seven, for example, I made a list of things I wanted to purchase. 1. Olivia Newton John record 2. Red clogs 3. Beaded moccasins 4. Mrs. Grossman stickers.
I included the cost of each item, as well as when, based on chores and allowance and collecting out-of-town neighbors’ mail, I’d have saved the money. I got that Olivia Newton John record. The moccasins and stickers too. My parents gave me shiny red clogs for Christmas.
I kept up this planning into my adult years. After college, when my best friends started moving away to pursue promotions or grad school or men, I found myself happily teaching high school English. But I was lonely. Right around that time, my boyfriend, Fritz, dumped me (over the phone). Then we got back together. Then he dumped me again (over the phone). Without my besties or even a douche-canoe like Fritz, I needed a plan to combat my loneliness. So I made another list: People I’d Like to Spend More Time With. And then I set about the task of getting unlonely.
Along with plans and goals, I love efficiency. The day I found a chocolate chip cookie recipe where I wasn’t required to put the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ones in another, only to combine them? Halleluyah! Efficiency and one less bowl to wash!
I am equally efficient when I fold laundry or grocery shop or walk my kids to school. Some of this appreciation for efficiency is based on my DNA, some on my upbringing. Growing up in California where drought was common, I learned to take two-minute showers. These days, as it costs about $8 million to fill our old oil furnace, I wear a jacket to avoid turning up the heat. Why waste heat when I’m the only one home? If my husband leaves his breakfast plate on the counter, I brush off the toast crumbs and have my son use that same plate. My signature? Not Sarah Reed Callender, but SCall. I like to do things quickly, and I don’t like waste. [Read more…]