The last three weeks have been a series of lessons in being present and in being prepared. Three weeks ago, I was at my desk doing what I do when I’m at work. I knew that ahead of me was a complicated set of costume changes that looked like this:

  1. Tuesday: Be a tech. Clear service calls like a pro.
  2. Wednesday: Be a local shop steward. Go early to the union office to clear off my desk of steward things. Discover a member standing outside the door because she heard I sometimes come in early. Clear nothing off my desk. Make a mental note to throttle the steward who booked me for a 7am meeting without telling me.
  3. Thursday: Be a tech. Clear service calls like a pro. Make my male-dominated team nuts with my non-stop chatter about the pageant. (Maybe even my single female co-worker was starting to hope I’d change the subject.)
  4. Friday: Be a tech until 4:30, then be a union RVP.
  5. Weekend: Get all the appointments and laundry done, plus go to the staff picnic. Eat a hot dog despite having declared I’m not eating junk food before the pageant. Sanctimoniously snub the chips, then steal one off my husband’s plate when he isn’t looking.
  6. Monday: Be a shop steward. Walk down the hallway to each meeting with erect posture, a hand on my hip, and a smile that is weirdly incongruent with the meeting I’m headed into.
  7. Tuesday: Be a tech. Do a full point turn and pause each time I go to the washroom, eventually walking into a stall door. Also go to the seamstress after work to get my gown hemmed.
  8. Wednesday: Hold a fundraiser at work.
  9. Thursday: Be a tech. Pick up gown.
  10. Friday: Be a union rep. Create a pageant talent and upload it! (Hooray!)
  11. Weekend: Get all the appointments and laundry done, plus pack and hit the highway and catch a ferry on Sunday afternoon.
  12. Monday to Friday: Be a union RVP. Bring the gown and practice walking in it with heels in the UBC corridors while everyone is out partying up a storm.
  13. Weekend: Laundry, nails, cook all the stuff I had picked up from the farm market on the mainland. Steam my pageant gown.
  14. Monday: Get back on the highway. Be a union RVP in a hotel. Also watch the choreography videos and try and learn “swish swish step touch.” (No success there.)
  15. Tuesday and Wednesday: Lead the regional meeting. Also take another stab at swish swish step touch. Bail and go for dinner instead, citing “That looks like future Charlotte’s problem.”
  16. Thursday: Get laundry, nails, and hair done. PACK. (That’s today, by the way.) Pointedly ignore choreography videos.
  17. Friday: Get back on the highway, catch a ferry, and head to Fort Langley for the Miss BC Pageant.

If there is one pageant talent I should have showcased, it’s time management and switching gears. I think I may be a pro at this point.

In case you’re wondering where this post is going, it isn’t going anywhere. I just realized I need to get to my nail appointment. So I guess this was just a rant.

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