Let Me Tell You About My Day

This was a day doomed to fragmentation and distraction before it even began. First there was the doctor’s appointment I had to schedule for a child in the middle of the morning. It was for one of those not-emergencies, but have checked as soon as convenient type issues. Middle of this morning was the soonest non-emergency appointment, so off we went. As suspected, nothing alarming, just some routine blood work and advice. Except “blood work” never feels routine until you’ve had lots of experience with needles, which my kids thankfully have not. So we got to deal with post-adrenaline reactions that required extra food and attention. Again, not a big deal, just important. We went almost six years with hardly ever seeing a doctor, but in the last twelve months it feels like we’re making up for that in minor complaints that still need attention. Whee.

So my plan for the day was to work on scout stuff (about which I will have many words in a moment) for the hour between kids off to school and the doctor appointment. Except then the Kickstarter approval came in. Howard has spent the last month thinking about a challenge coin project. He’s agonized over price points and possibilities. He had spread sheets and kept adjusting them. He had everything ready to go, except that Kickstarter likes there to be a video to go with a project. Howard asked me to help with the video. So as the kids were getting ready for school, I rearranged the furniture in the front room to set up a mini-film studio. This included setting up our convention banner and book display. It also meant shoving aside all the boxes of merchandise that I still haven’t put away after LTUE. I even brought up a stand lamp to provide some additional lighting. The kids waved goodbye and we were ready to film when Howard’s friend Richard called to talk about the Kickstarter project. Richard is something of an expert, so the call went on for awhile. I went downstairs to work on scout things while Howard conversed.

I am our scout troops Advancement Chair. This means I hold the password to the online record keeping system and the responsibility to make sure that all paperwork is filed correctly. I hold this job as a service to the men and boys in my congregation who love scouting. When I speak with them and hear the boys talking about their experiences, I’m glad to give the service. However, the BSA loves paperwork. It is crazy with the quantity of forms, reports, and signatures. Each level of achievement has its own process. In theory I can do all of the work from my house on my computer. The actual amount of work should take me 30 minutes of data entry. The online system is so very slow that I sometimes have to wait five minutes between page loads, and the process requires many page loads. If I’m loading a roster, that can take twenty minutes. It is ridiculous and infuriating. I could use more words to describe exactly how I feel about having my time wasted, but I think that’s all I’m going to say about that.

I began scout things, accomplished no scout things in forty minutes, helped Howard film video, went to the doctor, came home, and spent an additional thirty minutes attempting scout things from home. I was more successful when I drove over to the scout office where I was very nice to the local scout employees who did not build the system and do not deserve my ire. I did make extensive use of the online survey which asks about my experience with their system. It asked me once for each report. I had to do five reports. I used different words each time that survey box opened up. I doubt it will do any good. But I departed the office will all my scout work done and ready for Boards of Review in the evening.

My brain was then fried. But kids had to be retrieved from school. Patch had to immediately turn around and head off to cub scouts. Link needed direction to some money earning jobs around the house. I was supposed to supply dinner, but mostly threw a pizza into the oven. Then the start time for the Board of Review had to be adjusted earlier to accommodate a scout. Also two additional scouts needed rank advancements, and there were three merit badges which had not been mentioned to me. Tomorrow will feature another trek to the scout office, three more reports, purchasing all the badges, and assembling everything for the Court of Honor.

I came home just in time for Howard to start his Kickstarter. Three minutes later it had funded and five minutes after that it had surpassed all the listed stretch goals. Howard and I spent the next hour frantically updating with new stretch goals, adding funding options, and triple checking to make sure we did not accidentally over-promise anything. Having a project fund quickly is really exciting, but kind of scary because there is no time to consider calmly. We had to throw things up in a frantic hurry to keep up with the demonstrated enthusiasm. We’re still playing catch up. We need to add tiers and stretch goals, but our brains are tired from all the math. Howard’s spread sheets were useless in the first fifteen minutes. Now we need to make entirely new spreadsheets and Howard has to design additional coins that he didn’t expect to have to do until at least next week. So we can put that into tomorrow along with our regular work.

So tomorrow already features: Scout stuff. Kickstarter stuff. Putting my front room back together. Picking up the prescription the doctor gave us. Returning the movies I checked out from the library for the kids to watch during LTUE. Signing tax papers. Oh, and did I mention Gleek gets her braces put on tomorrow?

All of this is swirling in my head as I realize I really should have put the younger kids to bed thirty minutes earlier. That is only half done when Kiki realizes that we’ve missed a scholarship application deadline. And I start trying to make sense of it all by writing a really long blog post.

So now three fourths of my children are in bed. The Kickstarter looks like it will pass the latest stretch goal before we get up tomorrow morning. And I kind of want things to hold still for awhile just so that I can see what they all are.