The fact-checking is complete and I am sending it in. I am not happy with it.

For those who are wondering what I am talking about, I have been fact-checking an entry for the state history encyclopedia. It has to do with a former Miss America from our state who appeared on the cover of Playboy and boasted about a liaison with a former president, as well as acting and making mosaics and writing a children’s book. Confirming the facts about her was not that difficult (The Expert went direct-to-DVD in 1994, in case you were wondering about that), but there was also a note on the entry asking me to try to find some good sources for her. I could not do so. Every source I came up with sniggered over her and none bothered to give any information about  her life. “Beauty queen…” and “former beauty queen” were about it for biographical information. The ones that bothered to talk about her career also generally had nude pictures of her, so you can tell the level of respect we are looking at here.

The moral of the story seems to be this: if you do a couple of scandalous things in public, it doesn’t matter how many years of other accomplishments you attain, you will always be a smutty story. Oh, if you are a woman. I should have mentioned that. I think that men can do scandalous things and still have a few articles printed that include biographical information beyond what most of us know about Nell Gwyn.

While I may not be happy with my work in this case, I am very happy to check something off my list. My to-do list does not seem to be getting any shorter. I had broken the wedding gift table runner down into bits and written some down every day, just so I could check things off, but that did not work. I was supposed to be embroidering it yesterday, but I have not yet finished the applique. So it is just another thing I can’t check off.

When I am feeling sleep-deprived and pressed for time and slightly overwhelmed, as I am right now, two things fall off the edge of my personal horizon: housekeeping and the whole exercising and eating right thing.

This is not the best thing to do. I ought to think to myself, “Here I am feeling pressured, so I should take good care of myself and provide myself with a tidy haven of cleanliness and order to come home to.” But the truth is, I let my housekeeping routine and fitness routine slip two and a half months ago at the height of Back to School, and have never really gotten back to them. Things are better in both areas than they were then, of course, but I am only sporadically keeping up: I am getting to the gym two or three times a week and managing little more in the way of housework than the HGP assignments, dishes, and laundry.

It is because these are things I can let slide without having to apologize to anyone for them. If I am unprepared to teach Sunday School, or unpracticed at rehearsal, or missing class, or not finishing expected presents, then I have let someone else down. When I only get an hour a week of exercise, don’t take the time to prepare vegetables, and leave my house in a welter of papers and fabric scraps (that’s my mess; the shoes and weights and gym clothes and stuffed sheep on the floor are someone else’s), I have only let myself down.

But that matters, too. So I am promising myself today that I will accord my regular daily schedule the same degree of importance as the things I have scheduled with other people.

Back to my applique.

After writing this, I remembered that Sighkey had asked me whether I had been falling behind at this time last year, and I went back and read my post for this date in 2005. It was also on the subject of feeling pressed for time. Am I dull or what? It also mentioned the difficulty of fitting costumes and gift-making and stuff in with gym visits, although I appear to have been content with the state of my housekeeping at the time. But that entry pointed out that I was having to carve out enough time to sit on the couch knitting and reading novels, to sew while watching movies, or to listen to practice tapes while baking cookies, all things generally considered leisure. So while I am fretting over finding time to read gossip about beauty queens and send out party invitations wihout giving up my gym time, I will strive to maintain a sense of humor about it. There is enough of the ridiculous in my complaint to keep it from being worth complaining about.