I got a call from a women’s magazine the other day. They wanted to know how women could be more efficient.
“How do you save time?” they asked me. I’ve been interviewed by lots of magazines and I have learned to pose this gentle question before offering my own opinions: “What are your other sources saying?” The interviewer replied, “Well, there was a physicist who thought it was a good idea to make lunches in advance for her children to take to school.”
I imagined a subatomic refrigerator filled with seven years’ worth of Fluffernutter sandwiches.
“Fascinating. What else did they say?” I purred.
“The CFO of a large company suggested that no one should allow a piece of paper to pass over her desk twice.”
This sounded like some kind of weird ritual, one my Sicilian grandmother might have used to ward off evil spirits. “No, no. Get that piece of paper away. It was already over the desk. Look what you did! Now you’ll bring bad luck on this house.” The CFO probably meant that it’s better to deal with issues as soon as they arise. But that once-over-the-desk policy is just as likely to happen in my house as the Frozen Fluffernutter Regime.
But then I thought–wildly–that perhaps I should be honest in my answer. So I thought about how I actually spend most of my time during the day. I realized that, like a lot of other middle-aged women, I spend most of my day in apologizing, justifying, explaining, and asking for forgiveness.