Thursday is one of my favorite days of the week. The babies are at their nursery all day long and I have the day to myself to work, get in a run, and maybe enjoy some sunshine. This week Winston is on vacation (spring break) and we have plans to see a movie in the afternoon. The challenge with one whole day to myself is that it is too easy to fill it up with stuff and not get it all done! I have been working on that feeling of “success” by making a plan the night before.

Today I had a plan. I got up, I wrangled the kids into clothes, and food into their bellies and then got us out the door. My husband had made a 9 AM appointment with the local mechanic for his car, so I also moved the car seats from my car to his, so I didn’t have to make two runs across town. I dressed in my running shoes and I headed out the door. I made it to the mechanic only about 20 minutes late.

At the mechanic, they said, “Oops! We meant to make the appointment for Friday.” I said “On the paper right here you wrote “jeudi.” The guy responded, “yeah, that was me, I wrote it, but I wasn’t thinking. I made the appoint for Friday. The parts come in today.” Out the door went my plan. And then I thought, well, the husband is gone, if they can have the car done my noon tomorrow, we are still good. I explained the situation to the mechanic. He agreed. They will try and get it done today (dependent on part arrival), but will DEFINITELY have it done my tomorrow noon. Ok. I left the car. And I ran home.

I literally ran home. It actually only took me 18 minutes. I felt great and I discovered that it is exactly 3 km from the mechanic to my front door. I’d expected it to be longer. It is a boring drive. Sometimes it seems soooooooooo far just to go to the grocery store, which is located in the same shopping center as the mechanic.

It started me thinking about our dependence on cars. Before I moved to France, I thought that Americans were more dependent on their cars than the French. This is not true. American big city dwellers (New York, Chicago) that have good public transportation don’t use cars any more than French big city dwellers (Paris, Toulouse). Smaller town and rural French communities are completely dependent on their cars. I think I have in fact spent more time in my car here in France, than I did when I lived in the US.

I only live 3 km from the grocery store. This is a totally bikeable distance and even a walkable distance. If only. If only there were actually sidewalks. About ⅔ of my route home I ran on a dirt trail next to the traffic, which was passing me at a rate of 50 kph to 70 kph (30 mph to 45 mph). I also don’t live that far from the Creche (the babies’ nursery). The creche is half-way through one of my 30 minute running routes. Theoretically, I could easily walk the kids to the creche in the stroller and run home it would probably take me 45 minutes round-trip. Maybe I should start doing this a few times a week.

It also got me thinking that I could take a longer run all the way into Bayonne and along the river. A 10k from my door to the Ardour. Not a bad idea at all! When I got home, the sun was shining and I decided to do a little yoga for runners and my core work-out. My run had after all only taken me 18 minutes, which is not a complete workout. 30 minutes later I was inside taking a shower and getting ready to work. The best part of coming home was walking into the house. W had cleaned all the parts of the house that count. The kitchen counter, the dishes in the sink and the floor in our hall entry and the living room. These places seem to have a special sort of gravity for stuff. I am always cleaning them and they are always dirty. (Before you get too excited, he cleaned the house in exchange for mom taking him to the movies this afternoon.)

Besides, Folgers in your cup, the best way to start my work day is both a run and a clean house. Of course, shortly after I sit down to start working I get a call from the Creche. C is ill and they want me to come get him. For better or worse, his car seat is at the mechanic and so I explained that I cannot come get him until I get the car seat at 16h00. C is in good hands, and today I need to do something with my big kid. The kid who takes care of his baby brother and sister, makes them laugh, changes their diapers, and even sleeps in the same room with them. He could sleep upstairs in peaceful calmness, but big bubba prefers to sleep near his little bubbas. It is adorable.

And so now, with a few hours of work under my belt, my 30 minutes of writing in and lunch in my belly, I am off to see Boss Baby with my 9-year-old baby. I can’t wait. We might even get popcorn.