When you are single. You can think things like “I am going to the store and get a few things.” and it actually happens. You get dressed in a minute, if you aren’t dressed already, grab some shoes, some keys and out the door you go. You get to the store, grab the things you want, go home and get on with your life. Depending on travel time it takes maybe an hour to get this task done, may be less than 20 minutes if you live near the store.
As more people become involved in your life the ability to do anything quickly becomes virtually impossible. The straight checklist of tasks takes on several subsections. Sometimes so much so that by the time you get to the door it feels like time to take a nap. Get the kids clean enough for a public appearance, get everyone dressed, get shoes on (after spending 15 minutes to find that lost shoe) get everyone to the car, in car seats, with all the appropriate accessories for each child. Then get to the store take everyone out of their seats and off you go into the store.
Once in the store it is no longer about what you want. Sure you may be able to choose some things that you like yet now this is in balance with the choices of children and spouse of course the kids are “shopping” as well and inevitably there will be some extra merchandise in the cart by the time you get to the register. Hopefully there are no tantrums in the meantime, that just adds minutes on dealing with that and then going back for the thing you came to the store for but have since forgotten after the distraction of the tantrum.
There are times when I miss my efficient and linear life. My point A to point B life. Often looking up at the end of the day saying why the heck don’t I have anything on my to-do list done and then I remember all of the various points in between that take up the day. Yet at the end of the day quite tired sitting on the couch surrounded by people big and small who love me. I take a deep breath and remember that none of that was available to me before during the simple, linear, portion of my life.