Life maintenance tasks wait for no one. Well, they can wait for a while, but eventually they must be reckoned with. Previous October events have included getting two children’s passports renewed and filing my taxes.
This week I needed to take my car in for its 75,000-mile service. Various lights had been blinking for a while but there hadn’t been a good time to bring it in. I also needed to renew my drivers license, which can often be done online, but not if you need to get a Real ID, which I figured I should do before the May deadline (even if this deadline does keep getting pushed forward). Traveling with my passport all the time seems like it might be complicated.
I thought I would batch things — efficiency! — and use the PennDOT center right across the street from the Acura dealership. So I dropped my car on Monday morning and headed over there with all my documents, so I could be there right when they opened…and I got turned down fast. Despite PennDOT’s website claiming you could get a Real ID at lots of the service centers (they’d just mail it to you, rather than issue it over the counter) that turned out not to be true. So they told me I’d have to go to an official Real ID service center.
(Sadly, since I’d figured the morning with a wait time at the PennDOT center, my husband couldn’t come pick me up for a bit…I started walking home and made it over a mile…so at least I got my “move by 3 p.m.” rule done.)
I had a window on Thursday, so I drove to the Real ID center in King of Prussia, and found a line out the door. The security guard I started talking to (because I was stuck in line…) said it was often that bad, though the line got shorter while I was there, so I guess I chose the absolute wrong time. In any case, once I got to the window after they called my ticket it was quick enough (55 minutes after I got there) and I now have a shiny new Real ID — with my 2018 picture, which they let me keep! — that is valid until 2026. But I realized, as I saw several groups of two there at the center…that I will be back with my teenager in a few months. Oh, wow.
(He will be driving my 11-year-old car, which is why it’s important to keep it in good working order!)
Bonus life maintenance tasks: Four out of five children chose Halloween costumes, and those four have all shown up. The 2-year-old elected to be Mike from Monsters Inc because he really wanted the one-eye costume and it is the cutest thing ever.
And four out of five kids (a different four) got their flu shots last night! My husband and I had been trying to find a window for this (the weekend schedule is now a multi-page document so I wasn’t sure a weekend slot was happening…) He got appointments at a local clinic yesterday evening. The teenager had his math tutoring so he was exempt, and I had choir, but everyone else is done. Next up: making appointments for everyone’s well-child checks. Well, and the holidays. But I’m not thinking about that yet.
In other news: I continue to do lots of interviews for Tranquility by Tuesday. Sometimes I do well. Sometimes, maybe less so. Yesterday, I did a 5 p.m. interview — at which point I am not always at my best — and despite the host having been lovely enough to have me on that particular show before, I forgot that he asks a lightning round of questions including “favorite quote” and others. My brain went completely blank and I could not think of a quote in the entire universe of quotes. Sigh. I can just hope there’s lots of editing…
I wanted to reshare a few recent podcast appearances! Here’s the episode of Hustle and Grace where I talk about TBT.
Do you listen to the Before Breakfast podcast? This week I was talking about how to “Feed Your Mind” and “Keep Your Legos” — both featuring advice from the lovely Mary Laura Philpott. I also talked about how you can “Prepare for a Grief Anniversary.”
I’ll be releasing the third TBT In Real Life video this weekend, so come visit the blog tomorrow for a link to that!
Photo: Another from last week’s big adventure in upstate New York