Monday, November 27, 2006

Crazy Glue on the handlebars

Thanksgiving was quite a rush. On Monday, I had a guest list of twelve adults and eight children; by Wednesday night, I was down to five adults and four kids.

An eighteen pound turkey for five adults and four children (all four of whom looked at the turkey doubtfully, and then asked for pie instead) was a little…much. If you visit the Den any time soon, don’t think you’re leaving without a gallon-sized Ziploc stuffed with turkey. Or possibly a Hefty bag.

You have been warned, people.

I must add that it was neither the scary-factor of my Den nor that people flaked out on me – everybody who didn’t come had a darned good (and mostly painful, alas) reason for not coming. I love and bless everybody who didn’t come, wish those in pain speedy recoveries and promise to inflict my cooking on them with interest come Christmas.

Thursday night, as I was shoving the last dish into the dishwasher and listening to the thundering Denizens careering around upstairs resisting arrest bedtime, I found myself pondering the idea that I had just had a day off. And that I also had Friday off. Followed by the weekend. Four whole days of (almost) no work-work.

I was pondering how strange and marvelous four whole days of loafing was when it struck me: I have been running like crazy on a treadmill for ten years.

I mentioned in my last post how tight our finances were some years ago. We were in hock for over $90,000 between credit cards and car loans, and at the time we had a combined income of just under $60,000 a year. Interest rates were soaring, and most of that debt was up at twenty percent or better. Interest payments alone were murderous.

And then the Denizens began coming along, and my husband and I turned our full attention to getting out of debt and getting our financial lives back on track.

The really strange thing isn’t that we worked out way out of that hole in ten year’s time. No, the strange and wonderful thing is that I, the kid my parents were undoubtedly sure was going to end up on a commune drumming for rain dressed in nothing but woad and feathers, focused intently on any goal for ten solid years.

That, people, is amazing. Because honestly, the only time I generally stick to anything for any real length of time is when there is an unfortunate accident involving a tube of Crazy Glue.

But you know what? I’m kind of tired of it. Just like getting stuck to the table by a nefarious tube of not-quite-as-sealed-as-you-thought-it-was Crazy Glue, the sticking to The Plan has gone on a lot longer than it really needed.

I’d like to try new things, without feeling like their failure will burn down the barn. To take the edge off the frantic pace and let things just be what they are, once in a danged while. Let things that are purely for me-me-me migrate from their desperate, tie-a-knot-and-hang-on bottom of the list creep up a notch or seven, to a position where they might actually happen.

Can’t be too much to ask, can it?

Pretty basic, right?


So! As my first act of not worrying and being nice to me, I’m going to take a shower. That’s right! Before I get caught up trying to see if this or that transaction posted hither or yon, before checking personal email or watching the evening news or even starting a healthy, hot meal for my adorable Denizens.

I’m not going to rush through it because I’ve got too much to do tonight, nor am I going to stay up late to compensate for time lost. Whatever doesn’t get done, doesn’t get done. And none of it, I’m sure, is going to cause the house to collapse in a pile of rusted bolts and broken roof tiles. (Well. I’m pretty sure, anyway.)

It’s a micro-step…but it’s a start.


Anonymous said...

I hope you have a lovely shower. I do the same thing when I paint my toenails - I can't cook dinner, tidy up, work or run to the phone when I'm painting my nails so it somehow corners just a little bit of time for me.

I cottoned onto this Time For Me concept a little while ago. I can testify to it working and the occasional absence (if you can manage it) does not result in catastrophe - rather increased appreciation of your efforts and prescence by all members of the household!

Splurge a little. You deserve it. So do I.

Anonymous said...

Good for you! :-) Enjoy your Me Time.

Very Herodotus said...

Hmmm... forgive my skepticism, but those habits you have there are mighty hard to break. How did it go?

NeedleTart said...

One of my favorite things about Hanukkah is that the "woman of the house" (that would be me!) is not supposed to do any sort of housework (cooking, cleaning, dishes, etc) while the candles are burning. When the kinder were small, that meant birthday candles in the menorah, this year I'm thinking, maybe those really big pillers.

21st Century Mom said...

So THAT's how you did it. Skipping the luxuriously long showers and decent sleep. I always wondered. I'll bet there are a few more favors you could do yourself and still live to see tomorrow. Keep THAT list growing -you've earned it.