One Day I Will Rule the World

World Domination, Babies and Middle Eastern Dance

May 30, 2012

The Weight You Carry

Ian: I’ll be right back

Me: Okay, I’ll either be sitting here feeling sorry for myself or I’ll finally jump up and do something productive.

Ian: No chance you could just sit and enjoy the peace and quiet in a relatively clean sun-room?

Me: I don’t know how to do that.

Ian: <chuckles>

Me: I’M NOT KIDDING!

Ian: You need to stop being so British.

Me: I don’t know how you do that, either.

* * *

We celebrated Rachel’s Birthday this last weekend. Apparently all she wants is pierced ears and to have her hair dyed blue. Having done a kool-aid dye of her hair once, about  a year ago, I was all, “Oh no, I am not putting myself through that again.” And Ian said, “she’s older now. It’ll be fine. I’ll do it.”

So on the weekend we picked up some Punky’s. The dye-deed still hasn’t been done because he then found that he was missing rubber gloves. He doesn’t, for some reason, want to spend the next week in the office with blue hands. Fancy.

But anyhow, he’s out picking up rubber gloves right now. Possibly also picking up some Turtles for me and my dark self-pity.

It’s not as awful as I’m making it sound. I just feel overwhelmed and inadequate. “That’s just because you have too many things going on at once,” Ian said. Which is probably true. But most of the things I have going on are obligations to friends and family, so at the same time as I’m feeling spread too thin, I am unable to bring myself to ditch any of them, and also wracked with guilt that the things I’ve promised aren’t getting the first-rate care they deserve. (To any obligatees reading this, this is not meant to guilt you! I love you all and I want to do these things for you. I’m just either over-committed or a first-rate whinger.)

The last couple weekends have been spent working on my mom’s kitchen. Last weekend Ian and I spent Friday and Saturday working on the tiling, almost 10am to 10pm. Then on Sunday, we tried to celebrate Rachel’s birthday. But we’d had our heads down on the kitchen right up to the last minute so we weren’t able to round up everyone we should have and the lunch was just thrown together and we didn’t have any activity for afterwards and then actually I missed Rachel’s birthday supper because as soon as I’d picked up the Punky’s, I ran to my mom’s house to throw some grout into some of the tiles.

Then Monday evening, I had to run out to a neighbouring town to do a dance practice. But I wanted also to make Rachel’s birthday supper up to her. So, although I had to run off at 6:45, I made homemade pizza for supper and threw on a batch of brownies. I also took Hannah to Home Depot for tiling supplies and debugged my list application some. Rachel seemed happy with the pizza and brownies, but I still felt inadequate about it because I was shoveling pizza in my mouth, texting a friend I had to pick up and yelling, “help yourself to a brownie” as I ran out the door.

Also, I was half an hour late getting to the practice.

Today I put together a website proposal, which is always hard, hard work for me because as an introvert, and a developer (and a people-pleaser), I’m a little too likely to get caught up in the excitement of what I could develop and make casual, excited promises. I’m so excited to develop things sometimes that I forget that, really, at some point, it will be important to me to have charged something fair for it. After that, I spent a couple of hours fighting with the FTP for a friend’s non-profit site because I’ve decided to do more volunteering, except my schedule is a gong show and I can’t possibly coordinate a weekly time when I can commit to getting out of the house – so something that I can do at home and work around the kids is much more possible. I still have not worked out the FTP issues, I’m waiting for her web-host to get back to me and hoping she doesn’t feel let down that I can’t move things faster.

While I waited on her web-host, I spent some time working on my list app and ran into a road block with what php extensions are installed on my server. It’s a simple fix, but it was 2:00 and I still hadn’t fed Hannah lunch, so I wrote myself notes on where to start tomorrow and ran off to fix up a sandwich for her. I’m always scrambling.

I have a friend who’s taking classes in naturopathy and needed to conduct a number of guided meditation sessions in order to complete a course. At the time that I volunteered, she had something like eleven days left in which to do it and the first day in my schedule that I could offer her was six days out, so I figured that, even though things were shaping up like I desperately needed a night to myself, I better schedule for the Tuesday and either have the night to mysef on another night, or else meditate so great that it would pretty much be like a night to myself. So that was tonight.

It happens, though, that my house is a disaster.  So after working until too late in the day, snapping at Hannah to go watch some more tv because I have to work right now, and then feeding her a late, inadequate lunch, I ran around the house cleaning up as much as I could, trying to make it presentable and also to clear a meditatable space. Ian arrived home at 5:30 and took over cleaning because I didn’t have supper started and my friend was coming around 6:30. I whipped up spaghetti and then did some more tidying – but the kitchen was still horrible to the point of having supper-dishes from three nights ago in the sink and tupperware containers with moldy things in them sitting on the counter, waiting for someone to bravely open, dump and wash them.

After the meditation, when my friend went to leave, we had to pry our daughters apart because they’ve been friends for a long time and haven’t seen eachother in months. So she invited me to bring Hannah over tomorrow afternoon to play in their yard. And… ugh, I know Hannah’s lonely and bored at home with her cranky mother all the time, so I said I’d love to – even though I will then have to run home and throw together another harried supper in order for us to get Rachel to her ear-piercing appointment on time. And also, tomorrow’s already Wednesday and I know I haven’t got enough done on my app or my friend’s site to feel at all adequate about my week and I won’t be able to get enough done by 3:00  tomorrow to want to jump up and run to a play-date. But getting Hannah out of the house and the chance to socialize is the right thing to do.

Then Thursday, I have a date with some friends for a noon yoga class because, holy crap, my body is falling apart. I spent last weekend almost in tears from the low back pain and cramping in my hamstrings and realized I haven’t done a yoga class since March. This will entail leaving Hannah in the gym’s supervised daycare. Hopefully that goes well, I’ve never done anything like that before. After that I’m going to spend the afternoon with those friends, either sewing or running a dance choreography or something. That part I am entirely and completely looking forward to – except for the part where I will realize that my week is over and I have accomplished little bits of things for other people, but nothing worth being proud of and absolutely nothing worth noting on my own development. After that, we have four hours of dance practice which will probably undo all the yoga good. Friday is Ian’s last Friday off in his row of Fridays off and I desperately want to make the most of it (ie, sit in the back yard in the sun, sipping coffee and doing nothing all day? Or even putzing with reclaimed wood in the garage?) but shall probably spend it on running errands. I have an 11:00 appointment. Also, I never went for my blood tests and it will be easiest if I can do it when Ian can stay with Hannah.

And then it’s the weekend and my mom’s kitchen isn’t done, so we’ll probably be working on it. Though we think our part of the work is winding down, we also know that we say that to ourselves every week of a project. Furthermore, once we are done, Ian has to get back to working on the basement stairs and I will be picking up another non-profit website project and I need to finish my aunt’s alpaca throw (AGAIN NOT MEANT TO GUILT YOU BECAUSE I LOVE YOU, AND I WANT TO DO IT FOR YOU AND YOU DESERVE IT!) and probably also need to sew a bunch of dance costumes because performances are only seven weeks away.

Whew. I don’t know if there was any point to any of that for you guys. Nor did it really ease any of the stress for me. But maybe it has left me a little bit more charitable about Ian’s assessment that I would feel more adequate if I had less to do.

To put myself outside of this for a moment, this is one of the things I sometimes say to friends in distress, and maybe you can use this too: When you’re carrying the most weight is when you’re being the most strong, but you’ll feel the most weak. It’s because you can’t see how much you’re carrying, you only see your knees tremble and your muscles threaten to give out. But signs of exertion aren’t signs of weakness, they’re signs of great effort. Weakness looks like no effort at all.

4 ResponsesLeave one →

  1. MEGAN ALEXANDRA CHEESBROUGH STOP BEING SO RIDICULOUS YOU ARE DOING THE BEST JOB AND YOU ACCOMPLISH MORE IN ONE MINUTE THAN I DO IN A MONTH SO CALM DOWN AND REVEL IN HOW TALENTED AND WONDERFUL YOU ARE FOR A BIT.

    jesus.

    Reply
    • I’m pretty sure “Stop Being Ridiculous” is what my Biography would be titled.

      By that I mean I do know I’m being ridiculous. But also, it’s not about how much I accomplish compared to other people. I just want everyone to feel 100% cared for.

      Thank you for all the (exasperated) affirmation, though. I love you too.

      Reply
  2. Deborah

     /  2012-05-30

    YES. And go an enjoy that coffee in the back yard!

    Because we all love you lots and lots and we appreciate all to pieces everything you do, and we don’t want you to fall apart doing them. Dammit all.

    Reply
  3. Alison

     /  2012-05-30

    Everything they said, and also, I think the alpaca throw should absolutely take a back seat to everything else. It’s summer: I wouldn’t be able to put it over me anyhow because it would be too warm.

    One of my mottoes to live by is : Attempt less: achieve more. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.

    Reply

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