Wednesday, June 2, 2010

And here is how a person drowns under a pile of laundry ...

You know how you can drown under four inches of water? And you think, how did that person not just get up?

And then there is the person who can swim, who knows themself and what they are doing, and who does this all the time. But if they swim out too far, if they overestimate their strength, or if there is a freak wave or a storm, the experienced and the strong will still drown.

Enough with the metaphors.

Coming off our "three-day weekend" (never a reality for a person who works at a church but the rest of my family had a 3 day weekend), I had spent my normal Day Off (mondays) engaged in family activities and then taking advantage of a few sunny hours at home to work in my garden. The garden and yard work windows between heavy rain are so brief right now, that I have to go out and take advantage of any of them I can.

So we get to Tuesday, and I think I did enough on the holiday because I managed to do the weekly bathroom cleaning and take out the trash. And I have a plan for Tuesday, a plan that doesn't work.

We have no food in the house right now (should have gone shopping during the weekend instead of driving out of town to see my extended family), so I stop at a coffee shop to get the kids and me breakfast, then I drop Carbon off at school with a lunch packed of just green salad. Hypatia and I head off to Costco, but I forgot they don't open until 10am. So we head over to work (because I don't have any childcare for her anymore, so she has to go everywhere with me), and we get some good work done. I think I will leave in the afternoon and go do that shopping ... but then I get an email from the minister saying "I should have asked you earlier, but" ... and I need to be at a 1:45pm meeting with the minister and the music director. OK - lunch break and then go back.

I tried to make the most of a short lunch break and check something off my To Do List. My husband has been in real need of new clothing, but he can't/won't shop for himself. So he heads off to work in pants with a ripped knee and just points that out to me ... There was a sale in many of the stores at the mall, so on my short lunch break I bought mall food and picked up 6 pairs of boxer shorts, three button-up shirts and two pairs of pants (all for only $114, which I thought was great) for the husband.

Back at work, Hypatia is getting bored and it is a lot harder to properly work and make sure she doesn't bother anyone else or get in trouble ... but I finish out the day until 3pm when it is time to go pick Carbon up from school.

I pick him up, and I have an errand for work that is geographically between his school and the YMCA where the kids have swim class 1/2 hour after school. So I squeeze that work errand in, but with the two kids "helping" it takes long enough that we are just a bit late to swim class ...

I made a resolution to exercise more, so I am "supposed" to put the kids in playcare at the YMCA after their swim class (they want me to watch, and are not ready for me to just leave them swimming while I exercise at the same time). But last night there was a school potluck and annual meeting at Carbon's school, starting at 6pm. They got out of the showers at 5pm, but I still tried to squeeze a workout in ... 20 minutes on the treadmill and then I needed to change again and grab the kids ...

Oh dear, the dog has been in the garage all day and we really need to go home and let her out to pee ...

Oh dear, I don't have food to take to the potluck ... Yay - it's "produce Happy Hour" (50%off ) at the neighborhood grocery store, I'll just take fruit ...

Arriving 20 minutes late to the school potluck, we find hardly anyone there and no real food. Fruit for dinner. More parents arrive at 7pm, having been confused about the potluck versus the meeting start times ... my husband also arrives at 7:30 having come straight from work. There were 13 items on the agenda, and this was supposed to take One Hour. Nope. Shortly after 9pm, I cannot keep the kids up any later. We leave, but my husband stays to provide quorum for voting on the annual budget and all that.

The kids are wired, so I stick a science video from the library in the machine and I go in to wash the dishes. It's amazing to me that in a day where we ate No Meals at home there are still a pile of dirty dishes to wash. I get the kids in their jammies and teeth brushed and read a bedtime story, and off to bed. My husband gets home, and we do a little dance about we are each starving, but there's no food in the house, and it's after 10pm, and we should just go to bed hungry. He ends up making me toast and eating nothing himself.

We start talking about the school meeting, but it degenerates into an argument about whether to do preschool for the girl next year, the differences between preschool and daycare, whether it is worth it for me to work at all, why he just defers to me as the "subject matter expert", whether he should, and how p**s*d I get when he says stuff like "do whatever you want to do, I don't have the time for all this minutia". We talked it through, but now it's 11pm.

He needed to get up at 5am. At 6am this morning he woke me up as he was dressing. The shirts I got him were too tight. They were his old size, but he's gained a lot of weight. Great - a boomerang errand because now I'll have to take those in to return them. But now he's in a nasty mood, and he swears a lot about not having anything to wear, he can't untangle some cord he needs off his desk so he just throws it down and says "F*** it".

I thought about going back to sleep, but can't after that. As I get up, he comes back to ask me where something else is. I don't know ... it turns out he had it still packed in his bag from our vacation ... he is mad it's raining hard and he'll be soaked by the time he gets to work because his motorcycle gear hasn't been rainproofed or repaired. I start looking for solutions and trying to help him, but he's just mad and depressed and Nothing Is Going To Make It Better. Life just sucks and he wants to stomp around and complain about it.

I'm emotionally charged after he leaves, but right as I go to do my morning yoga Hypatia wakes up crying from a nightmare. Then my alarm clock goes off ... Oh look, it's time for me to be awake.

So here I am, and I am very much in danger of drowning, because I have swum out too far. Today I need to go in to work - there is a lot for me to get done before Sunday. I want and intend to exercise (because I am trying to take better care of myself and Be Happy) but squeezing the time out seems like such an indulgence when I also need to go shopping for food and cook dinner. Oh, and I want/need to go to a memorial service for a congregant tonight, but I'm still playing message-tag with my sister-in-law about watching the kids for me ...

And I clearly need to iron some of his old shirts for him and do something to deal with clothing for my husband to wear to work for the rest of the week.

A person can drown under all this, with 3 mostly helpless humans relying on me to cloth and feed and clean up after them, a full-time job to do, and all the rest.


  1. I'm so sorry you are going through this hard time. I read this post and thought of my own busy times. When my business is going full blast my days can be very much the same. One thing that has worked for me: I started scheduling everything and giving grocery shopping just as much priority as work. It has pushed out my turn around time but no one seems to mind and (although it took a few weeks for everything to fall into place) I now have time to do all the things I have to/want to. Wishing you all the best.

  2. Thanks for sharing this. I read some of this post to my husband while laughing because we've gone through this same thing. Looking for things we misplaced and not having enough time or money to shop for good food or exercise are problems we also struggle with at times.

  3. I drowned this week at church, and especially this morning. Thanks for helping me figure out that what I did was swim out too far. Hopefully now that you are through your big Sunday, things will ease and you can breathe again.