I went to Meijer three times this week. It took until the third trip for me to remember what I needed on the first trip – ink for my printer. I needed to scan some documentation to send to school, but the scanner on the printer was broken, no problem I will just copy it and send it in. Except there was no ink. And for three days I forgot there was no ink. When I finally remembered I sat down, nearly giddy that I was this close to marking this task off of my to do list (after an embarrassing length of time) and the effing printer function was broken, too. Eric asked me if I had done a few computery things and I said, the message on the printer literally says, “If you get message blah blah blah, your scanner/copier is broken and can not be fixed.” Now I have $40 worth of ink in a printer that only prints and won’t copy or scan … sweet.
I have an “Approval Request” that has come up on my iPhone every three days and I glance at it, hit “ok” because frankly I have no idea what it means and I absolutely do not have time to figure it out – I am way too busy driving to Meijer over and over and over. I am sure it will become a crisis at some point when I realize that the approval request was to save all my shit to the cloud – and I will realize this after I have dunked my phone in water rendering it useless and my photos will be gone. Until then, I will just keep on a swiping that alert away.
I was getting ready for bed last night and was talking to Aiden as I washed my face and brushed my teeth. All of the sudden I looked in my hand and the medicine I take in the morning – and have for ten years – was in my hand, about two seconds from being taken again. Aiden said, “Momma don’t you take that in the morning?” Yep, sure do buddy.
This morning I had an early doctor’s appointment and as I headed out I grabbed two items (one of which was the damn copied documentation for school that I forgot to even tell Jackson had to go into the high school) that needed to be dropped at a destination (neither item was on its maiden voyage – both had been forgotten or abandoned because I ran out of time earlier this week). Leaving my appointment I headed toward home, not realizing I went the exact opposite way of where I needed to go to drop these two items off until I was way too far out of the way. An hour and a half of driving I finally arrived home and gleefully marked both tasks off my to do list, while adding three more that I remembered as I was driving around … in circles.
I was up at 4 am today. My eyes literally sprang open, a list of things I didn’t do yet this week that have to be done, a list of worries that I hadn’t apparently worried about enough during the day sprang into action, running around my brain like mogwai that were fed after midnight after I threw them in a pool. Utter chaos. I picked up my phone, made a few more reminders (that I already have swipped away by noon), hoping by writing them down I would be able to let them go. After a few hours they did, but by then it was too late. Up and at ’em.
I can’t do it. I can’t keep all these balls in the air. I keep thinking life will slow down, I will catch my breath, if I could just hang on till spring break, just get through the school year …. it’s all just white noise. I can’t get through anything. I can’t remember anything. I can’t get anything done. I make lists and forget to consult them, I make lists for the boys and they never leave my desk. I have great intentions of being organized (which by the way, actually comes naturally to me, unless I am, ya know, utterly overwhelmed with … well just life) and can’t follow through.
My to do list grows every day, I can’t be efficient enough to make any head way. I haven’t had my hair cut in six months – and before that it had been nearly a year. My phone dings constantly with reminders I have set up that I swipe away saving for later because I can’t, just can’t do it. I have bitten off way more than I can actually chew and everyone around me is suffering – because I am inadequate, inefficient and absolutely not doing my best. I have no idea why.
At the doctor’s office this morning I had to fill out routine paperwork — the same paperwork I have filled out a million times. I rotely answered, half watching Ed Sheeren on GMA and half paying attention to the questions: Anyone with heart disease? How many surgeries have you had? When did this injury occurr? And then I read the question that stumped me. “What leisure activities do you enjoy?” Wtf? Is watching my kid’s play sports, monitoring their grades, begging them to pack their lunches or doing laundry a leisure activity? What about getting my eye brows waxed? Does that count? Maybe checking in on my parents? Taking care of my nephew before school (which by the way is a high light of my week)? I literally wrote: “exercise, reading” Which to be honest, exercise is a neccesity for my health and reading is necessary if I ever would like to fall asleep. Both things I enjoy, but not two things that currently I would say are … leisurely. When did I become the woman who had no answer for “What lesiure activities do you enjoy?” I have no idea when.
Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m not alone. I sit in the orthodontist office and I see the momma next to me, with the same weary eyes, the same frazzled lines on her face and the mind that won’t stop racing. Tapping her fingers, knowing she is already late for the next “thing”. There are other days I look around and can’t see myself in any of the put together women I surround myself with. I can’t figure out wtf I am doing wrong. Why I can’t be at least a pale version of my older self, you know the one that was never late, thrived on to do lists and lived for yoga and paddle boarding and skiing and hiking.
I don’t know where she is. She’s lost somewhere between scheduling the lacrosse club practice times and collecting money for open turf. I can’t find her beneath the football meetings and emails or the doctor’s appointments and school issues. She is trying to help her boy figure out where to live his second year away from home, all the while trying to not help her boy figure out where to live his second year away from home. She is trying to remember to take her vitamins and put a coconut oil hair mask on to tame her aged and fraying locks. She’s looking for the paper she lost and trying to fix the garage door that won’t go down, all the while trying to learn and grow inside her new job.
A few weeks ago the four of us headed to Columbus to watch Jacko play in a box lacrosse tournament – Cooper even met us there for the night! We were all five together, just us, for the first time in two months. When we got to the hotel after several games on Saturday, the boys wanted to try out the swimming pool and hot tub — I had brought Cooper a suit and packed one for E, and made sure Jacko and As had theirs. As soon as they suggested the hot tub I realized I didn’t have a suit. E said to me, “What do you mean you don’t have a suit? You reminded everyone else this morning to get their suits, you brought mine and Coop’s!” The only answer I had was, “I am pretty good at managing everyone else’s life and not so good at managing mine.” Luckily, the man I married smiled and hugged me and said, “And we love you for that.” We went out to dinner instead.
I’ve written about this before, being overwhelmed. I’ve worked on solutions and ways to abate it. I’ve focused on yoga and tried to find balance through having a mantra word or meditating. Unfortunately, whatever I do it seems to come back to haunt me. This sense of absolute drowning in stuff, shit to do, things I have to manage. I used to be pretty good at motherment. Today, I suck at it.
And that’s going to have to be ok. I will hope, really hope, that I won’t suck at it next week … or maybe the week after that. And until then I will keep trying, I will keep taming the mogwai, trying to keep them from feeding after midnight, tucking them into dry corners. I will smile at the momma next to me in line at the grocery store. “You can do this!” I will tell her momma’s heart with my eyes. Maybe, she’ll smile back at me and say, “You can too.”