Tuesday, December 14, 2010

So I turned myself to face me

"What time is it?"

"7:24.  Wait. Is it Monday? Don't you have school today?"


MathMan and Nate typically leave the house at 6:15a.m.  All they could do at this point was mitigate the damage of being late.  Thankfully, Nate didn't have any exams yesterday morning.

Sophie made it to school just in time.

No bones were broken and cursing was kept to a minimum.  Considering the frenzy we were in, this was remarkable.  Are we, as a family, maturing?

After a beginning like that, I had no idea how the rest of the day would go.  The plans I'd made for the day weren't ruined, but now my timing was off.  Would I fight the cats for a spot on the bed so I could lay around and watch Love Actually three times in a row? Or maybe finish any of the three books I've partially read?  

When I went to bed on Sunday night, I'd had my whole day planned.  Once most of the people were out of the house by 7:30, I'd work out, eat breakfast, shower, write, do more job searching, read and then, later in the day, make dinner and get the Christmas decorations out of the garage so we when Sophie got home, we could put up the tree, as promised.

So now what?  It was already after 8 o'clock and that half an hour made all the difference in the world!  Well, in my mind it did.  It's a ridiculous game I play with myself to keep from accomplishing anything.  A ready made excuse.

When I got back from dropping Sophie at school (she missed the bus), I went around the house, picking up the trail of clothes and towels that had been left behind by people dressing in a hurry.  I made beds, noticed that things were dusty and wow, did I really vacuum late last week?

Hours later, the bathrooms were clean, the whole house was vacuumed and dusted, furniture was rearranged (for the first time since we moved into this house in April 2009, our dining room is a dining room instead of an office), all of MathMan's text books were in one place instead of scattered in three different rooms, dinner was prepared and the boxes of the decorations were in the basement and ready to go.

By 6:30p.m., I still hadn't showered (gross!) or eaten or even consumed a cup of coffee.  Nevertheless, I'd accomplished a lot.  I'd even gotten the cat litter I forgot to buy the other day because Chloe drove to town and picked it up for me while she was there.

When I finally sat down to eat some dinner and drink a beer in record time (what happened to that martini drinker?), I thought about how the day represented life in general.  Just because you're tossed a curve, doesn't mean you have to let everything fall apart.  The ability to adapt is one of our most important survival skills.

Lately, it seems that I'm using that skill more often to navigate the job search (you would not believe the ways my resume has been adapted), the constant low-grade financial fever, and writing.  Yes, even writing.  Everyday I make plans to write X number of words or to work on X number of pages of revisions and every day something happens or I can't pull it together blah, blah, blah.

But then I look back at the writing day and see that I wrote a few hundred words.  Or I got through six pages of edits. Or I read some excellent writing which is as valuable as writing myself because it's like the company you keep, right?  I may not have met my big audacious goals, but that didn't mean that what I had accomplished didn't matter.

MathMan called me late in the day.  "How are you?"

"Fine. You?"

"Good.  Nothing came crashing down because we were late."

"That's good. I was worried.  I got Sophie to school just in time.  I also made sure that my alarm is set for tomorrow."

"Excellent.  I don't know what happened.  Oh well."  He pause and laughed.  "Honestly?  I haven't felt this well rested in a while.  It feels good."

Yes, it does.

How are you adapting?


  1. when my husband was out of town the last two weeks, we were "officially" late two days in a row. unofficially, we were constantly a few minutes behind our regular schedule.now that he's back, it's nice not to have to brush my teeth while i'm simultaneously getting my a snack for school.

    adapt...how am i adapting? not well. i should have a more disciplined schedule with my own writing. i shouldn't bite my nails so much (i don't know what's going on here, but all of a sudden, it's like i'm in 7th grade again), i should figure out some way to work out even if it 8 degrees outside. i have started running, but now i have this thing that i don't do it every day, because, you know, i'm running which in my head means i can rationalize only a few runs a day. but now my lack of exercise is affecting my overall behavior and making me unnecessarily grouchy and leave way too long of comments.

    see, not well, my adaptation is not going well at all.

  2. holy moly i need an editor:

    --getting my "daughter's" snack for school.

    --even if it "is" 8 degrees outside.

    --i can rationalize only a few runs a "week". (few runs a day, as if, i'm crazy but not that crazy)

  3. When the going gets tough, the tough make tea and watch Dr. Who episodes before bed.

  4. I am just like you. A late start on a well planned day just sends me up the wall, and I grouse forever, and then try to salvage some of it, and end up getting most all of it done. lol..

  5. going with the flow is the name of the game. Or I can be miserable.

    You're a good role model.

  6. Oh Lisa - I am trying and trying to adapt myself to a new way of thinking and spending. The spending is simple - there isn't any much to speak of...ha! But the thinking is sometimes easy, other times hard.

    Here is the phrase I have been using: There is no use stressing out over that which you have no control over.

    You did a great job of it here.

  7. Wow, that's an impressive day. I work from home so if I shower and dress it was a good day.

    On the other front... you know... the other front? I'm better. Not checking really makes a difference in my sanity. I don't beat myself up about things, re-hash old stuff, remember things that should be forgotten.

    Be well, I'll be around.

  8. YAY for resilience! We can usually adapt in the moment, but periodically I hear a grumble later--Mr. Tart doesn't like unexpected... erm... anything...

    Great to know you can get so much done, even when thrown for a loop! (and it IS amazing what an extra half hour of sleep can do--hubby is giving me a ride this week because of the cold and I feel SO MUCH more rested getting up at 6:15 rather than 5:45.

  9. Flexibility is definitely called for these days. Sometimes you've just got to go with that extra hour of sleep! As long as I get SOME of my "list" done every day I'm fine.

  10. I love that y'all were able to adapt and that everything turned out well after all!

    I am adapting by remembering that 'life may not always turn out as planned, but it generally turns out as it should'. I don't remember who told me that, but it's been valuable to mentally chew on, especially these days.

    I also bake a lot and give it all away so I won't eat it.

  11. I live with teenagers. Routine? Shrug. Whatever.

  12. Amyg - Yikes. When you're doing the solo thing, late is easily forgiven, right?

    And I hear you on the fingernails. I've been clicking my thumbnail in that annoying manner that makes MathMan ask me not so nicely to knock it off.


    Summer - I'm adopting that motto.

    Sherry - Thank goodness we can pull ourselves out of it a little.

    Christine - Thank you. It's taking me a long time to get a hang of this, but practice has helped.

    Mommy Lisa - Control is what it's all about, right? I may not be able to control what's happening, but I can control my reaction to it.

    Some Goofy Woman - You have little kids. I wouldn't be showering or dressing either! I'm glad things are getting better on that other front. The not checking is a big factor. I really need some sort of remedy in that regard.

    I'm glad you're here.

    Hart - Thanks! I'm glad you're getting a ride to work. It's too dang cold for that walk. And the extra sleep really is nice. I know I joke about napping, but I don't do it even though I should.

    Bee - I like that idea of getting at least some of the list done. It's fine to make the list, but not to stress of completing it. What I need to do is better prioritize my to do list. Everything isn't of equal importance.

    rennratt - I love your coping mechanism. It works for you and then you have something to share.

    glasseye - Isn't that the truth? Chloe just came in and asked if I'd need her car in the morning. I can only assume that means she might not be coming home tonight? Yikes. I'm the mom, but she's 19 and mostly living on her own. This is getting tricky.

  13. I think I'm wasting away.. time-wise, that is. How I managed to get more drawing and painting done while working at a full-time job has become a mystery I'm trying to solve. My self-discipline has gone out the window while I stay up late, wake up late, have a leisurely breakfast while reading the news, go out for a long walk and come home for tea and a snack. Then it's time to get down to work but, as often as not, by then just the right light has gone so I read or blog until it's time to make dinner. After that we've got in the habit of watching movies, BBC Mysteries (Life on Mars is terrific but we didn't like the new Dr. Who and rewatching Tom Baker showed him to be more of a jerk that we'd remembered), and video gaming. After that I really do blog and read til it's time for bed. My excuse is this is a period of adjustment :-)

  14. I ended up at the post office in the late afternoon the other day. Who knows why it came up (actually, I start weird conversations with complete strangers all the time) but I and the woman behind me hadn't showered yet. Double EEW. Oh, and I smelled like fish because of the whole weight loss cooking healthy thing. Gross woman and gross me ended up talking about the best places to buy it. I try to be organized but it's just been one of those weeks when everything stinks like fish.

  15. Spike your coffee with something and all will be well.


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