March 16, 2009

Note To Self

Oh sweet lord of all that is good and holy (like donuts and those little green things you put on top of smoked salmon, capers) how can it possibly be Monday? I mean, I totally understand that the weekend is two days long - 48 hours, 2880 minutes, 172,800 seconds - and I get that those all passed by thus bringing us smack dab into Monday morning but time sped up over the weekend, right? Instead of 172,800 seconds, I only counted 102,933 seconds. So I want a refund.

I'm just kicking off the final two weeks of the Great Big Project That's Kicking My Ass and Driving Me Insane (GBPTKMADMI) and I'm going to be happy to put it behind me. Unfortunately, I have the sneaking suspicion that it will be followed not by a well-deserved vacation somewhere tropical where umbrellas are liberally inserted into fruity drinks that have the effect of making you forget whatever it was that drove you to need the vacation in the first place. But, instead, with Slightly Smaller Yet No Less Annoying Project That Will Probably Continue The Ass Kicking (SSYNLAPTWPCTAK). Hello? Tunnel? When will I be nearing the light at your end?

The weekend was meh. Mia was adorable as always yet her why questioning went into overdrive. Owen just didn't sleep nor was he happy unless he was being held by Beth or I. Mostly Beth. So, she didn't get any sleep and I felt bad yet helpless and that combination makes me act kinda like an asshole. Okay, not kinda like but exactly like. And I had to work. Then I woke up on Sunday morning and felt miserable in that stuffy head fever feel like complete and utter ass kind of way. How is it possible to have so many balls in the air yet, at the same time, feel like you're getting repeatedly kicked in your own, less metaphorical balls?

Some days I feel overwhelmed. Some nights - like Saturday - I'm lying in bed and I can't help but make this exhaustive mental list of all the stuff I have to do, all the things hanging over my head, all the things that take me from where I want to be, exactly there lying beside my wife with my children sleeping peacefully (mostly) down the hall (some of the time (some of the time). It's an overwhelming feeling, the brain going into overdrive. But then I try to calm myself and think:

Self, think about life like two lines. There's one line that's your baseline. It's constant. It's based on the things you can always trust to be there, to love, to love you, to return to, to fall back on when the rest of the world seems against you. It's the Line Of Goodness. The other line, well, those are the things that you don't want to do, the things hanging over your head, the things that you'd like to put out of your mind forever but you can't because you're a decent person and you have to face these things head on. Now, how high is that baseline? Pretty high, huh? Life is pretty good. So, relax. Things are going to be fine.

Yeah, things are going to be fine. I could use another cup of coffee though. And, maybe, those 69,867 seconds I lost over the weekend. That's a good power nap right there.

Posted by Chris at March 16, 2009 6:55 AM

I do the exact same thing with the lists as I'm trying to go to sleep. Its incredibly annoying when you've made every effort to get to bed at a decent time for some sleep and your mind refuses to go with your plan. I'll try your baseline thing next time I find myself in your position.

Posted by: tutugirl1345 at March 16, 2009 7:16 AM

Your two lines sound suspiciously like a form of Cognitive Behavioural restructuring ;) Of course, that could be because I'm stuck smack in the middle of some homework on the subject!
Hang in there,'ll get better. The days will get warmer, your kids will sleep...and we'll all ride pretty unicorns :P

Posted by: Heather at March 16, 2009 7:45 AM

you also missed the best b-day party ever. Just saying.

Posted by: jodifur at March 16, 2009 7:52 AM

You do know that by having successfully completed GBPTKMADMI, your employers now think you are the perfect match for the upcoming SSYNLAPTWPCTAK? And will continue to do so until you say otherwise?

Posted by: Hannah at March 16, 2009 8:04 AM

Oh. I *so* hear you. Life has been rather like trying to pry a ten pound roast outa my arse with a plastic fork lately.

Here have a mug of brew, coffee or beer?

Heh, I go for both, in rapid succession. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

It will get better Chris. Right before it gets 10 degrees suckier. But, we are all here with you.

You can do it.

Yes, you can!

Posted by: Julia at March 16, 2009 8:22 AM

Good morning. How many seconds until your next weekend?

You're back in my mailbox again. I've missed you.

Posted by: Ann Adams at March 16, 2009 8:41 AM

I'm sorry to hear that the exhaustive project sucking the life out of you is still going on. I agree with the other poster, when your bosses see how well you've done, they'll think you're fabu and find another equally life sucking project for you....
When I have trouble sleeping, I daydream. I relive the best (and oddly worst) times of my life. The week I met my husband, a timeline of my mother's illness leading up to the week I met my husband, when I found out I was pregnant with our get the picture. It's odd but I'm out before I know it!
Good luck to you!

Posted by: NancyJak at March 16, 2009 9:00 AM

If only we could find a way to bottle time....

Posted by: LaineyDid at March 16, 2009 11:36 AM

i feel for you. my husband's boss imposed mandatory six-day work weeks at the beginning of the year (in an evil-genius plan to get the most bang out my husband's salaried buck). so our weekends have only half as many seconds as yours.

and then you can hardly even enjoy feeling sorry for yourself without thinking about how at least you're lucky to have a job at all...

i hope its over soon :)

Posted by: kati at March 16, 2009 1:00 PM


Posted by: That Girl at March 16, 2009 1:13 PM

So advice on getting through your project ( which I'll bet will not really be done in 2 weeks, cause thats just how these things work out ):
1. You need to specifically schedule some fun time in to do something really selfish but enjoyable. Visit the bookstore, hit an arcade ( if any still exist ), get a beer and a really good burger. Enjoy the moment and savor it and tell that little voice in your head that is yelling at you for work that this is the trade off to keep you from blowing up the place.
2. You need to forgive yourself that you are not going to be able to be super dad, and super employee, and super blogger, and whatever else super you want to be. Something has to give, and unless you feel like finding out how hard it is to find work during a depression, it sure isn't going to be work. So pick your poisons and put the others down for a bit. This too will pass, but it will go much smoother if you allow yourself to fail at something else so you can succeed at what is critical right now.
3. Get a routine, even if it is grueling, so that you know off the bat every sat afternoon is shot, or every tuesday until 1 am, or whenever you find that the extra grunt time will make a dent, and stick to it. The impact adds up quick, and if it is expected then it is less of a drain on the family and friends ( still sucks, but they expect it, so it sucks less than finding out at the last minute ).
4. Write notes to yourself specifically explaining how much it sucks for you right now so that you can read them when it doesn't suck so much. It's amazing how easily we forget after the h@ll project how tough it was, but that little note puts you back in the mindframe. You'll be impressed with how much you've grown, or at least glad you survived.

Best of luck, and remember the sage advice:
If it's worth doing, it's worth doing half-@ssed.


Posted by: metawizard at March 16, 2009 3:21 PM

In the big scheme of things? The only things that matter are to love and be loved. Period. The rest? Can take care of itself. And i only learned this through the school of hard knocks.

Oh, and eight years of therapy.

Posted by: k8 at March 16, 2009 4:25 PM

For some strange reason, my family once in a while recruits me to make & decorate a "celebration" (birthday, retirement, etc) cake. I spend two days stomping & ranting & whining & crying about how miserable I am and how I hate hate hate doing it. Dearly Beloved says half-seriously one time "Just do a crappy job. Then they'll stop asking."

Yeah, I couldn't do it either.

Posted by: harmzie at March 16, 2009 7:12 PM

Yeah I needed my coffee this morning to wake up and then I blew my exit coming back home from CT and seeing my Dad in Hospice and well, too a wrong turn and spent like an hour trying to get back to where I needed to be. More coffee, that's what I needed!

Posted by: Maribeth at March 16, 2009 7:46 PM

A powernap and another cup of coffee. Remembering that the baseline is actually pretty high. You said it. Thanks for the writing of your internal monologue, you write it much better than I can even think it sometimes!

Posted by: Lara at March 16, 2009 9:41 PM

I would like to propose not to hold off until you get enough amount of money to order different goods! You should get the personal loans or student loan and feel yourself fine

Posted by: LeannaDuncan32 at July 8, 2011 2:33 PM