Monday, July 18, 2011

Language and Lingo (another from the archives that never got posted)

In our home, if I say a "bad word", Agent M is allowed to collect a quarter from me. Some weeks have cost me more than others, but I have pretty much gotten a good handle of things at this point, and have made one "exception rule." That rule is that saying a "bad word" from another language does not count. Well, they don't count for me at least - he still is not allowed to say them, but it gives me a little wiggle room and keeps me from going broke when I stub a toe or discover that the cat has missed her litter box again.

Another language "thing" we have going on right now is that we, mostly me actually, are learning Swedish. Which leads us to spending some of our lazy summer mornings laying on my bed in the sunshine, listening to free language programs on my laptop. One such morning, I typed in the word "silly" in a sentence, and discovered that it auto-translated to mean "dumb". Definitely not the meaning I had in mind. Agent M and I talked about it for a moment, and how that could lead to confusion between two speakers, and moved on.

Later that day, I was doing something at the bottom of the stairs, got annoyed by it, and loudly exclaimed, "Bugger!" Agent M was on it. He came running out of his room and made it halfway down the stairs, all the while chiming, "You owe me 25¢! You owe me, I heard you!" Not this time buddy, I thought. "No, I don't", I replied. "It's only bad in England" He was not amused. As he stomped back up the stairs, he grumbled, "Yeah, well you're silly - IN SWEDISH!"

I didn't know if I wanted to laugh at his wit, or tell him to watch it since he technically was saying I was dumb. I couldn't help it, I went with laughing. At least I knew he was paying attention that morning, right?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Juggling and Spinning

It has been seeming for weeks that instead of me plowing through things and completing projects one-by-one, I am instead finding myself getting tangling more and more tightly in a figurative pile of shoe strings mess. Every project leads to another, every little accomplishment leads to some bigger piece in the puzzle, and nothing is ever "Done". I have had plenty of time to myself, but I still feel exhausted and like I'm constantly juggling three or five things that need to get my full attention RIGHT NOW. Even as I type this, I have Agent M's calendar out in my lap so I can write on it which house he is at, week-by-week for the rest of the year, my cat is shooting daggers at me for not giving her breakfast yet, and I have a bright green clay face mask on that has been more than dry enough to wash off for some time now.

But first I have to find the custody papers so I can finish filling in the calendar, since holidays don't always follow the weekly visitation song-and-dance routine, and once I get the calendar done I actually will have one thing to check off the perpetual To-Do List in my head. Then, I can focus on the laundry, the crocheted projects I am behind on, the research for articles, the studying, the painting projects that are waiting on my dining room table, and all the other little things that make up each day. Nothing is too big or over whelming to finish, I just feel like each time I get done with one bit, there's something else filling it's space. To use my spinning plate analogy that I love so much - it's as if I get all the plates spinning, but instead of having the moment to pause and catch my breath, someone runs up and starts another plate going, but doesn't necessarily take a different plate away.

Now, I know this is the plight of many a parent - there's always SOMETHING to be done. Maybe the only reason it is weighing on me so much right now is from listening to single and/or unkidded friends tell me I have so much going on. Maybe it is because I feel I finally have a bit of a life plan in place again, and it's the process of getting through each step that is making my impatient self antsy. Maybe it is all the build up going on right now - the waiting to see if I get into Fall Classes, the waiting to see when I will be off of "light-duty" at work, the waiting for my divorce to ever get done with, the waiting to see if future plans actually come to be. I really don't know.

I do know that the only way I can find myself getting through each day, is by forcing myself to focus on the small bits. Untangle one bit at a time, put it down when it gets to be too much, and force myself to not stay wrapped up too long. Day trips to the beach, hours spent playing video games with Agent M, hours spent at the pool with Agent M, going out for the night with friends when Agent M is not home. The plates are always still spinning when I get back to them, the shoestrings are always still tangled and in knots. But I am done with stressing over them and not enjoying my life. I want to shift the balance and make the To-Do list fit around my schedule, not let the To-Do list be the schedule. The day trip to the beach on Saturday made that clear to me. We left four hours late, got lost twice, and I had to take a stop in a hotel parking lot to take a catnap since I was driving home so late. But it was fun and we did it. The day was not a matter of bullet points to check off as we did each thing. We had a general idea of what we wanted to do that day and then winged it, adjustments made as needed. I want more of that. I want to feel that flexible and have that much happiness each day.  Maybe that is why the little stuff is weighing on me - the need for adjustments. The room to grow, refocus, and make changes are there, and I just need to see them and follow through. Stick to the plans and allow for adjustments. Let my lists be the guides but not the plans for the days.

But first, I need to wash off this face mask.