I often feel like I’m Julie McCoy on the Love Boat. The little girls get in the car and say “what are we doing?” And I launch into “we’re going to run home, look at homework, get a snack…AND THEN…we’re going to run to the gym, then come home, then while we make dinner you can start on your homework, then after dinner you’ll each do your reading, then math practice, then we will read together, have a snack, and then go to bed.” When I pick them up on Friday night, forget about it, then we’re talking three day’s worth of plans, and homework, and running.
I’ve always had this bizarre need to go through plans a million times in my head. Even when I was little. I used to spend a week or two with my aunt, uncle, and cousins in Cincinnati when I was a kid and I would ask my aunt over and over what the plan was. “What are we doing tomorrow?” She would say something infuriating like “we’re going to play it by ear.” That was unacceptable for me and I would panic a little. I was used to running all the time and having a plan. I’d try to get clarification, and in retrospect she was probably totally f-cking with me, but I’d say “soooo….do you think we will go to the bookstore?!” Or…”do you think we will go swimming?!” She would shrug her shoulders and say something like “we’ll see!” Ugh!
When I was in college and in my 20s, I often had parties or would plan group outings, and the entire week leading up to it I’d be listing all that needed to be done prior to the event. Over. And over. And over as I’d run around like a chicken with its head cut off.
Yes…it’s possible I suffer from something (or possibly many things)…but let’s move on.
With the little girls, I’ve felt that going over our plans and then following through on all of them, offers them a home that feels stable and safe…so they always know what to expect when they are with us.
I know I’m not alone in having to keep track of too many things. Sometimes I think going over it over and over is what keeps me organized (my being organized is debatable). But I’m starting to think it’s just getting too crowded up there. And then I do things like I did this morning…I emailed a vendor that we use the total of what we would be paying them this month. Then I realized the math was wrong so I emailed them again with a long explanation of why the first email was incorrect. Then after sending the second email I realized I never sent the first email…I had held onto it just to be sure the math was right…leaving the vendor thoroughly confused. Seriously? Who’s driving this bus?
My husband often contends that I need to slow down. That I’m going too fast and thus there is a better chance of screwing things up. I often contend that there simply isn’t time to slow down. I’m starting to question that logic.
I talk with my girlfriends a lot about how the worst part about being an adult is how quickly time passes. It’s nearly impossible to schedule time to get together, and before you know it, six months has passed since you said to someone “we should get together in the next couple weeks!” But maybe time is going this fast because I’m allowing it to. If I’m not living my life deliberately it all just becomes a blur and before you know it a month, a year, a decade has flown by. And maybe you have some great things to show for it but I’m not really interested in my life passing by in a blur. I’d like to actually experience and enjoy it.
This evening I had to collate packets and stuff envelopes for a project on which I’m working. There’s no way to multitask when you’re collating and stuffing. I stuffed for an hour and it was…dare I say…RELAXING. I may have been working that entire hour but it felt like a forced slow down. I chatted with my husband (probably much to his chagrin since he too was working on a project), thought about the week and all that we have going on, and it was LOVELY.
I think I need to slow down. Just a bit. So I can actually be a part of all of this instead of speeding through it. And I think it’s important that the little girls learn how to do this too. I’m uptight enough…there is no need for me to be uptight and moving forward at the speed of light like a crazy person.
TODAY: What if I learn to SLOW. DOWN. What if I try not to speed through things, plan things to a T and go over the plan thousands of times like a maniac, and just enjoy it all. There is something to be enjoyed in almost everything…I just have to take the time to do it.