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Life Interrupted

7 Aug

“No excuses!” life shouts at me.

“But…you see-”

“NO EXCUSES!” society shouts, cutting me off.

And there is my excuse.

“You keep saying you’re cleaning your house but…” they say as they wave their hand to note the piles of crap everywhere, waiting for the final sorting and putting away phase.

“You keep saying you’re going to lose weight but…” they say as they eye my not-decreasing waistline and the cake in my hand.

“You keep saying you’re a writer but…” they say as they imply that I’ve yet to be published.

“Well…you see-”

They interrupt me. “NO! NO EXCUSES! JUST DO IT!”

And therein lies the problem.

My life is a series of being interrupted. Not only that, but Maura’s latest thing is to start a show, watch five minutes of it, and then switch to another show, watch three minutes of that, switch to another show, watch 27 minutes of that and flip shows five times in five minutes. I already have a list of things to do that’s a mile long and now I have to figure out how to break Maura of her tv addiction. And yet I have curtains that I need to hem that have been sitting there for six weeks but I can’t do those yet because we rearranged Maura’s room and in doing so, she got into all the stored winter clothes, so someone moved them all into the laundry room and started washing the already clean clothes, so now I have to finish that, but I also need to wash my clothes because it’s been so hot here that I haven’t been doing laundry because I’ve been avoiding turning on the dryer. But I also need to get Maura out of the house, but I also need to go grocery shopping, but Maura and grocery shopping don’t always mix. I could have groceries delivered, but that costs extra money and I’m trying to be thrifty. But then we have no food and so I end up ordering pizza, which is not a healthy diet food, and at that point, I just don’t care.

And then, because of all this, I have to get down on myself for having the messy house, the disorganized life, the lack of writing, the lack of weight loss. Then I start feeling I can’t do the “fun” things like writing or sewing because I need to do the cleaning or the laundry, but I really don’t want to those, but I feel like I should, and then I end up not doing either thing and just surfing the internet feeling overwhelmed, or reading and ignoring the mess around me. Which is a step up from laying in bed binge watching shows.

I’m overtired, overwhelmed, and overweight. I am, apparently, also my own worst critic. My new therapist has named her Mean Phoebe, and Mean Phoebe is actually quite mean. She is comprised of all the people who have been over-critical and not accepting enough of me throughout my life. I need to work on that as well.

I keep forgetting to though because people keep interrupting me to shout “NO EXCUSES!” Or to fix the batteries in the remote. Or put Maura’s hair in a pony tail yet again, even though I put it in a pony tail ten minutes ago, and she keeps pulling it out just for me to redo it. On top of normal daily interruptions.

And to be honest – being super busy just isn’t my style. I need down time. Probably because with Maura, I always have to be on.

My life is chaotic in ways others don’t understand. It’s normal chaotic family life topped with the unpredictability of life with Maura. I crave organization these days. If everything is organized, then maybe I can stop having to choose between cleaning and writing. Maybe if everything was organized and hidden away, Maura would stop pulling everything out and depositing it all over the house. If everything is organized, maybe the visual of neatness will bring order to my brain. I walked through Ikea the other day and all those little show rooms, where everything was laid out just right and shelves were full of little boxes of things organized….it was so tantalizingly delicious.

Reality is, I could be all Kon Mari organized and Maura will still create a mess. I will still be interrupted. Laundry would still be backed up. But at least I’d look like I had my shit together, and that’s something, right?

But I have to start. And starting is hard. Especially when Mean Phoebe is muttering about how we’re just a slob, we’ve been a slob our whole life.

And society yells “NO EXCUSES!”

And I flip off both society and Mean Phoebe, and start a list. Not a bullet journal. Not a 40 bags in 40 days challenge. Just a list. A little list. Do my laundry. Do Maura’s laundry. Change the sheets on our bed. Baby steps to the laundry room. Baby steps to the kitchen. Forget meal planning for two weeks, just figure out what we’re eating tonight.

Because some of us have excuses. Some of us have lives interrupted.

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12 Responses to “Life Interrupted”

  1. earllene August 7, 2017 at 4:06 pm #

    Hey Phoebe, I’ve been following your blog for a while now. I love it! So, the fact that I can read the above is proof that you are writing!! I’m glad that you told Mean Phoebe to take a hike and are letting kind, loving Phoebe appreciate all that you ARE doing and doing very well. Life interrupted isn’t excuses, it’s a reality – your reality. A clean or organized house and skinny body are not the markers of success in my opinion. Growing, happy children and a content mamma are a better place to start when looking for your achievements. Keep doing what you’re doing – it looks great and hugely successful from here.

    • earllene August 7, 2017 at 4:07 pm #

      Oh, and thanks for the blogging! I really do appreciate it.

    • Angel of Anthropology August 8, 2017 at 9:54 am #

      There needs to be a like button. “Growing, happy children and a content mamma” is actually the BEST sign of success!!!

  2. Gina DeNicola August 7, 2017 at 4:29 pm #

    “Be kind to yourself, be gentle with yourself” is my newest and seemingly effective mantra. It works for me, most days. But know every mom, woman, partner, we have all been where you are, my kids are now 25 & 26 and I was a single mom for a large part of their younger years. Some days we just need an excuse, but always remember.. Be kind to yourself, be gentle with yourself. ❤️

  3. shecrochets August 7, 2017 at 5:51 pm #

    Oh, Phoebe, do I *totally* relate to this one! And I’m an empty nester with 3 cats and assorted other pets. No one else at home but me. Full time job with a 40 minute commute each way, and a serious lack of ambition some days. Well, let’s be honest. Most days. I also totally get being kne’s own worst critic. Thank you for sharing all of this, and know that I adore you and your interrupted life, for what it’s worth.

  4. Renee Anne August 7, 2017 at 7:29 pm #

    My bullet journal is really just a list of shit I need to do or want to do……currently, it’s filled with reminders that I need to get spreadsheets done for Little Man’s school auction (which isn’t until March but since it’s the spreadsheets of who we ask to donate….yeah, I need to get it done). ::sigh:: And day after day, things like “knit” or “spin” or “design” are left undone 😦

    What helped me was the Unfuck Your Habitat method. Work for 20 minutes, play for 10…..and I have two kids so I’m always interrupted.

  5. Angel of Anthropology August 8, 2017 at 9:50 am #

    My mom ingrained into my head at a young age that we will go and do fun things once all the chores are done. So now when I do anything fun, especially when at home I look around and if I see a “chore” I quickly do it (or at least part of it) and then go back to the fun. I’m a freaking adult and I still do this. I’m not going to ground myself or deprive myself of fun (as there has been times I told the chores to suck it) but it still surfaces and I will do it.
    There are times when you should just stamp down Mean Phoebe and put on a pair of earphones and tell society to STFU and do a little writing, a little sewing. Doing things that make you happy will make you energized to do the mundane but apparently necessary things in life.

  6. fantasticarleigh August 8, 2017 at 9:34 pm #

    I relate to this too much.

  7. Bridget August 9, 2017 at 11:15 am #

    I can relate to this, being a stay home mom of two kids and a husband who seem to think I exist to serve them. I went back to my 5:00 am workout because it is the only way to get my exercise in and have an hour and half without being interrupted. Even though it is freaking early it does help me start the day off in a better mood and it is so nice to not be interrupted for that time. I think Baby steps is an excellent start and it always reminds me of Bill Murray in What about Bob?, and then I laugh and laughing distracts me from wanting to smack people upside the head….its the little things that help us get through the day.

  8. teacherturnedmommyblog August 10, 2017 at 10:03 am #

    life is one step at a time. yes, we can plan all we want, yes we can wish for things to work the way we’d like, but that isn’t life. Whenever I get into a “I need a new routine” “I need this done, that done” or some similar need for order I always do it one step at a time. I pick one area and get a new order and routine there, then move on. When I try to fix my whole life in one shot nothing gets done. Trying to keep a house clean with kids is like trying to shovel snow in a blizzard. Special needs children need extra time, love, attention and so much more from their care givers. This takes a tole on the care giver even more. So make sure you give yourself time to be you, and not feel guilty over it.

  9. Anastasia August 11, 2017 at 1:11 pm #

    wow, its the first post i read from you, and it speaks to me on a different level, you are so right.
    but life is chaotic, and its okay to be a slob, don’t be so hard on yourself.
    i can see your a writer , it jumps right of the page.
    and by how much you mention you’re baby states that your a good Moma. and that is all that matters

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