Thursday, May 24, 2012

I Mean Gah

Is anyone else like this? I just hate having stuff on my daily calendar, like things to do at pre-scheduled times. When I look ahead to the next day and there are several, like, appointments, it kills my joy a little bit, and I feel dread and assume that I will spend the whole day feeling harried and gritting my teeth. And it doesn't take much. I guess I am kind of a delicate orchid, 'cause like, three scheduled things in a twelve-hour period and I'm all I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS.

Today's agenda was...
Sleep late because Hank is out of school: This did not present a problem
Morningish: Get Laura a dress for her graduation
2:45: Go help set up the gym for the fifth grade dance tomorrow.
4:30-5:00 Hank swim lesson at our pool: this is a new thing this week and not assimilated into my routine
Clear dining room table of Legos for Matt to have a board game night with his buds
Prepare dinner?
5:15-5:45 Hank karate
6:00 play a tennis match
Laura swim practice, either at her swim club 5:30-7:45 or in our pool 6-7:  not gonna happen

Because every post needs a picture.
Okay, looking at that list, my stress could have been that lots of these things overlap or potentially would overlap if they all happened, and it makes me feel that I am not doing well with logistics when I can't be in two places or feel like I'm letting something slide. And some of the things are optional-ish, like Hank's karate and Laura's swimming. They just need to be done a certain amount every week, so every day I'm alert to whether we can squeeze those activities in or not. Matt helps with the kid transport some (he usually retrieves L from her practices) but 5:15 is a bad time to ask him to participate. Really the three things at 2:45, 4:30, and 6 were what was crowding my joy, but there was no problem with their overlapping or with the things themselves. All perfectly pleasant! And yet, seeing them in my calendar, I just wanted to take to bed.

So all day I'm twitchy and jumpy and I'm not sure when unscheduled-but-important things (shopping, cooking, cleaning) will get done. I asked Matt about taking Hank to karate and that was a non-starter.

Then later Matt comes to me and says, "About later, I need to go to a thing at 6, it will take an hour." And it's a thing that is kind of a fun thing, sorta, but also a work/networking thing. And I'm all instantly pissy, and I go, "Well I have tennis, what are you going to do with Hank?" (I am delightful.) And he says, "Can you really not take him with you to your match?" And so then I'm into a big thing of "Well I don't knooow, what if I take him and our match lasts three hours?" And he goes, "Well maybe you could take him with you and then I could come retrieve him," and I'm like, "I guess I could leave him here with Laura..." and we're into this sort of stand-off thing, and it's NOT EVEN A BIG DEAL except for the schedule! The SCHEDULED THINGS have got me all twitchy and feeling like we're all caught in a net. So then I sniff, "It seems like when YOU want to do something, I need to be super flexible, but when I want to do something, there is NO FLEXIBILITY." And Matt, with this tone of infinite love and patience, says, "Do you really think that is the truth?" And I realize I can't argue with him because it's not like he ever does anything except work his ass off. And I was like, okay I'll stop now.

So this is what the scheduled things do to me. The scheduled things!

And then, THEN, none of it amounted to anything! Unsurprisingly, I was able to do everything in sequence like a normal person and it all got done. Laura skipped neighborhood swim practice to stay home with Hank. (The game company boys were downstairs too.) And whereas I thought the whole day would be one long endurance test, I was finished with my match by 7:22. I arrived home to find Matt welcoming his friends, pizza ordered, and Hank asleep in a chair. Matt carried him to bed, there was tons of daylight left, Laura had her clothing plan for tomorrow's graduation all set, and I was like, "Oh." Then I drank a beer and watched Mythbusters with her. I am a crazy person, you have no idea.

Or probably you do.

I don't know. I mean, I have no problem having things to do. I am busy all day long. But as soon as there are certain times things must be done, I am like, FORGIZZLE. The kids' dentist appointments? Cast a shadow on my brain for days in advance. Just me? You?

I mean, praise be that I don't have an actual J-O-B. God forbid.

Smacks,
b


20 comments:

Amy said...

Gah, these PEOPLE and their APPOINTMENTS for things. I mean, why can't they be all, "Hey when you get a sec, bring Hank over for karate?" sheesh.

This is hilarious, and yes this post is so you! Love it.

Elizabeth said...

I know EXACTLY what you mean and have never been able to articulate that. I tend to plan my entire day around those scheduled appointments -- to a very neurotic degree where I'm even figuring in the time it takes to get in the car and park, etc. Sophie's dentist appointment today took it all out of me -- so much so that I went to a happy hour with a friend and drank two beers on a school night.

Erika W said...

I swear Ted and I had that same conversation today! I like Amy's way of thinking. There has to be a world in which there is no scheduling. There is only our desires and whims.

Becky said...

Elizabeth, yes, I totally feel you, sister.

And if only things could be like, when you get a sec.

I would show up and bring cheese and crackers and some magazines you might not have read. But tell me a time and I'm all Grudgy Bear.

I would say I am working on this issue but really people don't change.

Reading Rosie said...

Oh how I can relate! If my calendar is full of scheduled events, I feel like I'm suffocating! Don't fence me in.

Beth said...

I think I am the complete opposite. I actually schedule things that don't need to be scheduled. It's a different kind of crazy.

Because of my husband's job, I am used to the lack of flexibility. I was thinking about this today, and it's like, I'm the default caregiver. If we both have free time, unless it is specifically agreed on otherwise, I always drive them and pick them up and feed them and etc. Which is probably because he has to be in an office most days so I'm here. But it's frustrating that whenever I have a meeting or something to do, I have to find a sitter or bring the child with me... there's no flexibility there.

delaine said...

This is hilarious, especially the last sentence. In fairness, it sounds like it was a very busy day. But you always project the image of being The Queen of Chilling Out. Scratch the surface and you are all angst. Just think how easier things will be when school is out . Except maybe for the swimming and the tennis. Well, maybe not...Maybe you need some deck sitting time in the mountains.

Common Household Mom said...

I sympathize completely. Every day if I don't bow down to the Almighty Calendar and the appointments on it, I am doomed. Yet at the same time I am resenting the planniness of it all.

Kate said...

I don't mind a packed schedule during the day, but if there is a meeting or ANYTHING requiring my presence after 6 pm during the week I am a complete wreck. about it. I fret all day Sometimes don't even want to go to book club, and goodness book club is fun and full of laughs and wine!

Omagurl said...

O.k., I'm usually just a lurker. Your posts having me "Amen-ing" all over the place, but commenting isn't really my thing. But today. . .today I just must MUST Amen out loud. My iCal is all color-coded according to family member and ESPECIALLY this month, it is a frickin' rainbow of obligations. Every. Single. Day. And last week, when people were running out of laundry, they were all like, that doesn't just happen? You actually need some time outside of our line of vision to do that? None of the appointments are hard or stressful in and of themselves. . .but looking at the rainbow of things-to-happen. . .it stops my heart a little every time.

P.S. My husband sent me a text yesterday afternoon. . .are you ready. . ."OH, BTW, Henry has a baseball game tonight." I know, right? I can't even. . .

Allison said...

I can empathize completely. We retired from jobs 4 years ago, and to this day we can't commit to being anywhere at a specific time. It makes going to a movie difficult if not impossible.

M said...

One of the best gifts I can give myself is permission to not do something that's on the calendar. Also, can we please note the dramatic flair Hank evidences when bowling?

Cassi Renee said...

Like Kate, I am just fine with anything scheduled during the day. But I really hate having things scheduled in the evenings --it's always school stuff, and I'm always a single parent at those things, since they seem to be always on the nights my husband teaches.

leorabakes said...

A lurker here, but I have to surface to tell you that I couldn't have said it better myself, and I think we were separated at birth. My own tennis lessons stress me out - and there are few people I can complain to that I don't have time to do "anything" because...I have a tennis lesson?!

Veronica said...

Oh lordy, at this point in my life having an appointment can drive me to the brink. Right now over here it's like, I get the toddler and myself all dressed and ready and then get the baby changed and dressed and nursed and then she spits up all over me and poops all over her outfit, and then we re-start and get all fed, dressed, clean, and ready to go, and then the toddler has changed his mind about being willing to go and refuses to put on his shoes and stages a screaming sit-in on the living room floor, and by then we are already a half-hour late, not to mention the fact that we have to load up in the car, drive wherever we're going, park, and unload from the car. Gah to the ten millionth degree.

Julie at ModernDayMiddleAge said...

Yep. I make a list at night before bed and then I wake up and am all like, "really? I have to do all this?" It's like the list itself pisses me off. I resist even the simplest things... even the things I say I want to do and pay money for and schedule a babysitter for. I'd list them but you all already know them.

I know why the caged bird sings, indeed ...

Thanks for this one. Makes me feel ever-so-slightly less crazy.

michiganme said...

Jeez, I feel the same way about those appointment, it's like they keep me from concentrating. Yesterday at 9:00 in the morning I looked at my calendar, saw that I had an appt. at 2:00 and thought "well, I might as well not start any project here since I have to leave in 4 1/2 hours.". WTH?

Amy said...

I thought about this post today when I looked at the calendar for this week and realized I have something nearly every night and some out-of-routine appts during the days, too. GAH!

Christian said...

Nice reading. We're totally opposite about schedules: unstructured time makes me janky and nuts and have hives. So I schedule myself, and those around me (sorry!), in order to stay calm, and things work out beautifully (for me). And I love hearing about other couples' bickerings. Yours sounds a lot like some recent discussions at my house, like when I transmogrify into a bitter, victimized matyr because I'm the ONLY one who EVER does dishes or laundry. EVER. No, it's not true at all.

Aimee said...

Good Lord, you are in my HEAD. Yes, today is a total nightmare, because I have a lunch scheduled and I would have to be in two places at once (on opposite ends of my local Earth) tonight, if it weren't for Jason promising to get off work early and do Nicky's running around.

How DO moms with J-O-B's do it??? I bow down to them in awe.

michiganme - "well, I might as well not start any project here since I have to leave in 4 1/2 hours." OMG, YES.