“All I want from tomorrow
Is to get it better than today.”
– “Jacob’s Ladder” – Huey Lewis and the News
Life is hard. Like Math. It’s just hard. And when you add on extras to life, like depression and anxiety and asthma and whatever my next diagnosis might be (weird?) it gets harder. Getting out of bed, knowing you have to get a teen and a pre-teen out of bed in the morning when you have a giant stone sitting on you, knowing there WILL be drama, knowing you will be exhausted from it before you even get to your actual job, knowing that is enough to make one not want to wake up in the morning. This isn’t to say I want to literally climb Jacob’s ladder up to Heaven right this minute (Is there a downward ladder? I hope not in my case). It’s just that I don’t do mornings. Or afternoons. It’s that I want a break. From life.
But you don’t get breaks. Even if you do, you know it’s temporary. The job waits, the kids wait, the husband waits, the bills wait. Well sometimes the bills get all uppity and don’t wait and go to those nice, friendly collection people who offer me discounts if I pay, whereas if I paid on time I would not get a discount. I’m not sure what lesson they are teaching us here.
In the movie Office Space, exhausted office worker Peter says, “So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that’s on the worst day of my life.” Ever feel that way? I’m 38, which means that I’m looking around another 30 years or so before I can retire, and that’s if I even CAN retire. Saying I live that long and don’t die at my desk. I don’t have a cubicle. I wish I did because then people wouldn’t see me and ask me for stuff like books and crap.
Still you have to keep going, and you can’t look too far ahead. It’s too scary. That’s why I like this song by Huey Lewis, “Jacob’s ladder”.
Step by step, one by one
Higher and higher
Step by step, rung by rung
Climbing Jacob’s Ladder
Rung by rung, day by day, hour by hour sometimes. Just get through it.
I’m just another fallen angel
Trying to get through the night
Oh and the nights are the worst, when everyone else is asleep and there you are just racing in your hamster wheel – the one in your head anyway. Your body just sits, or sits and taps a foot or a leg or just plain vibrates. I can only hope I burn calories when I do this. Thinking about tomorrow, and what I’ll have to do.
All I want from tomorrow
Is to get it better than today
That’s it. That’s all I can do. Make another day, and hope the next one is better than the last. And maybe it will be. It’s that hope that keeps you climbing. Step by step. Rung by rung.
Higher and higher.
“I don’t want to work
I want to bang on the drum all day.”
6:00 AM I’m sooo sleepy but hey it’s FRIDAY people and that’s a HAPPY day cause it’s the end of the week, right? Yeah! Nothing can get me down!
6:10-6:40 AM Eat cereal. Do breathing treatment with the nebulizer (LUKE I AM YOUR FA-THER) and play pretend farm on the Nook (pretend cows don’t milk themselves), use long-acting (supposedly) asthma inhaler. Rinse mouth out a zillion times. Use nasal spray. Hope to breathe. Uh, oh, time to wake up children.
“I don’t want to play, I just want to bang on the drum all day . . .”
6:40-6:50 AM Snuggle with Thing One. Try not to fall asleep. Encourage her that it is Friday and that’s awesome cause Friday and last day and for God’s sake get up. Go to Thing Two’s room. She is in a loft bed which seemed like a good idea at the time until I figured out I couldn’t climb up there and get her out. Pelt her with stuffed animals. Yammer at her. Stand on toes and poke at her. Yell.
“I took a stick and an old coffee can, I bang on that thing ’til I got blisters on my hand . . .”
6:50 -7:00 AM Forgot to wash jeans. Just how dirty are they? Wow, yeah, that’s a few too many stains to pretend I didn’t notice. Wear work pants that are less dirty. Thing One wanders in with a pop tart. Send her to check on little sister and make sure she’s out of bed and getting dressed. Someone has to do it, and it’s not gonna be me. I’m prostrate on the bed, but at least I’m dressed.
“I don’t want to work, I want to bang on the drum all day . . .”
7:00 AM Door slams. Thing One reports that Thing Two is, in fact, dressing. Hallelujah.
7:00-7:10 AM. Make stab at brushing teeth. Actually stab gums. Thing Two is wearing a black shirt with cats that says “We are Strange” over a pink shirt along with a lacy blue skirt, some sort of pants that hit between her knee and ankle, but no shoes. There is a strand of pink fake hair in her short hair that she is insisting on tying back with barrettes. I am just informed it is picture day at school. I tell her to take the pink hair out. I can have one standard right? Thing Two has first conniption fit.
“The teacher told me I should stay after school, She caught me pounding on the desk with my hands
But my licks was so hot, I made the teacher wanna dance.”
7:10-7:15 AM. Thing two has second fit. No lunch sacks because my husband insists on throwing out all my plastic bags that I save. For trash liners. And lunch sacks. He doesn’t throw anything away INSIDE the bags, no, just my bags. Like I can send a lunch in a giant paper sack? I plot his demise.
7:15-7:25 AM. I am informed that it is also picture day for singing group Thing Two is involved in. She needs her group shirt. No idea where it is. I need to get going. Every minute I’m late means one more moron with stupid stick people figures on their SUVS dropping off their brats and blocking me in. I get in my car and plug in my MP3 and loudly play
“I don’t want to work, I want to bang on the drum all day”
7:25-7:30 AM Thing One is in the car. We are grooving and beating on the dash. Thing Two storms out later, incensed that no one else is upset about her plight. We drive by Sonic so I can get caffeine cause GOD I NEED IT.
7:30 AM Reach Thing Two’s school. She is still howling despite my turning the volume way up on my song. Now she has realized she forgot her lunch. I give her a dollar – no way am I going back. I tell her to quit screeching or the other kids will be annoyed. She says she’s just upset that I got a coke when I COULD have been helping her find her shirt, after all.
“And I get my sticks and go out to the shed, And I pound on that drum like it was the boss’s head”
7:30-7:40 AM Peal out from elementary school. Drive Thing One to her school all the way across town because that’s just so convenient. We yammer and sing along to the song. This time I remember to stop at her school, unlike the time when I just drove right past it and was almost at work, talking all the time, when I realized she was still with me. She hangs out as long as she can until I tell her she has to go in. I feel like a bad parent for making her go to junior high.
7:40-7:50 AM I drive to my work which is actually only five minutes from my house but nevermind and there is no parking because they took away our staff and faculty parking cause like, who needs morale, right? I drive around a while and find one spot at the very back of the parking lot – one spot in handicapped, mind you. I get the awesome placard on account of the cold air making my lungs go splodey. Yay, me!
“I don’t want to work, I want to bang on the drum all day”
7:50 – 7:55 AM Sit in car listening to music a while. It’s not 8:00 AM yet. Realize I have forgotten my own lunch.
7:55 – 8:00 AM Trudge to work with headphones in ears. Those college kids have something going there. I am not actually here, I am banging the drum. All day.
How is your Friday going? I’m tired already. Is it time to go home yet?
“I did absolutely nothing. And it was everything I thought it could be.”
– Peter Gibbons in Office Space
A while back I wrote a little post called Epic Quests and Crap Like That. You might remember it, since it got Freshly Pressed, and also since I’m reminding you of it right now. Also there’s that handy link. But anyhoo, I’ve had a lot of time to think about this quest of mine and whether this is the right path for me.
You see, I’m what people might call a “worrier” or “neurotic” or “a total freakazoid”. I can manage to turn the simplest of tasks into a monumental undertaking. And if there’s a book on this undertaking? Look out, I’ll find it. And I’ll research the poop out of it. Yes I will. I have researched more self-help books than you can count. Books on how to lose weight, exercise, be more spiritual, be more of a freethinker, be less of a worrier (ie freakazoid), be more assertive, make more friends, declutter my living space, parent my children, self-diagnose various diseases I might have, diagnose psychological problems I definitely have, manage my finances, manage my husband, eliminate stress, and, of course, simplify my life.
My latest quest, as you know if you read that post that made me, like, famous for 24 hours or so until people realized who I really was, was to lose weight. This did not go well. I didn’t lose any weight. I sort of came up with some new probably good habits. But no weight loss. So then I wrote my Big Fat Manifesto, in which I griped about how people hate fat people and it’s really not fair when there are so many other reasons to hate people, like that they’re assholes. I conveniently left you a link to that too, because I like it when WordPress asks me permission to link to my own stuff.
Anyway, you’re probably wondering what my new quest is now. In the last post mentioned, I said I wanted to get healthier. I think I might know the way to do it. I’ve been heavily influenced by my reading, as usual. One thing I read was this book called Sloth by Wendy Wasserstein. It’s part of this series on the seven deadly sins, only Wendy actually advocates for sloth. Sure, it’s satirical, but like all satire it holds a grain of truth. Sometimes what we need to do most is absolutely nothing.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m sort of lazy. That’s true and not true. While my body often is not off the couch, my mind is always running. I have the thinnest brain ever, next to Ana Steele. Basically, I am both Sad Pony AND Squirrel, which I guess means I am sort of dating Miss Four Eyes. Awesome. Anyway, this book gives you permission to do nothing, and is written as if it is the next great self-help book. You know what? It think it is.
My favorite movie of all time is called Office Space. It was released in 1999, so you might not remember it, but it is still awesome. When I first watched it, I was working for a boss from Hades, so I really identified with the main character, Peter. He works for this mind numbing corporation. His boss treats him like crap, his girlfriend treats him like crap, his job is killing him slowly, and he thinks each day is the worst day of his life. Until he happens to go to a shrink who puts him under hypnosis before collapsing from a a heart attack. Peter stays in this hypnosis, completely relaxed, without a care in the world. What happens afterward is my favorite part.
Instead of working on the weekend, he sleeps most of the day, ignoring calls from his boss and girlfriend. Finally he gets up, happy and refreshed. When the girlfriend calls again, he picks up the phone, glances at it, presses the off button, and goes about his business. There is something about that scene that resonates with me. Here is a situation that just the day before would have had his stomach in knots, yet now, in his relaxed state, he says pfft, and turns the bitchy girlfriend off.
And that’s not all. He goes to work. The same crap happens, only now he’s relaxed and at ease so none of it gets to him. I want that hypnosis. Of course, in real life, that’s not how hypnosis works. But I think we can still get it, if we let ourselves go, and give ourselves a break. Sometimes, it is so nice to simply just be, and those moments are so few. So that’s what I’m trying to do now. I’m embracing my inner hippie sloth – check out the link for a review on an awful kid’s show. I know, I’m on a roll here!
I’ve started doing Yoga with a DVD. I know, me, of all people. But I like the breathing part. The very best pose is one that looks suspiciously like lying flat on your back, but don’t be fooled! This is Yoga, you guyz, and I am getting all spiritual and calm and crap. There’s a lot of stretching and turning this way and that and sometimes I just stop and go “Pfft, she’s kidding, right? Legs don’t go that way.” But mostly I like it. Who knows? Maybe I might accidentally lose some weight, or possibly my asthma will improve, or at least I’ll get to take naps on a mat like in kindergarten. It’s all good.
So I’m working on just going with the flow. Maybe I’ll eat an apple. Or maybe I’ll have a milkshake. Maybe I’ll go for a walk. Maybe I’ll nap. There are endless possibilities on this new path. Reflecting this change in my quest, you might see changes on this blog. I might post a blog post next week. I might post three. I might post none. I might post two in one day. There might be more one word posts (that got me the most hits in weeks). I might not use so many pictures. I might only use pictures. I might have guest bloggers come do my dirty work. You just never know. Isn’t that exciting? Where are you going? Ah, well.