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Wednesday, May 10, 2006


A how-to guide for ruining a perfectly good day off

I treated myself to 3 whole days off of work. Work was making me stupid. And crazy. I stopped for a moment today, after I had one of those meandering thoughts that one has only when they are not being distracted by, say, annoying e-mails popping up every 5 seconds, the phone ringing incessantly, and a venerable cornucopia of incredibly urgent, mindless request forms and spreadsheets. My thought was: "work makes me stupid". My job might bring in the bacon, but I feel IQ points dropping the second I walk in the door. A difficult but monumental realization.

What a relaxing day off I have had. The jackhammers in front of my house are pounding, blocking out the birds that are probably singing, except that I can't hear them but for the jackhammers. Tomorrow morning, the same men currently jackhammering will knock on my door at 8:30 a.m. so that they can spend 2 hours making a racket inside my home. They will mess with our gas meter, and then they will tear apart our lawn. My presence is required for all of this. While they do all of this I will be trapped at home trying to entertain my toddler indoors on a rainy day. How, may you ask, do I manage such a positive attitude in the face of all of this? I don't! My attitude stinks, and if you are still with me you have likely come to that conclusion already.

It all started this morning. I was in my pajama's and trying to get the house picked up. The dinner dishes from last night were dirty in the sink, the dishwasher was full, and the baby needed to be fed. It was supposed to be rainy all day, but somehow this morning was sunny. I had phone calls to make and e mails to check. I ran all over frantically, trying to get it all done so that I could take a shower and get out and enjoy the day. Summers in Minnesota are so short, there is an insane amount of pressure to get outside and enjoy every moment of sunshine. There is so much pressure that it starts to feel like an olbigation. Only I coud take a beautiful day and turn it into something BITTER. I wanted to do something fun with Maggie, like take her to the Zoo. But most of the exhibits at the zoo are indoors, and like I said, I consider it a sacrilige to be indoors when it's nice outside. So I ran around trying to get it all done so we could get outside and enjoy some fucking sunshine goddamit.

My mind raced, I couldn't decide what to do with this precious and rare day off, on a precious and rare nice spring day. THE PRESSURE. Oh, the pressure! Again, only I could take a beautiful day off in the spring and come up with a reason to be resentful. I finally decided to walk over to our in-laws to see if they were home. They weren't. Instead, I pulled Maggie in her red wagon and we went to the park. As we walked we chattered back and forth, and I stopped to point out a bright red cardinal. The lilacs were blooming and the breeze was cool and sweet. Maggie pointed out the clouds and the birds and the flowers with such enthusiasm that I was touched, and got a little choked up. We went to the park, and we played with rocks for a long time, and we had fun. It occurred to me, that the meaningful moments are often times the most pedestrian. We didn't need no stinking zoo. We just need mommy to fucking relax.

I am not sure why I put pressure on myself that ultimately sucks the fun out of things like, say, days off with my daughter. It does occur to me that when I just resign myself and do whats easy, I end up having more fun. And I KNOW THIS. Except I keep forgetting because of all the noise, and ringing phones, and deadlines, and month-end quota requirements.

In the end, I suppose I didn't really ruin a perfectly good day off. I was on-track to ruin it, But I seem to have pulled it out in the eleventh hour, as I am inclined to do. I hope I remember how not to ruin a perfectly good day off tomorrow when the gas meter guys pillage my house and lawn and I am about to lose my shit. I think I need to pull out a thick pad of post-its and stick the same message all over the house so I don't forget again. The golden rule moving forward: "the key to enjoying life is getting mommy to fucking relax".

Now where are those fucking post-its?


Blogger Jerri Ann said...

hope things keep looking up for you

5:28 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Oh Meghan. I truly believe that the universe is shedding some toxic shit right now. I also think many of us are getting spattered with it.

And I turn my phone off at work. I know - kinda uncool, but I have to focus and I can't when all that shit is happening around me. I find I am more efficient when I return all phone calls 2ce a day.

Breathe. Breathe.

5:31 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Hi. Coming over from Mommybloggers. I'm totally like you. Type A-can' relax, can ruin in my mind at least, a good day off. Relaxation is totally not my fortee.

3:30 AM  
Blogger Girl About Town said...

Soooo true!

PS: Could you hand me a post-it while you're at it?!!

4:43 AM  
Anonymous Helene said...

Also dropping by from M-bloggers. I can totally relate to this post. We've all had days like this.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous mothergoosemouse said...

Yes, that used to be my LIFE: Let's see just how much I can fuck up everything that is good and right with the world!

I don't know how I learned to relax. Must have been the meds.

Come visit - I wrote nice things about you.

10:24 AM  
Anonymous TB said...

I hope the rest of the mini break was a little better for you. It usually takes me that first day off of work to decompress enough to relax too.

Happy Mother's Day!

10:10 AM  

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