If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always had.

Friday, March 17, 2006

To Insanity and Beyond

I was going to post this the other day, but Blogger wouldn't let me on. Just wanted you to know that I really was thinking about you.

Someone at work the other day made the comment about going crazy. It was pretty busy, so the remark was appropriate! I was up to my elbows in dishwater and said, "I go crazy twice a year whether I need to or not." We all had a good laugh, which broke the tension that was building, but I had one of those uneasy moments when you realize there is more truth than you realized to what you just said. (Fortunately, this time it wasn't an embarrassing Freudian slip that I will never live down...)

It occurred to me that I do have regular bouts of 'going crazy.' I'm not talking about bona fide mental illness; ADHD is as far as I'll get with that. I'm talking about stressed out, chronically cranky, and generally unhappy and ready to get on with things.

One is early to mid-December, especially when I've worked retail. Christmas season is churning toward its culmination, people are trying to find The Perfect Gift for everyone on their list, and the person behind the corner becomes their personal servant and whipping boy. Lucky for me I didn't have that problem last Christmas, but I had other stressors, which were good things at far too busy a time. I love having family visit, and I love being involved at church, and I love my job, but there was just too much going on.

The second crazy time is sometime in May, when we're slogging through the last of the books and looking forward to some much needed time off from school. I usually school year-round, with long breaks on a regular basis, but this year, since Alex is in school, we're conforming more to the public school schedule. We will do a little school in the summer, but only enough to keep them from forgetting everything from the previous year. I repeat myself enough, thank you. The end of the school year is when I really dislike being the adult and not being able to say, "Forget it. Put it all away. Vacation starts now."

I am happy to report that I will be short one crazy time this year. We're not moving this summer. Yeah for retirement!

It occurs to me that there are things in my life that most people think are crazy. I'm a homeschooling mom; I'm a writer; I make extra money by washing dishes by hand. (No, we don't have an automatic dishwasher at work. Yet.) Homeschooling and writing are not always easy. Sometimes I'm ready to throw up my hands and chuck it all.

The dishwashing, though, I love and look forward to. I used to think it was because there is no stress and no learning curve, but I realized yesterday that there is more to it than that. I wash the same things over and over at work. The other day I washed every rubber scraper at least twice. But at the end of the day, I leave. There might be dishes left; rinsed and easy to wash the next day to be sure, but sitting there waiting for the next person. When I go back to work there will almost certainly be something waiting for me. It's fine. I don't mind that because I'm not looking at it 24/7. Dishes at home are a slog sometimes because it doesn't matter how often I do them, there is always something in or next to the sink. It wears me down to have them constantly demanding my attention, along with all the other minutae in my life.

I probably am more than a little crazy, but who isn't? I mean, really, at the end of the day we all do things others don't get. Some of us just do more of them that others!


Blogger Jean said...

Recognizing and acknowledging these "crazy" times sounds very healthy to me. I think when you know it's coming, and especially if you have a coping mechanism in place, it makes it easier when you recognize the time. You notice the craziness. You make the connection. You say, "Ahah! I know what this is. It happens all the time and will last about this long. I can deal with that." Then you keep on truckin'.

For the places like that in my life that I've learned to identify, things go much more smoothly now.

6:29 PM  

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