this probably won't make much sense. sorry about that.

I have a love-hate relationship with my TuesdayFreedays. I love dropping the boy off at school, getting a hug goodbye at the door. I love the quick walk back to the car. The key in the ignition sparks the beginning of a day full of endless options. Coffee on the couch with a paperback; grocery shopping without my focus on whats going into the basket being divided by what has to come back out. Two lists at war with each other -- what I Want to do vs. what I Need to do and no rhyme or reason as to what goes on which list.

I'm a list checker. A list maker. Sometimes in that order so that when it gets time to look at the list I can take comfort in all that has already been crossed off. The longer my list, the more vulnerable I am feeling. It's my little way of shouting at the world "Hey, I'm important! Look at all I have to do! Look at all that I've already accomplished!" Those are the days I need the world to shout back. Those are the days I need a pat on the back, an atta girl, a shiny gold star. Those are the days I need to stay busy, scurrying and scuttling, to and fro, checking, checking, checking. Those are the days when I duck my head between errands so that I don't have to see anyone, to talk to anyone, to slow down long enough for the swirl of doubt and guilt and recrimination to catch up with me. Puccini or Wagner or Verdi turned up so loud that the voice of someone I don't know singing words I don't understand drowns out all but the next item to be checked off. Old men with bad hair and the gift of coaxing pure emotion into a tangle of black and white scribbles for others to pull off a page of sheet music and out of my head so that for a brief moment those emotions aren't mine but theirs and I am crying, not for reasons I can't name but for the sheer ecstasy of the music.

Did you know that tears make for shiny floors and dishes? Not so good for the keyboard, but there is always scrubbing to be done when there are too many words jammed inside your head to figure out where one thought begins and another one ends. The chaos within balanced by order without. Lists and schedules and punctuality oh my! As long as someone else is holding me accountable, it all gets done. Done and done well. A job worth doing is worth doing right and worth doing right the first time. A stitch in time saves nine. No stone left unturned. No towel left unfolded.

Left to my own devices, I don't know where to begin. The voices begin to howl. They spin. I spin. Whirl, whirl, tilt-n-whirl. Two steps forward, two steps back, how did we get here again? Louder and louder, the throb of the timpani or is that just in my head? Radames torn by desire and responsibility. Which way? Which one? Ride, Valkyries, ride!

And then, time's up, silly Rodolfo. To much too little too late. Time to pick up the boy and the milk and don't forget to get some more bananas, please and what do you have to show for your time? A list too long to ever complete, every item starred Urgent! Immediate Attention Needed! Howl, howl, howl, howl! Cordelia is dead and you should have known better than to take a nap when there were socks to be mated!


1 comment:

Lora said...

I have this problem too.

I want to relish in my free time. Do nothing.

Turn my back to the mess and close my eyes.

But then they open when the boy comes through the door and nothing is done and I feel like I'm drowning.

I swear it's like falling asleep on the beach and not realizing the tide is coming in until you're halfway to England and three leagues below the surface