Archive for November, 2008


Friday, November 21st, 2008

This morning it happened again. My head started spinning and while completing the ten thousand tasks I had to complete before 10 am I started forgetting everything.

When you’re running around like an absolute madwoman, it doesn’t help to be forgetting what you just did (or didn’t do) two seconds ago. It’s as though my brain is sending me a signal, loud and clear: DANGER AHEAD… SLOW DOWN or you will EXPLODE.

So, it’s Friday afternoon. I have work to do, but it will have to wait. I have to do carpool, buy beer for a parent dinner tonight, pick up kids at playdate and… RELAX. Can I fit in time for a run in the sun? No, but when I’m back from my errands I might be able to sneak in a quick walk in the darkness of an early winter dusk. Emphasis on might.

An Unexpected Gift

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

This morning, after kids’ drop offs, I climbed right back into bed, fully clothed, pulled the covers up to my chin and watched The Today Show.

Nice, huh? Think I do this sort of thing every day?

This morning I woke up at 5am and couldn’t get back to sleep.  I must have dozed off because I jumped out of bed in a panic at 6:36 to get the three kids up and out by 7:15. This includes having one of them take a shower, dressing another and feeding them all breakfast. Oh and not allowing the girls to go to school with rats nests in their hair. Forget about brushing teeth, we rarely manage that on Tuesday mornings.

Why the mad rush? On Tuesdays I have to drop the youngest at my sister-in-law’s, drop the middle one at her school and then drive my son’s carpool to his school about 25 minutes away. The whole ordeal takes 1 1/2 hours from start to finish. Then I had a 9am business meeting in a neighboring town.

So, I was frazzled, hungry and had not had time for coffee. (I did brush my teeth, though.)

But lo and behold, I was suddenly blessed with an unexpected gift: another carpool parent offered to drive the kids… it’s on his way… he doesn’t mind… it took me a nanosecond to say, sure, take ‘em!

On my way out of the parking lot, unable to believe my luck, I weighed my options:

  1. Go to my sister-in-law’s and hang out for half an hour with her, then take Svenja to the bus stop (Meave usually does that for me on Tuesdays–thank God for family)
  2. Go home and do some work before leaving for my meeting. I could pitch a few more people for this book, work a bit more on my other book, write some e-mails, blog… I could get ahead (so to speak)
  3. Finish the laundry. I have two loads–one ready to fold and one ready to dry. Oh, and another pile gathered already, since YESTERDAY, to throw in the wash.
  4. Make a pot of coffee and sit in the kitchen savoring the Arts section of the New York Times.

And then I thought: what the hell, how long has it been since I’ve lounged in bed watching the Today Show?! Not since GRADUATE SCHOOL 15 years ago.

On my way to my 9 am meeting, that old song came on, “Taking Care of Business.” I turned the volume up and sang along. The unexpected gift of just a little time to indulge myself suddenly made the day seem full of potential.

From bitchy to balanced

Monday, November 10th, 2008

Well, I wasn’t so much bitchy yesterday as horribly morose. I know in my gut that it was because of lack of exercise, but I could not summon up the energy or will to get moving!

So, today I took action.

  1. Made an appointment with my doctor to check my thyroid levels and to see whether I have a sinus infection. When I’m down, there’s almost always a physical component involved. Waking up every morning for one month feeling rotten is not “normal.”
  2.  Went to Boot Camp at the gym. It was exhausting, but once I was there, I just did it. Felt even more exhausted afterward, but at least I got some endorphins going for my many hours at the computer today!
  3. Spent some alone-time with my ten-year old. With her creamy little cheeks, her long crazy hair and her funny observations on the world, she always brings me back to the moment in a way feels great.
  4. Decided to clean out the stained glass “studio” this weekend so when the weather starts getting unbearable, I can go down there and start breaking some glass and making art. The trick for me is to find things to do that keep me occupied but don’t make me even more frantic than I already am.
  5. Started a food diary. Oh how I hate food diaries: hate hate hate them. But, truth is, when you’re down in the dumps for no good reason, Cheesy Cheetos appear to be the answer… but if you write it down, your logical mind wins out over your crazy, illogical, stuff-your-face-with-junk mind.

Now for a glass of red wine and making dinner for the kids. Early to bed and I will crack open a new book. I am taking some of my own medicine!


Sunday, November 9th, 2008


You feel down even when the sky is blue

The day seems long and bedtime is too far away

Your friends seem distant

The kids don’t need you, or if they do, it’s to wash their socks

Work feels unrewarding

You try to pull yourself up by the bootstraps with images of hungry children, homeless families, ill-fated people… and it only makes you feel guily for not being grateful

… sometimes, telling yourself you are lucky and should be happy isn’t enough.

So you sit and read, do chores, work diligently on projects, eat and drink way too much and you wait for the feeling to pass. You know it will pass because the feeling is unsubstantiated. There’s no reason for unease or dissatisfaction, yet it swamps you. Sleep is interrupted. You stop exercising. Everything seems like too much effort.

What do you do when life feels like that?

EXERCISE! It’s a physical thing: you need those endorphins. Call a buddy, go for a walk, force yourself to go out running. Do 15 minutes at the gym, and tomorrow go for 30.

As for me, tomorrow… tomorrow I am getting back on the bandwagon, no excuses.  Maybe I need to take up Zumba, or kick boxing…!