ABOUT ME

About me: I'm 40 and added another gherkin to our pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our 8-year-old Junior, our 5-year-old Everett, our baby and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). When I'm not busy working as a graphic designer, I lie in a ball in the corner.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

We had pancakes for dinner

Years ago I shared an office with a woman whom I kind of hated. She wasn’t a bad person. She was just on fast forward. At a moment’s notice, she was ready to roll up her sleeves and attack a project. Her motto was “Let’s bang this shit out!”

I, on the other hand—a single woman in my late twenties—couldn’t understand what her rush was. Her eagerness annoyed the crap out of me. She was always on.

I remember once I was gingerly hand-cutting a proof for a vendor, and she stopped and watched me. I could see her hands moving faster for me.

She didn’t even drink coffee.

I thought of her today. Chuck’s been gone for 12-hour days for reasons I can’t get into. I’ve been waking at the buttcrack of dawn to get me and my bump ready for work and Junior ready for pre-school. I drop him off, work all day, pick him up, make dinner, get ready for bed and er, blog. Somewhere in there I do laundry, dishes, grocery shop and make sure my clothes aren’t inside-out.

Don’t forget the house showings at a moment’s notice.

To add insult to injury, Junior has another ear infection. I can’t take off work, so Chuck’s mother is spending the night tonight; my mother is spending the night tomorrow night. It’s like the slasher version of the Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, in which they want to talk and laugh and all I want to do is poke my eyes out. Or maybe jump through a window and fly to Antarctica.

One-way.

I honestly didn’t write this post intending it to be a pity party. I wrote it because I suddenly understand the can-do attitude of my former co-worker. She was a single, working mother with an elderly parent for whom she also cared. She ploughed through because she had to.

Kind of like me now. When I see a mess, I don’t stop to assess it, I dive in. I don't have a choice. I have to get things done. I'm a fricken workhorse, and the 20-something slowpokes at the office are making me insane.

Insane!

I’m still on the fence about what this all means. Perhaps that I’ve fully acquiesced to grown-up-ville and its mundane chores (I did, after all, post a cheery Facebook status about replacement windows). Or perhaps that I’m projecting kind, apologetic feelings toward my former co-worker in an attempt to sooth my own, tired, frail, plump ego.

Whatever the case, I'm shit banger outer.

How...exciting.

19 comments:

VandyJ said...

The can do attitude comes with that extra set of hands, eyes in the back of your head and the other mom things they give you in the hospital. The mom voice comes as part of the package too.
There are times I hate the mom voice. and the can do attitude, but no one else with do those things.

VandyJ said...

Will do those things-it's been a long day already.

Mammatalk said...

I think it's called adulthood. Yikes. It's been biting me in the butt, too. Hang in there.

Sharyn Essman said...

Congratulations. I suspect that, along with that let's-do-it attitude comes a generous helping of satisfaction.

Jana@anattitudeadjustment said...

I had a very similar realization when my husband was away a couple of months ago. When it was just me and the boy, I could handle it, actually. He went to bed pretty early and I enjoyed quiet me time. But with a baby and a toddler, I was totally exhausted and grumpy after two days. I had way more respect for single moms (and I grew up with one).

Sylvia said...

I fell your pain. I used to wonder about the rush - I never missed deadlines but wasn't flying through. NOW - I'm doing a marathon at a sprinting pace. Gotta go bang some shit out now!

A Mom on Spin said...

My motivation only stems from the realization that no one else on the planet is going to do whatever it is that needs to be done. . .

Frogs in my formula said...

No one else on the planet is going to do whatever it is that needs to be done...

You said it!

Jana, I have a newfound respect for single moms myself.

Lindy said...

Who doesn't drink coffee?!

Mrs. Tuna said...

Just keep saying, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

And add a giant cup of Starbucks.

The Mother said...

Maybe you're just pregnant and tired and strung out?

Mama Badger said...

You know the part of Finding Nemo where Dori and Marlin are in the jelly fish and her mantra becomes "just keep swimming, just keep swimming". When PB is out of town, that's my mantra. If you just keep moving, then it all gets done and doesn't bog you down.

Sparkling said...

I'm not a mother, but I am a teacher and they are quite similar in that we say the same things, act the same way and have eyes in the back of our heads. When we graduate, teachers are also given the extra set of ears to hear from all the way across the room as well as the extra nose to detect gum from outside the building.

I have always been a shit banger outer, so I can only imagine what I would be like if put under the duress of caring for children and elderly parents. Scary.

Keely said...

Huh. I used to FEEL like a shit-banger-outer, but in fact I probably wasn't. Now I feel constantly overwhelmed with STUFF that I have to DO, and then I do it. So I am a shit-banger-outer, I just don't feel like one.

Because there is SO MUCH TO DO. Gah.

Pricilla said...

Sometimes stuff just HAS to get done and if you are the only one to do it...

I hope things get better. I really do.
Goat hugs

Irrational Dad said...

I fully believe that full-bodied, able adults who don't drink coffee are not human. That is all.

Sparkling said...

Hey, am I missing the pancakes piece??? Or were you just telling us what you had for dinner?

marybt said...

I can't believe you posted an FB status about windows. The statuses like, "Wow! I'm so tired! I did 3 loads of laundry, took the kid to soccer and the other kid to choir, vacummed the steps, put gas in the van, and made a homemade organic free range brocolli rube casserole from scratch with homemade garlic bread on the side." make me want to jump off the nearest roof.

marybt said...

Oh yeah, and also, it's not like EVERYTHING on the list HAS to get done or the world will end.

Look at each item on your list and ask yourself, "What is the very worst thing that will happen if I don't do this?" If the answer is, "I will have to wear my panties 2 days in a row," then by all means, bang that shit out. If it's, "We'll have to have pancakes for dinner," then who really cares?