We moved into our home 2 years ago, and to this day, I have never scrubbed the kitchen floor. Well, not really. Not unless you count wiping up spilled milk with your sock. I can also count on one hand the number of times the bathroom in the basement has been cleaned, and our guest bedroom is actually just an uninhabitable giant pile of the junk that I don’t know what to do with. My daughter is almost 2, and I still haven’t organized the clothes she outgrew a year ago. Some are still hanging in her closet. The rest? Well, they’re laying on the floor of the closet in a pile, waiting to be washed and folded and organized into neatly labeled bins. It’s on the to-do list. And let’s not even get started on the microwave. I actually dread the day we have people over and someone makes the fatal error of looking inside that death trap. It needs some serious elbow grease, or maybe just to be pulled off the wall and thrown into the deep dark abyss at the bottom of a lake, where it belongs. Either way, it’s also on the list. I’ll likely remember to do it right after I finally remember to pull something out of the freezer in time to thaw for dinner. I swear, no matter how many reminders I put on my phone, I manage to forget about dinner every single day until about 5 minutes before my husband walks through the door. And by then, it’s too late. It’s a good thing my family loves cereal.
Am I stressed out? Heck yes, I’m stressed out. I’m always stressed out.
Or at least my husband says I am. But I would argue that I’m only stressed out, like, 99% of the time. Regardless, I’m pretty sure he actually questions whether or not he married a crazy person at times, and I don’t blame him. I wonder the same thing. Am I crazy? No seriously, am I!? And then I tell myself I’ve only been this way since becoming a mother. Yep, it’s the kids. I blame them. Keeping another human being alive isn’t easy.
But if I’m being totally honest, I think it probably started long before that – the stress. As a matter of fact, I’ve probably been stressed out for years, maybe even decades. I can’t quite pinpoint when or why it started. Maybe it’s a girl thing. Or maybe, it’s just a me thing.
Either way, the worries and stressors always come a knockin.’ Day after day, those little weasels creep their way in, stealing my energy and sanity, and driving me to drink caffeine with reckless abandon. My to-do list continues to pile up. I feel my brain turning into a gerbil, running endlessly in circles around that squeaky little wheel of a head of mine, trying to get things done, but never actually getting anywhere.
But seriously, I go to Target like 5 times a week. Not because I want to, but because I manage to forget something on my list every single time. Or I forget the list. Or a tantrum breaks out just 5 minutes into our trip because I forgot, yet again, to pack enough snacks in the diaper bag for adequate bribing fuel. Or worst of all, I left the sippy cup full of milk on the counter at home, and we didn’t even make it all the way into the store before all Hell broke loose.
There are just so many little things to do and remember. And each night, by the time dinner is eaten and cleaned up, the toddler is finally tucked into bed, and I’ve kicked a decent amount of the toys under the ottoman in order to forge a path to the couch, my brain has turned to sludge. I know I should work on all the things on my to-do list, but when I try and remember what those things are, all I find is an Oreo-shaped hole. I ask my husband to grab me a few. And yes, he knows “a few” really just means, “bring the whole dang package or you’ll just be back up in 5 minutes for more.” He brings orange juice too. Or wine. He knows me better than I know myself, that guy. And that moment, there on the couch with my mouth jam-packed full of cookie bits? That’s my 1%, my stress-free moment of unadulterated peace, relaxation, and indulgence.
Until I realize how many calories I just inhaled in a matter of minutes, and suddenly I’m back to my old, tightly-wound self.
I’d love to tell you that I’ve had some type of revelation, or discovered a way to decrease the stress in my life. But, let’s face it, I’ve got nothing. Truthfully, I’m not sure I’d even recognize myself without it. It’s what drives me. It’s part of who I am. Or at least it feels like it. I’m not even sure how one would begin to work on such a thing?
Maybe I should finally try yoga – give myself a legitimate excuse for always wearing their clothes all these years. Maybe instead of being stressed out 99% of the time, I can work it down to a 98, or maybe even a solid 97. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do. Yoga.
And I’ll start by jotting that down on my to-do list.