Hoo boy, am I out of it.
I kept running when I got home from Massachusetts, paused for a moment to write a post about what the week was like and just kept going, because I came home to more stress, more to figure out, more to handle. There was no time to sit and relax for a few minutes so that I could unwind or even take time to grieve, as everyone suggested and I desired. In fact, the sadness and stress of the first week was overlapped with the onslaught of emotion and exhaustion of the next. Without going into details, I dealt with it the only way I knew how, which was to move forward one day at a time and figure everything out as I went along. I was once again amazed by the support of those around me.
I blew up over the weekend, taking out on Matt the overwhelm of the two weeks I’d just had. It was short-lived, and he understood exactly where the sudden swell of rage had come from, and I took to my bed for the rest of the afternoon. But it wasn’t his fault and I was very sorry, because when you (uncharacteristically) have so many people you’d like to holler at and one person acts as your true lifeline to sanity, it’s really unacceptable to holler at that one person.
Since that afternoon lying in my bed with my books, sense of regret and iPhone Scrabble, I’ve been quite unable to get moving again. I feel it, this desire to tune out for a while, and I just want to sit and be quiet. I started to rearrange my schedule for the week, pushing anything back that could be moved and canceling things that weren’t strictly necessary. This didn’t include the kids’ activities for this week, but things that were my responsibilities. And so I am in the midst of a series of mismatched days where I have half a day to be on my own, followed by a busy afternoon with the kids, and it helps but isn’t quite enough. When I noted last night that my little blocks of time off weren’t alleviating my exhaustion, my wise friend Emily wrote to me, “You might be surprised at what even one day of complete decompression will do for you” and I know she’s right. I need to run my battery all the way down before I can truly recharge it. I know I could pull that off with Matt’s help, but I don’t see a way to make it happen in the near future.
There is work to catch up on after my week away, loads of it, and so I try to check a few things off my to do list each day, because watching that grow exponentially is also stressful. I find myself limping along on this quiet morning at home, a meeting postponed due to the snow that has continued to fall for hours, catching up on 500+ unread blog posts (thankful for that “Mark all as read” button) and eating tortilla chips in my pajamas, half tuned out and half plagued by that which I am not doing. I try to jump in and do something simple like communicate with my fellow kindergarten moms about filling the volunteer spots in our kids’ class and realize that I’ve screwed up the most basic scheduling task; it leaves me feeling as if I’m on drugs or like maybe stress has eaten half of my brain and I’m not actually functioning as well as I think I am.
We’ve all been in this place, and we all crawl out of it somehow, except for those of us who become unwashed recluses and live in a shack in the woods, I suppose, but I’m too attached to my nice house with its indoor plumbing and good shampoo and Internet connection, and, well, people, to make that move. So I guess I’ll just take my little breaks when I can get them, and start crawling my way out.