It's funny how the highs and lows of life ebb and flow. I think that I am learning to wade those turbulent tide waters with grace and humor as I age. I won't lie to you though. There are those moments of weakness where I am inflexible and a pain-in-the-ass. I suppose I could wax poetic about how those lows teach me how to bask in the beauty of my highs, or how my dark days are the foundation for the brighter ones.
But I am not a fucking inspirational poster.
These past two weeks have been full of trifling, ire-inducing exercises in frustration that, if I am being honest, I could easily have done without.
The week before last, it was my day job that pushed me to the edge of my sanity. Multiple what-the fucks came at me all week long. These were things that were entirely out of my control but still made me feel as if they were a reflection upon my character and work ethic. By beer o'clock Friday, I was totally down with a hard drunk or a no-expenses paid getaway to my local psychiatric unit. I was more than ready for the weekend break because I was professionally broken.
The week did strike me as odd as I tend to stay pretty much on an even keel with my daily grind. Years ago, I learned the hard way to keep my work and personal life completely separate and that work, no matter how hard I do it, will always be there. There will always be a new task to tackle, another project to finish, or another deadline to meet. It simply isn't worth spiraling into a negative frame of mind over something that pays the bills. Just take a deep breath, clock out, and go home. I can always pick it back up the next day to handle it.
I did post a frantic, though slightly amusing, white flag on my personal social media about how rough it was. My heart was warmed by my beloved colleagues and their responses. I don't think I have ever felt more supported or valued in all my years of being a desk jockey.
And then I felt the gratitude that had been missing as of late.
I work in an incredible environment surrounded by talented creatives that I adore. I am finally at a point in my life where it looks a lot like the vision I had conjured when I was in college: to surround myself with art and beauty in all things. I can't deny that I am ever so lucky to spend my work days with gifted masters of the arts.
I get to do this as a job? Do you understand how phenomenal that is? I have an incredibly cool fucking position working with marvelously cool fucking people doing brilliantly cool fucking things. Not only do I get to do that, I also earn real cash doing so. Money that funds all of my creative endeavors.
By Sunday, I was over it and feeling steady. On Monday, work slanted back to the comfortable and familiar. Of course, there were a few more tricks up the Mercury Retrograde sleeve at my job but I was able to sail past them smoothly. When I logged at out at the end of the day last Friday, I did it with a slight smile and no cursing.
I wish I could the say it was the same on the home front.
Gaia, how I wish I could say that!
It is unclear if we have some fae running amok in our home or if timing was our enemy. Maybe I pissed off the spirit world. Maybe I made one too many sarcastic comments and my ugly energy had come back to kick my ass.
Everything is breaking.
Ok, I am speaking in hyperbole here, but you know what I mean.
It started with our daughter's phone. I'm pretty sure I broke it with the power of my mind. She and I were have a serious argument and I growled that I would destroy her phone if she didn't go to bed.
Yeah, great parenting. I know, but electronics are life. They are the be-all, end-all of teenagedom. It is my only recourse. There are no other extras or privileges that I can take away. If you wanna be a Judgey McJudgerpants, feel free to come over and convince her to go to bed at a reasonable hour. I'll sit back and watch while you do it. I have plenty of popcorn and ample amounts of tea. I quite enjoy a good dramedy.
The next morning, she is freaking out because, lo and behold, her phone isn't working.
Of course, I felt terrible and anxious. Terrible because I spoke it into being and anxious because I am a slight helicopter mom. She needs her phone. Both for her safety and for my peace of mind.
She did say later that an update had occurred but that afterwards, the touchscreen stopped working. We are watching all the YouTube videos and begrudgingly looking at a new phone on our carrier's site. I only feel moderately better that it wasn't my Jedi mind-tricks that caused its demise.
That very same afternoon, I discovered that my car battery had died. The extreme cold had zapped it. The juice was so dry that we couldn't even pop the trunk. You know, where the jumper cables are located? I was without a vehicle for a few days as we scrambled to figure out a solution. My soul mate attempted to use the battery tinder for his motorcycle to coax it back to life but to no avail. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
Bonus! My car was facing the end of our driveway with no space for another car to pull around to charge it. We were going to have to push it down to the street for someone to give us a jump.
My brilliant other half quickly ordered a GOOLOO Jump Starter Power Bank and we waited with nerve-wracking anticipation for its arrival. It finally came a day or so later and, Zap! The car purred back to life almost instantly. We let it run for about twenty or so minutes, assured that all was right in the world again.
I am sad to say, that it was not meant to be. The battery was dead again by the very next day. I was able to hook up the ol' GOOLOO and get her going but we both knew what it meant. It is time to replace the battery. Neither of us can remember the last time we had done so.
Okay, new battery. Maybe a new phone. That's not too bad, you might be thinking.
Well, stop doing that. It isn't helping.
Friday night, we ventured out into the snowstorm that was was clamping its icy fingers over the city at an astounding speed. We weren't being foolish. We weren't looking for shits and giggles with donuts in parking lots and skidding sideways on ice. We simply needed to pick up our son from his job. And we needed to pick up yet another gallon of milk. And we also desired all the baked goods for late night winter snacking.
Upon our return home, I accidentally kicked the shit out of the clay flowerpot on the steps by our door, smashing it to smithereens. I liked that pot very much. I liked it more so than the hefty boots that crushed it. I don't give a shit if the boots kept my feet warm and dry in the snow. I grow flowers in that damn pot and that gives me joy. I'm from Appalachia. I know how to keep my feet dry with bread bags. I need that flower pot for my Zen gardening moments. I can pour seeds in that bitch and scream "Serenity Now!" to find my inner peace and calm my tits for a hot minute.
Okay, what's one more broken item this week? It's just a pot. I try to shrug. I play it off as if it is no big deal.
Until my husband comes up from the basement the next afternoon to let me know that the washer had kicked the bucket too. With a full tub of water and a load of black clothes no less.
One thousand dollars later, we are careening down Richmond Road towards home. The shiny new washer and dryer were strapped snuggly in the back of our truck. I laughed maniacally all the way there.
I laughed at the absurdity of the week. I laughed at the ridiculous manner in which it had all played out. I laughed at our empty coffers and I laughed at how much I love my husband. I laughed because there is nothing left to do except but laugh. I laughed because my mad and my sad are both broken.
And I hope they both stay that way.
Me and Mr. P posing for a drunk selfie while walking home from our favorite watering hole.