Sunday, May 27, 2012

I Forgot . . .

Memorial Day Weekend!

Time for a little catching up.  I have not posted any weight stats for the past few weeks because I have been struggling so mightily.  And in the last month I have learned a great deal. 

I had a belated birthday lunch yesterday with my high school friend, R.  She is the only person I am in touch with from those days - and I always find it to be so amazing that we have known each other as long as we have - and that we escaped from the high school we attended to become the awesome souls we are today.  Believe me, it's a miracle.  We attended high school in one of the most conservative suburbs of Chicagoland that exists . . .

Over our annual lunch of pear blossom martinis and deadly good steak, we catch up with each other's lives, and squeeze months of living into a few hours.  Yesterday's afternoon included a visit to Mosaic Yarn, where I got got spend my Christmas gift certificate  :-)  (no, I didn't buy yarn, but that big reissued knitting compendium, an Elsebeth Lavold book and the buttons for a cardigan that will get finished today, came home with me!)

One of the things we talked about is how amazed we are that we are both still learning so much about our bodies at this stage of our lives.  R is learning to live with a recently diagnosed chronic condition, and I - well, other than the size of my ass, I'm blessedly healthy, for which I am grateful every day. What I've learned, though, in the past month - that's what's interesting to me.  In the past month, I've gained about 7 pounds.  Knowing my body as I do, I know at least 3 or 4 pounds of that is water.  The rest is  - well, my response to workplace stress. 

Because I don't define myself by what I do to pay the bills, I have pretty much always been able to leave work behind me when I walk out the door.  But lately, that's not been the case.  My workload has increased to the point where it would take - literally - three people to replace me should I get run over by a bus.  It's never possible to catch up.  It's never possible to finish something and feel like it's done, and done well.  Mistakes are made.  Constantly.  Impossible demands are made - and are not able to be fulfilled, leading to a constant mantle of failure.

Do you remember the old joke about the man drowning in the ocean? 

A guy in a rowboat comes back and says "Hop in!  I'll save you."   And the man says, "No, no, I'm waiting for God to save me."  Awhile later, an ocean liner come by, and the captain says, "Hang on, I'll throw you a life preserver!  I'll save you."  And the man says, "No, no, I'm waiting for God to save me."  Then, a helicopter flies over and the pilot yells down, "I'm dropping the ladder down!  Grab on and I'll save you."  And the man says, "No, no, I'm waiting for God to save me."  The man drowns, and when he gets to the Pearly Gates, he says to God, "I was praying and waiting for you to save me, God - why didn't you save me?" 

And God says, "What!!  I sent you a rowboat.  I sent you an ocean liner.  And then I even sent you a helicopter!  What more did you want?!"

I brought work stress home with me - so exhausted by the time I would get home, that I wasn't capable of anything other than collapsing in a chair in front of the telly, and too tired to walk in the mornings.  That should have been my rowboat moment.

Eating fast food because I was too exhausted to cook and eat healthily was my ocean liner (because I don't east fast food - I just don't . . . JesusMaryandJosephthatstufftasteslikeshit).  But still, I kept on keeping on.

My helicopter moment was forgetting to pay the mortgage.

I forgot to pay the mortgage. 

Oh HELL no.  Multiple divorces, the death of my mom, every kind of life upheaval imaginable has happened to me, and I have always paid the mortgage - on time, every time.  Anyone who knows me in the real world knows that bills and personal finance are areas where I'm stellar. Stellar.  Friends ask me for guidance, stellar. For me to forget to pay the mortgage . . . it's truly unbelievable, and serious, incontrovertible evidence that something was really not OK with me.

Pretty big wake up call, huh?   I was panic-stricken.  The mortgage got paid.  I spoke to my boss, and things are in the process of getting back to a more even keel there (that's huge and I was worried, because that talk could have gone either way . . . ).  I am walking again.  Yesterday I made two very healthy and yummy salads to take to a BBQ today. 

Life really is what happens when we're making other plans, and it happens whether we are paying attention or not.  When I'm not paying attention is when I get into deep water.  The currents are rough and old habits die hard. And it's kind of funny in a macabre sort of way - I mean, really, how far out at sea do you have to be before you  have that "oh shit" moment and realize you can't swim back to shore on your own?  It pays to pay attention.  And it pays to pay the mortgage.

3 comments:

Kristyn said...

Man work stuff must be going around because I am having major work stress myself. My Fitness Friday posts have hit the skids because there hasn't been much - if any - fitness around here.

A :-) said...

A wakeup call for both of us, Kristyn.

Amy said...

Work sucks all around it seems. Hope it gets better.