28 August 2012

How I Got Through My Monday

I was reading this article last week and I started thinking...
This is as much of a bane as it is a blessing.

The premise of the article, entitled Are We All Braggarts Now?, is that things like Facebook have led us to become braggarts...or at the very least, attention seekers.  I recommend reading the entire article, but I think it should go a step further:  the internet in general is leading us to be not only braggarts, but sometimes the worst versions of ourselves.  Not just Facebook, but Twitter, blogs and even forums display boasts of accomplishment and luck.  Sometimes I find myself jealous of other bloggers who seem to have it all together.
This is a day of exhaustion, after which I passed out into bed.
So let's just snap back to reality here.  Sometimes, shit sucks.  My life isn't perfect.  In fact, my life is kind of a mess (relatively, my life is pretty easy - I live within my means, I have no horrible trauma in my past that requires therapy, and unless you count college tuition, I have not been terribly mistreated.  I don't want you to get the wrong impression; I am grateful for all the blessings in my life.  That doesn't mean I "have it all together.").

Last week at work was stressful.  Friday was the worst.  The kind where at home, I'd been neglecting housework and that was starting cause some serious negative energy - and I don't mean housework like "oh, it might have been a couple weeks since I last vacuumed."  I mean the kind where I have a small mountain of homegrown tomatoes that are nearing spoilage because I can't find the time to do something with them.  I am somehow trying to plan two camping trips in the middle of Harvest Season and working 40 hours a week.  And then at work, I was facing an "impossible" problem (the optimist in me requires that I clarify that this problem was only difficult, and that I shouldn't use the word 'impossible').  And it didn't get neatly wrapped up at the end of the day Friday.  Oh no.  The majority of the work was sitting there waiting for me Monday.  And the kitchen looked like a small tornado had passed through.  And the wine is still sitting in the carboy, threatening to turn into vinegar if I don't find time for it.  And it seemed like every bill came due at the same time.
This is a mountain of work.
Therefore, Saturday was a work day.  I had to get some of this stuff done, if only for peace of mind.  But instead, Mom and I spent THE ENTIRE DAY working on elderberries - picking them, de-stemming them, juicing them, canning them.  And after I was thoroughly exhausted, I went home for just long enough to take a shower, and then out to the bar we went.  Because that's the smart way to handle exhaustion, right?  Oh, and the other thing that happened that day was that I found out a mouse had eaten the first cheese I ever made.  The whole block.  I didn't even get to taste it.

Enter Sunday.  My mountain of tasks seemed to be getting bigger rather than smaller.  Before I tackled the tomatoes, I wanted to stop by the garden and make sure I had all the ripe ones so I didn't have to double my work.  On Saturday, my cousin told me that raccoons or something had knocked down all the corn (my garden is at her house) but I was so exhausted when she told me this that it didn't register.  I arrived to find my garden destroyed...they didn't just knock down the corn.  They ate every single ear.  My entire corn crop, that I had worked so hard on - just gone.  And the cucumbers looked like crap, and the tomato plants have been getting browner and browner every time I go there.
The only ones still standing are ones that had no ears on them.
People, I sat down in the grass and just cried it out.  I tried to tell myself that I should be thankful that the raccoons didn't figure out how tasty the tomatoes were too.  I tried to tell myself that the corn was just an experiment and this whole thing was a learning experience.  But I was at my limit.  Stress receptors were operating at capacity.  Reason and logic were no longer options.
These look like crap.
And then I saw it.  One lonely ear, too high up for the raccoons to notice.  One cob of Hopi Blue Dent, a mystery heirloom blue corn I'd never heard of before, much less tasted.
After trying to eat this, I'm 90% sure it's only good for making blue corn meal.
It didn't turn my weekend around.  In fact, I got home and was too mopey to work, so I asked Kyle to take a walk with me down by the lake.  It was an extremely hot day, and the cool breeze off the water combined with someone who's there for me no matter how unreasonable I get did wonders.  And the rain that fell later was refreshing, cleansing, perfect.
This is what a fresh perspective looks like.
I cut up and froze tomatoes.  I pressured canned beef broth (my first time pressure canning!).  I bought stuff and did some planning for one of the camping trips.  I cleaned up my bedroom.  I bought presents for a couple birthdays.  I canned elderberry juice and helped Mom start a batch of elderberry wine.  I washed all the jars of canned goods and put them in my pantry.  I cleaned up the kitchen.  I went through my finances and paid bills.  I wrote a crappy blog post about how overwhelmed I am.  I crossed things off my list.  I turned the mountain into a foothill.
This is the small sense of accomplishment I get for nearly killing myself.
And that's how I got through my Monday.  I did work.  I buckled down and solved an impossible problem.  I went home and tackled more of my list.  This is real life.  It isn't pretty and it isn't always happy.  Real life has problems and tears and ugly things.  But hey, it could be worse...just remember, someone has Snooki for a mother.


  1. I think you're great. And I can't wait to see you tonight. The end.

  2. Bravo! Honest and real.