Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I am a crazy person, so what.


This morning I woke up with a headache.

I also woke up with a nagging sense of discontent. This week while Michael’s away at camp, I wanted to completely over-haul his bedroom. I wanted to clean out the closets in all the bedrooms and use this week to get the house completely in order. I was also acutely aware of blogs that I wanted to visit, comments I wanted to leave, a post I needed to write, a wood project that lay unfinished, a plant that needed to be dug up.

Did I mention that we are out of milk?

And yesterday instead tackling all these things, I hunkered down in my office and worked on my writing project all afternoon. Yep. I did the unthinkable. I blew off all my obligations and only pulled myself away from my writing to go on a run with Stella, and read some chapters of  Obsessed and Beautiful Ruins

But this morning I was in a crappy mood.



I felt rushed and anxious and it was only eight in the morning. Jim was standing at the front door when I walked to the entry table to grab my car keys and I glanced at the mirror. “Oh my God. I look terrible. Look at my skin.” I whined.

And he smiled. “You do realize you have a totally distorted view of your looks, right?” 

But I ignored him and we began discussing the bike that needed to be dropped off for a tune-up. Could I do this in the afternoon, he asked.

I sighed. Yes, why not? One more thing to add to my growing list of things I was not getting done.

And then Jim came into my office to hand me some aspirin and said, “Les, you really need to take a deep breath and observe yourself right now.”

“I have a headache; I’ll feel better when it’s gone.” (But secretly I was counting the seconds until he left the house so I could jump into the paperwork and bills in front of me).

“No I’m not talking about your headache. I’m talking about the anxiety you’re always feeling because…



“Jim. Look around. It’s just that everywhere I look there’s something unfinished. I wanted to get so much writing done this week but I also wanted the closets…”

And he laughs. Yep. He just bursts out laughing in the middle of my explanation and says,

“Leslie. I’ve known you for a long time and you’ve always got projects you’re working on and I’m telling you this has nothing to do with your projects, or Michael being away this week and you wanting to get the house cleaned. There’s always going to be something, it’s called Life. You need to slow down and just observe your feelings, without judging yourself.”

He tells me how his practice of mindfulness helps him avoid getting swept up in the raging emotions of the moment. How observing his moods without judgment help him maintain a healthy detachment. And he makes me take a deep breath with him although he’s smiling while I begrudgingly do this.


The truth is I know he’s right. It’s what I need to hear even though I’m still waiting for him to leave. And afterwards, I think how wonderful it is to live with someone who loves your craziness (contrary to most people, I have fond feelings about this word)

I’m wise enough to realize that it’s downright blissful to be married to someone who totally accepts you, because ironically, it’s this kind of non-judgmental encouragement that makes me accept myself.

Embrace my imperfections. Want to keep growing, learning and seeking.

Yes, I get a little crazy. I have issues, so what.

So after he leaves I call my Mom and check on her (Dad is out of town on golf trip).


And I decide to write this post before I do anything else….just in case there are other crazy-busy-wonderfully neurotic women out there who:

  • glance at their face first-thing in-the morning and feel shocked,
  • who ordered a piece of chocolate lava cake in place of their dinner,
  • who don’t have milk in the fridge because they would rather read than go the grocery store,
  • who have messy closets and
  • feel occasionally crappy because of their ridiculous expectations…

If you can relate to any of this you should know that I consider you my official BFF.

Oh-and-if you can relate to this:



Don’t you just love Jennifer Lawrence?

(do something fun today)






mary d said...

Ha Les, this is a great post. Forget the house, go out into this beautiful world and go for a walk/run with Stella. That will help you so much more than cleaning closets that are going to get messed up as soon as Michael gets home! I like working out but I also allow myself to sit and read or watch TV all day without feeling too guilty! You have to have projects to do around your house or you wouldn't be Leslie!!

Lou said...

Yes, yes and yes. I hear you and I'm with you. Love a fellow crazy. L xx

Blondie's Journal said...

We are totally on the same page...I just wish I had someone like Jim to help me see it for what it is! I have days where I have incredible energy and just check everything right off the To Do list. Then there are days where I do nothing and feel like a total slug. I wonder if our minds and bodies have a way of telling us when enough is enough? I had great intentions to pot some plants today, it's just gorgeous out, and then I saw my big inviting bed and laid down and took a 2 hour nap! Do I feel good? NO! I have to learn that mindful/detached thing that Jim is talking about!


Patty said...

Thanks. Nail on the head! I was stressing over the fact that I was going to have to go out and weed-eat around our 3-acre yard, because no one else around here is doing it. OK--maybe I should let that go!

Unknown said...

I can definitely relate to your story Leslie. I'm still working with only one day left before I am off for 7 bliss filled weeks. I can't wait to blow off my shopping list and chill or nap or float. I'm 'crazy' like you though, in that I know I deserve some time to myself I can be hard on myself about taking that time. Your husband is right on with his suggestions. My husband and I have both studied some mindfulness (as School Psychologists) and there is something powerful to that breathing process to ground us and take the edge off. I did a post about that recently after seeing Bruce Perry and Reggie Melrose speak about the process and data. It's a simple tool to use.
I share your feeling about feeling horrible while looking in the mirror most mornings. I think it's hormones, and hot flash induced exhaustion. Here's to more time to chill, breathe and write and forget about those lists.
Crazy good post!
xx, Heather @Stylemindchic

Leena Milligan Lanteigne said...

Well, I guess it's official - we are now BFFs! I DO feel this way, like every day! At night, I think of all the things I'm going to get done the next day. I get up early ready to get started and one thing after another gets in the way of my plans and before I know it, it's evening and I haven't gotten my list, sometimes not even one item on it, accomplished and I feel like a failure. I feel guilty, disappointed. Argh! I need to figure out how to take control of what I want to take control of. My Jim always tells me to "just say no" to things that get in my way. I really should do this! Thanks for your husband's perspective! Hugs, Leena

Daniela @Frugal Aint Cheap said...

All I can say is: you are not alone :)...and one more...if you think you are crazy, remember that normal is just a setting on your dryer LOL

michele said...

i love this. i get it. my identity is so wrapped up in how much i accomplish in 24 hours and could really use an injection of jennifer lawrence. as for something fun today...hmmmmm...i taught one of my sons how to hug me without fear when i'm bra-less (doctor's orders). guess i'm hurtin for fun today. tomorrow!

hugs, sista.


Cyndia said...

This is completely my life right now. Caregiving my mother through surgeries and rehab, multiple projects left undone, and in the midst of reconstructing my basement to set up my workroom. I haven't been to the grocery store in three weeks. Meals consist of yogurt, peanut butter, and dinner out. Every night. I have the best husband in the world because he puts up with the fact that this week I don't want to deal with any of it. I want to sit and read. And then I feel guilty and stressed because I'm always behind.

Leslie said...

Yes! The housework will ALWAYS be there, right? I think women often feel this way. We want to nurture, control things, and have everything be perfect. I am a list maker and then I forget where I put them. My husband says I over schedule myself repeatedly but must secretly like it because I always get to the point of chaos and then freak .. and turn around and do it again. Honestly I think I get more done when I am busy. Kinda weird right? :)

chillcat said...

I feel your frustration, I have your headaches, I lose sleep too! I always feel that I am never on top of it all, and my writing life is always submerged by my full and exhausting domestic life. Argh! You are lucky you have your Jim, I am too headstrong to stay long enough with one man and too busy to search for another! Writing always seems so central to my life and yet the amount of time I spend on everything else might make you think it is trivial for me. I have so much work to do this summer.

But yesterday my maestro said my Haydn sonata was benissimo and we did buy cushion covers.. even if they are all wrong. BFF - yes!! Xx

Unknown said...

I'm definitely on your BFF list, Leslie. My daily to-do list is always unattainable. My weekly one is pages long. It never all gets done, the projects just keep piling up and my anxiety keeps me awake at night.

And then every now and then something happens that forces me to let go. Like breaking my ankle two weeks ago. Which forced me to forget about the garden, forget about the sewing projects I wanted to finish and hand over the reins to organizing a big family event.

I wish I could say that this feels good - to let go. But it doesn't. I'm off to ice a birthday cake and then sit on the couch for the rest of the day.

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

If I didn't know better, I'd think you were reading my mind and writing this post just for me. But of course it's not just me. You have a way of putting into lovely, eloquent words just exactly what so many of us are feeling. Thank you for reassuring me that I'm not the only crazy woman out there. And thank goodness for the men who love us!

Dayle ~ A Collection of Days said...

Kindred spirit ... and I have a husband just like that, loves me anyway, always says things that make sense (well, almost always), and thinks I'm beautiful on my worst day.

Donna@anangloinquébec said...

Thank you for posting this. So nice to know that I am not alone and hey... CRAZY is my middle name. But Les, I have tried to avoid too much mirror gazing for fear of feeling overwhelmed by the onset of that nasty thing called "againg".
And a few years ago I decided to attempt to live in the moment as much as possible. Not always easy, for sure, but something that seems to allow me time to ignore some preconceived ideas I have about what everybody is expecting from me.And sometimes my "projects" rule the day because they are usually therapeutic in one way or another.

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

I love this post, Leslie. I tend to want everything (and everybody) to be "in order" in my life, and we all know that's impossible. Taking time for a play day every now and then is just what the doctor ordered. The world won't stop spinning if I don't get it done!

Lori said...

OMG ~ you wrote this just for me didn't you??!! Love the quote ~ it is right up there with people that "forget to eat" ~ really?? I think it in ingrained in all of us to feel guilty for what we haven't accomplished ~ like we are never happy with ourselves or accomplishments. We finish one thing and instead of raising our glass for a celebratory toast we immediately think of what needs to be done next. Tonight is the first night I haven't had anything on my agenda ~ and I thought about what I could do ~ then I figured I deserved a date with the couch ~ quality time spent together ~ how's that for the first day of summer and a Friday night to boot.

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I SO get this...I feel like I never catch up...and I'm crazy most of the time thinking how much I have to do. And it's true, it never goes away, it really IS just life. I'm trying hard to give myself some down time and do things I want to do. Napping in the porch and enjoying my coffee are high on my priority list right now. And I'm spending a lot less time on the computer right now, too, and am trying to just enjoy the summer and special family happenings!

Christy James said...

Leslie, you are simply the best! I can so relate...sometimes I just need to step away from the big picture and focus on one thing that I can make happen. I'm in this "it's summer and I really want to enjoy my kids right now" phase and I am wrestling with what needs to get done and what I want to do. But your hubby is smart and he's right...this IS just life. Those closets will still be there when you get to them ;)

Art and Sand said...

In the middle of reading this, I went to my hall closet and pulled EVERYTHING out of the closet and then went back to reading it. Of course I did that because I had to go to the bathroom and was thinking about you saying the closets needed cleaning so the "scatterbrained ditz in me sent me to the closet and then I remembered I hadn't finished reading your post. Scatterbrained ditz is how my former daughter-in-law described me the first time she met me.

Anyway, back to your post -
...we are our own worst enemies
...we need to cut ourselves some slack because we try to do too much and want it done perfectly and most of the people we are doing things for appreciate it and don't expect the perfection we expect

I ALWAYS love reading your posts


Now go and read or whatever else you need - who needs milk anyway?

AntiqueChase said...

Love this.

and milk is overrated.

Kim said...

I know this post is 2 years old and I've never been here before, but I just wanted to thank you for this post. I can totally relate to you, even as far as having a wonderful and accepting husband who puts up with my craziness. Nice to meet you!

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