Saturday, July 20, 2013

And This Is Why I Never Slow Down

Like most of us today, I tend to overcommit.  On any given day I have more to do than I have hours in the day, and I am kid-free.  I have no idea how all of you moms do it.  Beyond teaching, I can't even imagine adding my own offspring to the mix!  Inconceivable!  I have enough trouble getting myself together every day, let alone another human.  The thing is, when I have a responsibility to the girls I teach to be there to teach and learn with them every day, and I have a responsibility to the cast of whatever show I am working on to show up ready to work every night, and whatever else happens to be on my plate at the time, I am going to do everything in my power to be there.  I am going to show up.  I am going to pour every ounce of energy, blood, sweat and tears I have into making sure I am there to give my kids and my cast, and anyone else in the mix whatever they need to be successful.

 Our production of
Good Evening, by Dudley Moore and Peter Cook.

That said, I am operating at full speed from the minute I finally forfeit the battle with the snooze buttons on the three, (yes, three) alarms I set in the morning, until I crash head-first into bed at night.  Of course, as soon as my head hits the pillow I start making To Do lists for the next day.  I have to work to make myself sleep.  Does this happen to everyone, or just me?  I am exhausted to the point of collapse, and my damn head won't shut the hell up!  So I read or surf Pinterest, until my iPad falls and knocks me in the nose.  That's my signal that I am sleepy enough that I can finally close my eyes and go for it.  How sad it that?  Sleepmaker thunderstorm noise playing softly in the background, I drop off into Dreamland.  Then, before I know it, the first of the three alarms goes off, and I flail into the fight all over again.

All My Stuff in My Classroom
Thursday Afternoon...Lots of Work to Do!
Notice the two cups - caffeine in both!
I'm not normally a coffee drinker, I could mainline tea, but coffee has never been my thing.  However, when I started my new job on a Thursday afternoon, after being at my old job Thursday morning, I realized that, to hit the  ground running, I might need to up the caffeine intake.  I had to get up earlier and drive farther, so I arrived at school every morning triple-fisting a giant iced coffee, a giant iced tea, and a giant water.  (One does have to stay hydrated, after all.)  The girls thought I was nuts, but I stayed awake! It became a big joke:
Students:  "We thought you didn't drink coffee." 
Me: "So did I."

I went on like that, usually refilling the coffee as soon as I got to school, dumping a bunch of stuff into it to make it taste like something other than coffee, through the entire three weeks of the summer session.  The inevitable afternoon crash was a hurdle I learned to jump, too, with more caffeine and water.  I spent those weeks working in my new classroom until the absolute last minute possible, then driving straight to the theatre for rehearsal.  Luckily we have a sandwich shop and a pizza place in the same plaza as the theatre, so I could grab food there and eat during rehearsal.  Of course our show had to open during the summer session.  How could it be any other way?

Did I mention that my grandmother had emergency brain surgery that first weekend, too? Yeah, that happened.  She's doing much better now, but still.  I was also lucky enough to by asked to write a guest post for her blog by the amazing HotMessMom who just happens to be a rock star and the founder of the MillionMILFMarch!  So I needed to write something stellar because her blog is phenomenal and has about a bazillion readers, so no pressure.  My stomach is still in knots.  That post will go up on her site on August 15th!  I had another really special writing assignment to complete, as well.  See?  It's not like I've been busy lately or anything.  Exhaustion just seems to be my natural state of existence.

The Beach Betties
When, suddenly it all came to an end, the show closed and school recessed for the summer, I got to escape to the beach with my Betties for four whole days, and I didn't know what to do with myself!  My body was so confused!  With my Betties I felt relaxed for the first time in at least a year.  We floated in the Gulf, sipped cocktails, took mid-afternoon dance breaks, walked the Road to Hell, planked, laughed until our sides hurt, shopped, ate, napped, laughed some more, sunned, even tried paddle boarding.  It was ridiculous, relaxing, amazing fun!    For the first time, in a long time, I took some time to just lie still and listen to the sounds around me.  The Betties enjoyed afternoons on the beach.  I enjoyed afternoon naps on the couch with the balcony door open so I could hear the beach, but not fry in the sun.  I enjoyed just being still.

Mid-afternoon Dance Break
Paddle boarding Betty!

Then I came home and still had time to be still, my body finally realized it, and it caught up with me.  I came home from #BettyBeachWeekend on Monday afternoon.  I woke up Wednesday morning with all signs pointing to a Hellacious sinus infection. Throat on fire, head so full I thought it would burst, pain everywhere, sonofabitch!  Thursday I spent in bed, but made a doctor's appointment for Friday, then Thursday night broke out in the most irritating rash on the back of my neck.  And then it spread.  By Friday morning I was itching and had welts all over my torso and neck.  The doc was impressed.  My sinuses were bleeding and my body was attacking itself!  A steroid shot and prescription for antibiotics and some kind of Benadryl-on-crack later I've lost a day to being drugged into sleep, and I'm still itching and covered in welts.  My throat and head still hurt, and I want to scratch my skin off!  If I take the meds again, I'll be asleep again... Ugh!

This is after the meds!
If I was just running around like a crazy woman, this would never have happened.  I slowed down long enough for all of this crap to catch up with me!  If you never stop moving, it can never catch up to you.  And this is why I never slow down, until I have to.

How do you do it?  How do you do everything all the time and still maintain your sanity and your health?


  1. After reading your blog...I just want to hug you! How do we moms do it?? That answer remains to be uncovered! We just do! Your body may be shutting down, but when those innocent little eyes look at you and they want to take your hand and just cuddle or they want you to glue their ring back together or comment on the BEAUTIFUL picture that they've created (and only they know what they've drawn) just find that extra energy! You sleep when you can! 15 minutes here...20 minutes there. I live for those 5am times when the house is still and it's just me and God. I can feel his presence even more. I can hear his voice. I LOVE it when everyone is asleep and I FINALLY have time to watch my pre-recorded episodes of The Young and the it! I guess what I'm saying is that I wouldn't trade my life for anything in the world. I love teaching...being a wife...being a mother...being ME!! I constantly find myself saying..."I have all the time I need". Everything always works out and items do get checked off the list. How do moms do it??? They just do!

  2. I love you. Thank you for taking the time to read, and taking even more time to write that beautiful comment.
    Thank you for sharing your incredible children with me, and saving me the pain of childbirth, not to mention all the bills. You are one of the most amazing moms I have ever known. It is a privilege to call you my friend.
    I'll take that hug anytime.
    Peace, love, and light,

  3. I was exhausted by the time I got to the end of this story and I was just reading. I can see how you got so sick, your body was rebelling, saying enough is enough.You have to take better care of yourself, you hear me! End of lecture.xoxo

    1. Thanks, Barb. I'm trying.
      I appreciate you taking the time to read, digest, and gently lecture. I'll do my best. I am meditating in the kitchen today. It seems to be helping.
      Peace, love, and light,

  4. That's a great question at the end of the post.
    If I ever find an answer, I'll let you know.

    Still, sounds like you were productive and enjoying yourself!

    1. I try, Guap. I try.
      Thank you for stopping by, and always taking the time to comment. It means so much to me.

      Peace ans light,

  5. ha, ha! #BettyBeachWeekend. I love it. I'm so sorry to hear about your grandma. And then a sinus infection to boot. I was a teacher before having my daughter, and I cannot imagine teaching and having kids. I know millions of moms do it, but I don't know how!

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Rachel! I have no idea how they do it, but I am certainly glad they do!