"Jeez, Mum! You don’t have to yell!”
“Really? ’Cause it seems like I do. Just once, I’d like to see you people hang up your backpacks without me having to THROW A TEMPER TANTRUM!”
Sometimes, I come a tiny bit unraveled.
Sometimes, the responsibilities that come with the charming children and the stressy job and just existing on the planet, really, become too much. The drudgey form my life has taken sends me into something of a spin.
A few years ago was my nadir. I scarcely recognised the pinched, exhausted woman staring hollowly back at me above the bathroom sink.
I moved through each day beseeching everyone I encountered to understand that I was not, actually, the careworn hag before them: I am so damn fun on the inside, I mentally assured coworkers, PTA parents, the checkout guy at Safeway. You people have no idea.
When you find yourself explaining, even internally, that the person you’re being is not the person you are, it’s possible that something is amiss.
As I hit drudge bottom, I knew I wanted to be more fun, to have more fun. But the thought of adding fun activities to my schedule got me exhausted all over again. I needed more outward manifestations of my inner fun person, but where would I find the time?
I stewed for a while.
At last, I announced my solution in the minivan. “I have critical information for you people,” I said, as we headed out for a Saturday of epic birthday-shopping, practice-attending, errand-running proportion. “I’ve made a commitment, and I want to say it out loud so that you can hold me to it.”
My pause here was perhaps overly dramatic. “I am committed to fun.”
While Eldest and Youngest processed this information, Middlest piped up from the way back. “So, like, you’re only going to do fun stuff?” He pitched another M&M in the air and tried to catch it in his mouth. For Middlest, manifesting his inner fun person had never been much of an issue. “What about going to work, and driving us places?”
“Exactly,” I said. “I can’t drop the things I do already, so this won’t be easy. That’s why I have to be committed.”
My family seemed game. Also, a little disbelieving and not so interested. No matter. The drudgery was my problem. I’d take it from here.
Eleanor Roosevelt, righteous badass and mother of six, was being her supergenius self when she said “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.” And you know what? Ditto drudge. I’d let myself get all drudgey, and I could revoke my pass. I was committed to finding fun all over the place. Given my dearth of disposable time, the first step would be to fun-ify necessary tasks.