Thursday, April 15, 2010
My Own Worst Enemy
You do it to yourself, you do
and that's what really hurts
You do it to yourself, just you
you and no-one else
You do it to yourself
You do it to yourself
I love the song "Just" by Radiohead, OK, I love every song by Radiohead, this is a great one though and so is the video. If you've ever seen it you know not to get caught up in the meaning, if you haven't check it out on You Tube, it's cool.
Every time I put myself in a stupid situation, no matter how big or small, I think of these lyrics, regardless of the song meaning, I am always making things more difficult for myself, I do this daily. I don't mean to, I fully intend to honor all the promises that fly out of my mouth, I just tend to make lots of them. That makes fulfilling even just half of them a feat in itself. Last Saturday after K's piano class D called me to let me know that we volunteered to bring sugar cookies the following week. When K came home and told me I told her that it would be fun to make little music note cookies by hand rather than buy them like everyone else had done. As soon as the words came out of my mouth I knew that I had committed to it for real instead of it just being a possibility. I should have realized that I would be hearing questions about these cookies until they are removed from the oven. Why can't I just be like everyone else and keep my mouth shut? If I could do that I would have a box of already made cookies sitting on my counter ready to go instead of the hard to find music note cookie cutter waiting to be used. Instead of making just one trip to the supermarket I made a trip to a baking supply store, and then another one when K wanted a different colored sugar for the hand cookies we're going to make. Oh yeah instead of only making music notes I found little hand print cookie cutters, and I found silver sugar for them, K thought the hands should be red. So I finally had everything we needed and then I realized I still had to actually make cookies. Another trip to the store to buy what we needed, and of course it wasn't going to be that ready made roll out and cut kind.
Yes, I do this to myself, and that's what really hurts.
I make promises to call people, and it's not that I just say it to give lip service. I want to make these calls, I want to return the calls I get, I just seem to spend my day fulfilling many of the unnecessary promises I seem to make. I do this on top of the things that I actually need to do. I think part of this is residual behavior left over from my "people pleasing" days, the other part is ADD. I know this because at any point of my day I can be found doing more than one thing at a time. In the morning I have a routine that I tend to follow: after D and K leave I drink my coffee while checking out the news and Facebook on my laptop, I'll lose track of time and start my shower but not before reheating my coffee in the microwave (which I will usually forget) during this time I am usually involved in a few text conversations. I'll find my way to the shower and spend the most relaxing ten minutes of the day in there. After the shower I'll check my email, notice that I now have messages on my cell and home phones as well as the texts that are waiting to be answered. I get ready as fast as I can, try to answer the texts and emails, promising to return the phone calls while I'm out. Then I get caught up in my daily activities as well as new phone calls that always seem to come as I am returning the older ones.
That's how I get behind, I didn't even mention the unsolicited "I will call you tomorrow" promises that I make. I just need to keep quiet. During these phone calls I tend to make other promises, digging myself even deeper. Promises to have dinner, promises to photograph friend's kids, promises to get those kids together with mine, promises to send emails and pictures, promises to get copies about books I rave about, promises to forward the information for my favorite doctors, recipes, websites and the many other things I want to share. I store most of this in my head and make an effort to get it done as soon as possible but this is hard to accomplish, especially when other promises are pushed up to the list. Like these cookies that are needed by Saturday morning. We were going to make them this afternoon but K had an audition and then things got backed up. In fact we were supposed to go to this audition yesterday but we were stuck at a callback, lucky for us they were holding this audition for a few days. At the callback yesterday I met a woman new to the Stagemom thing, she hadn't received the breakdown for the casting so I forwarded it to her, it's always good to have all the information. She was really nice and I could tell she had a bunch of questions, on our way out I told her to email me, I've been doing this for years and I could probably help her out. I didn't need to do this, she didn't ask, I could have just said goodbye and left. I didn't want to do that though, I wanted to help her even though it will mean another email that will be added to my to-do list.
I try to focus and I try to prioritize but other things will always come up, soon I am up to my ears in unanswered phone calls, emails and texts. They are always sitting there waiting for me, just like the cookies on my counter waiting to be made, the dinners plans that are constantly being put off and there is also a stack of books that I have bought, begging to be read.
After I put K to bed tonight I planned to return some emails, since D is working late I was able to get her in early which gave me more time. Unfortunately she was so adorably cuddly I had to lay with her for a while and I fell asleep, leaving me with even less time, and I had to write this. I grabbed my laptop and attempted to do a few things at once, I started thinking about tonight's blog and went on Facebook to return some emails. What happened? I got caught up in a few conversations there. One of them was about a SNL special that was on, I had to check it out. I got lost in that for a while and then I saw the time. I went back to my blog and knew what I should write about. I started that and alternated between writing this and writing on Facebook. All of a sudden it was late and I saw something on Maddow about the Iceland volcano, I had to go look that up and got stuck on Yahoo for a while. Came back here and tried to finish. Those emails? Never got to them and guess what? Now there are even more. I would have made the cookies but I promised K she could help, good thing too because they might have been left in the oven all night.
I always seem to lose track of things, when I got my iPhone I was told that it would change my life, I could use it to help me organize. Perfect, that's what I needed. I was fastidious about writing my lists and tasks, and then one day I didn't and that turned into two and the iPhone lists became another thing on my mental to-do list. This list is huge, when I close my eyes all I see is yellow sticky notes that say "cookies" "call A and L" "send pics to mom" there are hundreds of them. Eventually I will get to all the tasks and they will be replaced with new ones. Sometimes I even take my own advice and keep quiet instead of making another promise, this doesn't last very long and eventually I end up backlogged.
Some of the time this pile up is not my fault but most of the time it is. I do it to myself, just like Thom says. I won't even tell you how much time I spend looking for my coffee cup in the morning.
Yes, I know, it's in the microwave.