I'm beginning to wonder lately if I'm bipolar. Or just even slightly neurotic. Either way, I think sometimes that there's definitely something wrong with me.
As of my last post, we still have not had Christmas portraits taken. After all the frantic phone calls, cancellations, re-schedules and other random craziness, plus working all **** day long on a beautiful Christmas dress for my daughter (which prompted much stress and yelling) I ended up having to Officially Cancel the Appointment for Good because the weather was simply dreadful once we finally screamed and yelled and piled our way into the van. That, and the portrait lady told me they wouldn't be ready until after I'd be out of town.*
I nearly cried. Actually, I did cry a little. Because I was thinking "I really want to get this done/all I wanted was special family portraits/how can I actually think this will work in a blinding snowstorm?/who cares about the weather!/the weather is awful and let's just go home!" In other words, a crazy mix of things, none of which made any sense. My husband called me selfish. Which is probably the truth.
I try to address dozens of Christmas cards, have photos for our special ornaments each year (which, by the way, need painted, bejeweled, beaded or whatever notion I have in my head at the moment), and make dozens of elaborate cookies and other goodies for Christmas bazaars, book club and church cookie exchanges. (I actually thought, with the time I saved by not getting portraits done last night, about making Linzer cookie cutouts before I had to be somewhere else a few hours later.) It's not because I'm Martha Stewart, or a Super Mom. It's because I'm certifiably nuts.
And yet, in the midst of all the stress and anxiety, I will sometimes have periods of total lack of motivation, where even cooking dinner for my family is a chore (oatmeal, anyone?). There are so many unfinished projects screaming my name, yet I want to go out and get more. Or see the pile of undone things and think, Why bother? It's taller than I am.
In the last week I entertained the notion of making not one, but two dishes for a church dinner; taking a baked dessert to a neighbor; driving in more blinding snow to get those stupid Christmas cards printed out (but in all honesty, I do need toilet paper) and probably a million other things. I dragged my children out in more crappy weather the other night to buy a Christmas exchange gift for this week's preschool deadline (no school anyway, by the way, because it's a snow day), and then dashed over to the Dollar Tree for elf hats because the Christmas card picture with reindeer antlers just didn't do it for me. (And, coincidentally, all the pictures for said Christmas cards kind of stink, but to those who love pictures of my kids either way, they'll be just fine.) I stood at the sink last night running the water for 15 minutes straight to thaw some shrimp for my book club, only to forget it in the refrigerator. Sometimes I think I work against myself - or dig myself into a bigger hole, because the more organized and planned I try to be, the worse it gets. Especially when my family is held hostage to an even newer, bigger, better idea that comes into my head. I just can't seem to stop myself.
I toyed with the idea of going out today in between the lull of one snowstorm and the beginning of another, and had to talk myself down from the ledge that was Stress in the form of holiday shopping/Christmas card printing/other general craziness in favor of taking it easy, trying for the eighth time to get the baby to nap, and getting important things done at home (you know, like hanging garland, putting lights in the windows and addressing more freaking Christmas cards). Laundry and vacuuming? Who needs to do those things?
Once in a while I literally need to slap my own hand like a mother would her child, telling myself in a stern voice, "No!" (Although I do still need toilet paper.)
* I did decide to call Penney's instead for our Christmas pictures, and not only got a very nice lady on the phone right away, but will get my pictures back in time for Christmas. Which makes me feel like a complete @@@, because usually most things work out for the better anyway, regardless of your stress level. Just one more thing I need to keep in perspective.