Life of Liz

28 days …

In Out of the Comfort Zone, The Countdown begins on November 15, 2012 at 11:42 am

Grandma will move into our house in 28 days and I am feeling increasingly overwhelmed, when I ran across this little gentle reminder… and then heard my 6 year old happily singing a song from vacation bible school this past summer “You Can Trust God”… now it is stuck in my head too!  I plan to refer to both of the above links often.

That said …  At the moment our house is 100% disorganized and I am having a very difficult time prioritizing.  It doesn’t help that Henry has worked until the wee hours of the morning all week, after working all weekend and is looking at working the upcoming weekend as well.  And by ‘weekend’ I mean 9 in the morning until the 2-3 am.  Blah!  There are things that can only be done by him—so part of the reason I can’t get my list going is because I can’t do several of the big open items.  It also doesn’t help that our school district has picked this week to call ‘conference’ week which is really just an excuse to torture parents with ‘minimum’ day schedules.  Oh yes, they still arrive at school by 8:15 – but then the kinder is out at 11:35 and the 1st grader out at 12:31 … but the middle schoolers stay on regular schedule, which means another trip to the same area at 3:06!  It is hard to get in a groove of cleaning and organizing stuff when you are constantly jumping back into the car … ya know?

Back to my mini breakdown rant!  Henry’s mom is flying in from out of state on Tuesday.  She recently had surgery (she has stage 3 breast cancer) and the post op didn’t go so well … she has a ‘wound vac’ that drains to a bag that hangs around her neck.  Hmm, not sure what that requires from me … Our oldest daughter Elizabeth also flies home on Tuesday – same airport but 6 hours later so you know what that means?  Yep, 2 trips @ 2 hours each round trip!  Yippee!  Basketball daughter (Gracie) can’t come home for Thanksgiving but we are going to see her the day after – b/c it seems like a good time to drive 6-7 hours in a single day.

But here I sit, typing and gazing out at the state of disorder of my home.  I’ve managed to move around the bedrooms to accommodate Grandma and also to move both college daughters into a shared room – but the moves are only ½ way completed so stuff is everywhere!

How’s Liz?  Well I can’t say I’ve been overly supportive or submissive to Henry the last 7 days and while I feel internally guilty, especially when I know he has zero time to address my attitudes, I just can’t gather the internal fortitude it’ll take to ‘right my ship’.  In some ways I think I am self sabotaging in a couple different ways.  First by acting petulant I can create distance between H and myself which makes me ‘think’ I am doing it alone and I am free to become the controlling monster of yesteryear.  Second, I may be passive aggressively approaching the upcoming move-in by not effectively getting things done.  For instance, last night I sat on the couch flipping channels until after midnight, thinking several times that this may be the last time I am alone in my family room – so by not tackling the areas in the house that need focused attention I am left feeling frazzled and defeated.  So to sum up:  I have purposely created distance with my man (not that hard since he’s been home about 12 hrs out of the last 36!) and I am drowning in a sea of cr*p created by my need to make everything perfect for my Grandma’s move while at the same time secretly wishing she wasn’t moving into our house.  There!  I said it “secretly wishing she wasn’t moving into our house”. 

(Re-reading the above paragraphs makes my outlook sound pretty bleak.  Sorry!  I’ve actually had some good conversations with Grandma – which were truly needed b/c they went a long way towards reminding me that I enjoy Grandma’s personality and also how hard this must be for her.)

It just seems like too much is all me, with ZERO assistance or backup available to lend a hand.  In addition to what I’ve already painstakingly narrated above, I am also expected to figure out how to set up Grandma’s medical insurance in our state (which means leaning how Medicare and supplemental insurance works!).  I need to figure out how to add her to our car insurance (she will drive our Prius).  Henry wants her added to our cell phone plan – so need to do that too. And Elizabeth’s birthday is 2 days before Grandma moves in … gotta plan something there too.  OK, last thing because you guys are probably sick of my whining by this point but Xmas for 7 kids just doesn’t ‘happen’ so put that on the list too.

I do have a returning thought of “do I create these unbelievably tough scenarios because I am the only one that can do AB or C” or “is my control freak persona taking over?”  It would be easy to say “do what you can, the rest will figure itself out” but that is just not realistic.  My mom (Grandma’s daughter) is no help whatsoever.  None.  Once again I am the adult in our relationship.  Sometimes I think maybe the reason I am a control freak is b/c of a lack of ability and/or effort made by those that should be taking up some slack.  I mean, if my mom said “Liz, I’ll figure out the cell phone plan or the insurance(s)” I would say “Great!” – I have no need to make that one perfect!  I do need the house to be clean, organized and decorated for Thanksgiving.  I do need to plan a family celebration for Elizabeth’s birthday.  I do need to create Xmas for 7 kids.  And you know what else I needI need a firm hand to rebuke the low lying insubordination that I am dishing out towards Henry and I need help in righting this ship.  That’s the first time I’ve admitted my need for a spanking.  Just to not be the one in control for a brief amount of time; to not be the point person; to not be responsible for fulfilling the dreams, desires and expectations of a host of many.

I am not yet at the point of comfortably communicating my needs to Henry if for no other reason than I am loathe to put one more demand on his time.  He is very likely hanging on by a thin thread; functioning on 6 hours a sleep for 5 nights in a row and dealing with an internally aggravated, secretly passive aggressive pouty wife and a career driven, micromanaging feMALE boss who motivates with a ‘my way or the highway’ approach.  OK, I’ve used up the time between 1stgrade pick up and middle school pick up (successfully accomplishing very little) so I will close with this pic, which very appropriately sums up my thoughts ….

Sorry for the harsh language — sometimes it’s the quickest way to cut to the punch!

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  1. Hang in there Liz! I hope things come together and settle down for you soon. I understand how you feel about not wanting to add to his burden…but maybe he doesn’t really need to *do* anything other than listen and understand where you are coming from at this point. Sometimes, just knowing we are on the same page/feeling like we are in it together, helps me get through really stressful times when we may not be able to take a more “proactive” approach;)

    • Thanks Tess. All good points. It only my pride would let me more quickly admit that I can’t do it all without getting myself so out of sorts. You hit the nail on the head too — I don’t want to give him another ‘to do” nor do I want to feel like a ‘to do’ on his list.

  2. Maybe you’re feeling like he has enough burdens and dealing with you would be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Just borrowing an idea from Christina, when she was feeling overwhelmed, she talked to Jim and he helped to prioritize her day, what needed doing and what could wait, and what could be delegated, and what he could do.

    And SunnyGirl had a great idea, especially for the kids that are in college, surely easier for you, and perhaps they’d appreciate the freedom to choose, and they’d certainly understand that right now you’re overloaded.

    I, too, wish there was something more I could do than offer my ear, and our thoughts and prayers.

    • I have to think about asking Henry to help me with priorities. In concept I like the idea, but sometimes I struggle with accepting his help. It’s something I am going to ponder as Grandma’s move and Xmas get closer 🙂

  3. So sorry Liz, Wish I could do something to help out but I can’t imagine what that could be with the exception of just listening and sending hugs.

    Christmas gifts for 7 kids – think gift cards.

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