I have a voice inside my head. I only just discovered this because this voice isn’t audible to me since I’ve been hearing it so long I’m so used to it: like crickets in the evening at the family cabin or – for – those living a lifestyle closer to mine – some heinous battery-operated toy your Mother bought your child and you long ago gave up the idea of getting the kids to STOP PUSHING THOSE FUCKING BUTTONS and now you just live your life completely mindless of the horrible noises it makes. And yes, that’s a real example from my actual life.
So I was saying – this voice. Unfortunately and unbeknownst to me until recently, this voice and I have been a couple. This voice is the perpetrator; I am the enabler, trying to “make her happy” (or at least shut her up) by doing all she demands. Every day I doggedly scurry through the minutes and hours obeying her commands. For example: today. At 1 PM as I was running about the house during the (as it would turn out) FIFTY MINUTES both my children were asleep simultaneously the voice was telling me I not only needed to but if I was efficient I COULD:
Finish washing and drying the dishes
Clean up the table from lunch
Fold the clean diapers
Start the load of dirty diapers
And after that, wash the beach towels & hang up bathing suits
Get started on dinner
Spend a few minutes on my Daddy’s Father’s Day present (late, of course)
Get that interfacing and pattern together for Jen since she’d be here in ten minutes
Clean out the family van from our beach trip
Get cleaned up (i.e. halfway toward Sexy) for the Husband – a tough one since I hadn’t yet showered
RELAX, EAT SOMETHING, AND CHILL OUT (yes, the voice asks this of me too)
BE A BETTER MOTHER
Do you think I could get all that done in fifty minutes? Fifty minutes I wasn’t even sure I had? It’s amazing I got as much done as I did. And in the meantime, here was what I was pushing to the bottom of my list:
Take a shower
In the middle of a load of dishes, I had a little clarity: If I didn’t take care of myself in SOME WAY I was going to run out of time. So on an impulse – and in an almost panicked state of mind – I decided to take time for my bathroom needs including a hot shower. As I hurried through the hallway, towel in hand, I heard The Boy cry out from his crib and I felt this sad, sinking feeling in my body: to glimpse the golden ring of Uninterrupted Me Time and see it snatched away, before my eyes! But I knew it was NOW OR NEVER and dammit, I was going to take that shower. Turns as I hurriedly washed my hair and scrubbed my body and then dried myself off and flew into my robe – he fell back asleep. Dazed, I sat down with a cup of coffee and read about 4 pages of a book before I heard him up again.*
The worst, worst part of it all, is that this voice really believes I *can* do it all. When I ponder that, I know I am up against a persecutor I can never satisfy.
This voice is a problem. I have to get to know her, what she’s all about. And in the meantime, where is that fucking cabana boy who’s supposed to help me with my day?
* Oh, and one more thing: I put on my CFM Frye boots, in deference to my husband. It works in a pinch.