Have you ever run a marathon? Even a 5K? Have you ever moved your entire household? Built a business from the ground up? Had a baby? Made it through infancy with your child, breastfeeding the whole time? When the adrenaline runs out after mountains of hard work, it is as if a wave of exhaustion hits that will not let you back up until you rest. You can keep battling, keep trying, but the waves keep coming and you finally end up on flat on your back, down for the count. For me, fortunately, right before that last wave hits, and I crash, I gather my team, and we get it done. Whatever it is, whatever the task, we get it done.
I have finished tutoring finals after more than a week straight, including two thirteen hour days, but now Christmas is in a few short days, my house is a mess, laundry has piled up, I have fifteen articles to write on contract, and I have challenged myself to write for my own website every single day until Christmas as part of something called “blogmas.”
But one leg of my journey is done. Finals is over, and I have no job to report to, to clock in to, for eighteen days.
Now, I will do what women the world over have done for thousands of years, I will drag myself across the finish line, walking because I can’t run, crawling when I can’t walk, and inching my fingers over the chalked line in the dirt when I can’t even crawl anymore.
And the relief of not having to pick up and leave the house to go to work comforts me. I can do, as my grandmother advises, one thing at a time. And it will all get done. It always does.
I am woman, after all. Roar.
I took my time, starting at the back of my house, bending and picking things up until I made my way to the front of the house, emptying trash cans along the way.
The vacuum pulled me along the two thousand square feet of carpet, and the paper towels followed my hand’s guidance along the dusty surfaces.
I lay on the clean carpet with my kids. Took a selfie! I played with toys with them while I dusted the play area. I rested. I bathed! (it’s been a while), maybe tomorrow I can actually go for a nice relaxing run (I know it sounds crazy, but running relaxes me.)
Then my husband will probably do the laundry. Laundry is a team effort. It is just cruel to make one person do it all alone.
Earlier this week I requested from the men in my house a nightly ritual from now until Christmas: wine, shows and movies, and present wrapping. I’ve got boxes piled up in my room that need to be opened and wrapped. But requests are one thing, a baby that refuses to sleep in her crib, thereby keeping me up until all hours of the night in a battle of wills is another.
We’ll see how tomorrow goes.
Ugh my car! My car is dramatically messier than my house even. Again, one step at a time. I brought down two bags, one for garbage, one for all the stuff we’ve left in it over the last several weeks – shoes, socks, jackets, coffee mugs, you name it.
My grandmother’s chocolate cookies, which we make every year, require the dough be made the day before it is rolled out, cut out, and baked. So that had to get done tonight to avoid serious delays.
That one necessitates a serious team effort. The dough is super thick and will break your arms off if you try to mix all the ingredients alone. We took turns. I started the project, Celaya lost interest when she was told she couldn’t eat the dough, and then my brother and husband traded off adding the dry ingredients to the wet and stirring.
It’s in the fridge.
Aside from spending quality time with my kids, writing is probably the least difficult thing for me to prioritize. Since I built this website and dedicate myself to staying true to the title “writer,” I have not struggled to find time to write or even ideas to write about. It is everything else that I have no time for.
One step at a time.
I am fortunate to have a strong team at home and outside. My friend met me at McDonald’s so my daughter could finally get her very first Happy Meal today, complete with a McFlurry. Two birds, one stone. We got to meet friends and play, and she got to have the McFlurry that I promised her late last night before she fell asleep. I think that trip, including an hour in the play land, may have rivaled Disneyland in her little five year old mind.
There is still some little last minute shopping to do, and the wrapping. We are seeing a play in San Francisco Saturday and heading over for the obligatory Santa pic at Macy’s on Union Square. I’ve got more baking and cooking to do as well.
But the insanely lovely thing about it all is that it all gets done, somehow, some way.
I find a way.
With my team, with love, with patience, with rest stops in between, with wine, I get it done.
Correction: we get it done.