Sunday, January 23, 2011
Panic Sets In
Then we start to approach a critical date. The date could be called “cutting the lines.” It’s the day we leave this and go to that. This. Now That. This... this no more. Now THAT. That date gets closer and my lizard brain begins to make itself felt.
It starts with short temper and a tendency to take even the most minor project and divide into a dozen or more separate tasks. It is during this phase that I come closest to breaking my poor beleaguered Mac and the cutesy little database application I’m using to organize this insanity. As an example, this phase involves my breaking down sell the beds into: select the items, clean up the items, take a picture, post the picture, post the trade, track the trade, respond to inquiries, verify sale, verify deposit, organize pick up of item, remove project from database. The day that iGTD stops backing up, coughs up a furball, chokes and loses two hours worth of entries is the day I know I’ve moved into the next phase.
During phase two I work my ass off. I actively seek new clients, pull up business contacts from decades ago, and volunteer for open source projects. I scrub the freezer out with a toothbrush and polish all the silver. I invent problems. I invent them, diagnose them, solve them preemptively, and scare the hell out of DrC and the girls when I explain the whole averted disaster scenario thwarted only due to my hyper active, prescient intervention.
Phase three begins the first night I wake up in a cold sweat unable to breathe. After doing this three times in five years, I now can actually mark this milestone on my calendar with the clear recognition it means that we are approximately three weeks from The Date. In fact, I knew it was three weeks before I was to officiate at a good friend’s wedding last spring, because I woke up unexpectedly in one of these blinding panics. In that case, it was a single event, important, emotional and tremendous to my spirit, but the kids and DrC were going to be safe at home as were all my worldly goods. I was able to talk myself down from the rafters and get some sleep.
With the hemisperical moves, however, when I am putting our entire lives into a dozen suitcases and shifting us halfway around the world, no amount of soothing self-chatter calms me down. Unless I want to drag DrC into my 2am pit of black angst and woe, I have to get up, shlep into the kitchen, and Do Something Constructive. Sometimes I write blog posts, sometimes I drink a half box of red wine, sometimes I do both. I’m not going to say this hasn’t had a deleterious effect on the quality of my blog posts, but it is doing wonders for the quantity.
In the final days before The Date, I can be a supreme bitch. I can be the meanest, most heinous, sharpest, nastiest witch ever. I say that with the assurance of one who actually has been that person. But not this time.
Not this time because this time we all know the signs, the symptoms, the causes. DrC and the girls and I all see Super Bitch on the horizon. I’m working very hard to head her off, distract her, fill her days and her nights with anything but terror. The girls are stepping up like the amazing troopers they are: packing, organizing, inventorying, brainstorming, and just plain staying out of sight. DrC rubs my back at night, makes sure the wine and beer are stocked, and doesn’t ask me why I wasn’t in bed all night. He’s patient when I talk for hours about this and that detail, actually giving the illusion he’s paying attention as we review my GTD task list each week.
SB is still here in the house. I think I can smell her, a combination of stale fear sweat and chili farts. I’m just going to put her in the same category as the ants, the cat piss, the sweating walls, and the broken fridge as just one more reason to be ecstatic we are finally leaving Chicken House.