Things Fall Apart.

January 31, 2012 at 8:51 am | Posted in Cheese with that whine? (aka rants), Crazy Talk (aka: Therapy) | 7 Comments

Was never my intention to leave you with a cute picture of Lucky and I and then bail on you all.

Last week sort of blew up, though.

Lucky was sick most of the week. And it happened to coincide with the first week of Charlie Brown’s new consulting gig. You know, the one where he would commute to and from Rhode Island.

(For those of you keeping track, it’s 80 miles ONE WAY from our house.)

So I spent a lot more time working from home than I’d like. With a sick almost-four-year-old. Who, when he wasn’t slumped all feverish on the couch, wanted me to sit with him, play with him, generally spend time with him. Which honestly, I didn’t want to say no to him. I WANTED to spend time with him.

But, you know. Work, too.

And WHEN I was able to steal some time for my job, it took me five times longer to accomplish a work-related task than it would if I were in the office. Not sure why.

My external auditors were onsite last week too, and though they were quiet when I was actually in the office, apparently they were finding all sorts of things in my area. All minor stuff, but in their little audit room vacuum, they concluded that it was a Big Deal.

And sat down with my boss since it was more efficient, instead of allowing me to soften the blow by preparing him.

By Thursday Lucky was better, thankfully, but I probably wasn’t as productive as I should have been that day when I got some news that threw me for a tailspin.

My own stupid issues, of course, but whatever. I spent a day trying to process and work through it.

And then on Friday, Charlie Brown and I left around 11am to take a kid-free weekend trip to New Orleans. Which, by all respects, SHOULD have been a fun, relaxing time.

Except that on Friday night I got an email from my boss that the auditors had told him they have NO reliance on the work I’ve done in my area and that two of my coworkers were going to mop it up on Monday.

But, you know, have a good weekend.


So I spent an inordinate amount of energy trying desperately to figure out what to do. Though we went to dinner, and wandered around, and went to the cocktail hour, and then partied on Bourbon St with Charlie Brown’s new coworkers, in the back of my head (yes, even when drunk) I was trying to figure a way around the issue.

And of course I woke up 4 hours after going to bed and could not go back to sleep. I dreamt about work. I obsessed about work. I could NOT let it go. I needed to figure out something to DO.

Finally, around 11am, I had a brainwave, and made things a little better.

But good fucking grief.

In case you want to know?

I’m not so good with being flexible.

It’s like I’ve process-improved my life to the extent that I can make everything work smoothly. I have it all covered: running, parenting, sleeping, cooking, cleaning, etc – as long as everyone sticks to the script.

As soon as we have an illness? Or a new job, longer commute? Work issue which has to be dealt with?

BAM. Things fall apart.

I’m this way, emotionally, too. I go into a situation having prepared for a NUMBER of different outcomes.

But of course, I don’t have ESP. And inevitably, something pops up which I didn’t anticipate.

And then things fall apart.

I am hoping that this is like realizing you’re an addict: admitting it is the first step to dealing with it.

Maybe by recognizing my patterns, I can figure out a way to try and become more flexible.

To bend in a storm, instead of cracking and breaking apart.



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  1. And here I was wishing I was having fun like you in New Orleans! I am so sorry you were dealing with this all weekend–I hate it when work issues interfere with your weekend…especially when it was supposed to be such a “get away”!

    I hope that by now things have been resolved for you. [[Hugs]]

  2. Sorry New Orleans wasn’t as fun as it could have been. I think my favourite part of that city is the food…. oh, the food!!!
    You do realize that a LOT of us do the same thing as you right? You are not alone. I mean, I get so anxious about the simplest situations, running different scenarios through my mind and like you, trying to be prepared for various outcomes. I used to be WAY worse and have panic attacks over the most minute detail to the point that it became almost crippling.
    It’s hard to juggle all the stuff life throws your way and just when you find that nice balance, it’s frustrating as all heck when something changes unexpectedly. Knowing how hard it is to achieve the balance in the first place, you KNOW it’s going to be another struggle to get it back when things change. It’s no wonder you/we think about these things until we have a plan of attack.
    Things will get easier – and by that I mean you will find you get better and better at dealing with the changes when they come. Just take it in baby steps and tackle one issue at a time.

  3. Serenity ANYBODY would’ve fallen apart with a sick kid, new job, longer commute, job issues combo! you are stronger and more together than you think! HUGS

  4. I always thought the key to being flexible was to do what you just described: come up with a lot of different possible outcomes, and then plan for each one. That’s how I deal with the unknown, list all the possible outcomes (when K asked me to marry him, I made a table, with marry/not marry down the side, and pro/con across the top, so that should tell you something). But I guess if an outcome happens that you didn’t expect, all that planning falls apart.

    Is everything going to be okay at work, though? I’m not clear, is your boss upset with you personally, or is it just the work you’ll have to do now that’s stressful? Everything always does seem to happen at once, doesn’t it? I hope it gets better soon, though.

  5. I spend an incomprehensible amount of time playing scenarios in my head about how I will respond to x,y,z….then just like you someone throws in an m, or n and I am fucked. It’s kind of like when you are so angry with someone that you can’t think of that snappy comeback until about three hours after they are gone.

    Your employer sounds like kind of a shit. Seriously, who emails an employee they care about on a Friday night when you are going away??

    It all sounds very stressful and actually, not very satisfying to you. I know you love a challenge but when that wrecks a weekend away it’s eating up too much of you. (trust me, I understand better than you can imagine). You have already realized that you don’t need to prove yourself over and over again to anyone. Don’t be afraid to make the leap to something that will reduce your stress level. It might not even be the “grownup” thing to do, but you know what, life is too damn short to be in a state of anxiety all the time. Not to mention what it will do to you physically.

    Take care of YOU first….and it will all fall into place.

  6. I have been feeling the same way. I am used to always giving 100% at work, plus another 50%. It is HARD working and having a child, because I am constantly torn. Our daughter was sick since this past Friday, and I have been working half days each day. I feel terrible that my coworkers have to cover, but not being there for her is not an option. They keep trying to promote me, and I keep saying no because, if I feel terribly torn now when I am just a peon, how will I feel when I am ib charge? I don’t want to be in a place that my work gets more than my children.

  7. Oh Gd i had a similar thing happen in october. Friday afternoon call – you suck and your career is in trouble – have a nice weekend. Just before leaving town for a weekend away with the children. My every sympathy.

    Re the week you had, it sounds to me like you need some swing capacity on childcare. Do you have emergency childcare options where you live? We have a couple of babysitters we can call at short notice (plus grandparents, we are v lucky) but my firm also has registered with a place that can send you someone at short notice. I know it’s a cost but what happened this week will happen again and it doesn’t sound like you could repeat this week again without work getting very very hairy.

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