Some people like to call a certain personality trait, Type A. Others like to use the phrase, “a real go-getter.” I like to use an old Native American saying: One who has panties in a wad.
Like many others, I used to be loosey-goosey. I could go with the flow, I was adventuresome, spontaneous. Nope. Not anymore.
Nowadays, if something is not on my to do list, well it’s just not going to happen. Do not deviate from the plan, cram in as many activities as possible, and multitask, multitask, multitask.
This causes a slight amount of stress.
Being Mr. Observant, my husband has noticed this slow decline into tight-assedness. He likes to say things to me such as: “You need to relax,” “Calm down,” “You’re always tired,” and my personal favorite, which I am thinking about making my ring tone, “You used to be fun.”
Sigh, he is kind of right on the last one.
Where is that girl who had not one, not two, but three jobs, went out every night until two a.m. and then got up and went to work? What happened to that broad who woke up in the middle of someone’s living room wearing a strange Bart Simpson t-shirt (don’t ask, that is a whole other blog). Where did she go?
Oh I know – I had a child. Looks like I bequeathed all my relaxed spontaneity to her. That and massive amounts of brown wavy hair. She is a complete free-bird, opting to wear underpants only some of the time.
But it has to be something else.
Could it be that I have become – gulp – responsible?
I wish I could say that this growth into conscientiousness has come with age, but I’ve seen a lot of jackasses out there in their fifties. Nope, I think it has to do with life changes.
Here are some thoughts:
Look Mom, I got a job! This also means you need to get your can up and out of bed and wear clothes that are actually hanging on a rack – not ones you pull up off the floor to see if they pass the “smell” test. Reality Smack in the Face #1.
First Comes Marriage… Oh crap. Now you are accountable to someone else. Somehow this means different things for men and women. Men – now you have to nod and smile to please your mate. You must also eat things that most likely taste like crap, like a runny meat-loaf …but I digress. Women – this means you get to pick up dirty sock and other sundries off the floor, because seriously, they never make it into the laundry basket; maybe around it, but never in it.
Pet owners live longer. For those of you whom have decided to bring a furry friend into your home, you know the joys of this experience. We got our dog before we had our daughter, so she was my first baby. This was also about the time my neuroticism started creeping in. “She did not eat much today,” “I think her poop looks weird,” and the one that makes my husband roll his eyes and walk into the other room, “She looks sad, do you think she is depressed?” I love my dog, and much like children, pets are a responsibility. You can’t go out on an all night binger because you need to come home from work and let the dog out to pee. Then you can do your keg stands.
Then comes the baby in the baby carriage. Hold the phone. Now I am responsible for a human life? This is when a few worries turned into a full-blown DEFCON 3 panic attack. I started noticing all the atrocities of the world: car accidents, airborne illnesses, and after a late night of watching Planet of the Apes, monkey attacks. Please God, don’t let the apes take my baby! Of course there were (and still are) the day to day concerns: “She did not eat much today,”” I think her poop looks weird.” Notice the pattern?
Luckily for us, we have not been plagued by primate attacks, so many of my worries have been less than fruitful. In the words of Deepak Chopra, Worrying gets you nowhere, or something like that. It is wasted energy that can be spent elsewhere, like sleeping or washing your face.
So in 2012, one of my goals is to chill out, maybe take some yoga (can you nap there?), and smell the flowers. Actually, my husband made me promise that I would try to stop freaking out about every little thing – but come on, mosquito bites can cause West Nile Virus!
To all you lovelies out there who are popping Tums to quite nervous stomachs, let’s take in a deep breath together and exhale while letting go of some of the franticness.
Oh who am I kidding? Let’s just pour another glass of pinot and fall asleep on the couch while watching Wife Swap.
“safety Sharyl” is the namely stepson gave me in 1998 after he, at age 7, noticed I was completely obsessed with keeping him from any bump, bruise, high fever, stranger, sexual perp, the list goes on….
But I follow the Adrian Monk philosophy that “if you paid attention you’d be worried too”. I pay attention. I also monitor my dogs eating and pooping habits? What good dog mommy wouldn’t???? I was raised with a robust sense of fear and guilt, which while it causes me
endless gastrointestional upset, may keep the ones I love alive. I’m with you, Cathy, except it prefer to fall asleep with a nice Meritage(: