Thursday, March 31, 2011

March 31st

We've arrived at the season of the year where we get crazy swamped with the actual tasks involved in running a greenhouse-meaning, despite what it may look like from the outside, it's not all romping through fields of flowers over here. There's also a hefty amount of stuff we have to do every day that can't be neglected. Because we hope to be selling live plant material instead of dead, we have to watch the weather, decide when to water, fertilize, trim, and prune; inspect our seedlings, check our propane levels, maintain good air quality, --every day--along with all the marketing/design stuff that there never seems to be enough time for.  And then there's the children, and taxes, and getting dinner on the table, which has happened maybe thrice in the last two weeks.

A few days ago, I guess it all got to be a little overwhelming.
Or, as we say in our house, the S hit the F.

I'd been up all night with my thinky head, too hopped up on anxiety for the sleep I so desperately needed. I'd flipped my pillow to the cool side, removed some of my pajama layers, fetched a drink of water, fired off a few silent screams, when I suppose my worry became audible. I know this because he said, all sassy-like:

What is your problem?

Now, typically, I like to reserve my cat-like reflexes and witty rebuttals for daylight hours, but for all I knew it was practically morning anyway. This might come as a surprise to some of you, but I don't actually own a bedside clock. I'm currently using a broken one from Restoration Hardware-- for aesthetic purposes only, of course. I suppose you could call it a prop in the epic drama that is my life, but just know that it has done nothing to move the plot forward. I have--almost exclusively--relied on the kindness of strangers to tell me what time it is at any hour, a quirk I feel is greatly under-appreciated.

Thus, I initiated the snappy-retort body-language sequence, which is difficult when prone, but includes lots of neck action and eye squinting and usually some gestures. He cut me off at the pass.

It's four in the morning.

I deflated, mostly because it was pathetic to be awake and popping like a Real Housewife. Four am is prime for sleeping and there I was squandering it on attitude.

I whispered. I just can't do everything. I listed all the large and small cares, each one like its own lead apron on my chest, all the things I had to do and couldn't do alone, keeping me awake at night and crazy all day long. I mentioned that we needed to prioritize our projects--for instance, it might be fun trying to relocate the chicken coop using a forklift and duct tape, but was it really moving the plot forward?

When I was done, I felt instantly better, and drowsy--finally. My husband, on the other hand, was in a dither. He got up, pulled on some pants, and left for the greenhouse. I tried to stop him, but I was calling out from underwater; an ocean of relief. Did I say come back, or was it a dream? I was blissfully unaware for the next four hours.

For me, keeping all my cares in order is like herding cats in my mind. I can't do it, they're running everywhere, knocking things over and pawing at me when I want to rest. Opening the door to let them out is about the smartest thing I can do.

And added bonus is a husband who relieves the stress of unfinished projects by actually doing them. I showed up much later that morning to find many of the things I'd been stewing over--completed. Of course, he was exhausted--but we both slept great that night.


Deborah said...

Michael and I do this, too. But we take turns. I'm not sure whose turn it is tonight--I'll let you know after dinner. Which may or may not make it on the table. Is it OK if I just fire up a frozen pizza and pat myself on the back? Because I could live on nothing but yogurt.

Is the season still in come late Aug? I am hoping to be nearby around then--maybe I can come help with the weeding. Be forewarned: am very likely to steal a hatchling to bring home so I can justify my unreasonable desire for a chicken coop of my own.

cupcake studio said...

How I adore your are such a gifted writer, my dear! Hope Spring is actually on its way :)

Kristine said...

"the s hit the F" that's probably the most quoted Ali phrase in the Meaux family! So glad u used it today!