Saturday, November 22, 2008

the weakest link

When I was younger, and life was simpler, I often gauged how well things were going by the following three criteria: my grades, my weight and money. When I got a real job, I took my grades out of the equation and started worrying about the job, my weight and money. Over the years, as I've picked up a husband, kids, dogs, a mortgage, a second career, a divorce and a house that's trying to kill me, I've often looked back nostalgically at my simple little trio. The fact that I still worry about both my weight and money doesn't escape me, it's just that there's too much else going on to care. As I've gotten older, I've realized that something usually has to give, that it's almost impossible for all the cards to fall your way simultaneously. There's always going to be one area of your life that refuses to play nice. I think it's nature's way of making sure you don't get too full of yourself.

This pattern applies to other areas of my life, too. For example, if I'm looking relatively put together when I leave the house, and am managing to put healthy, home-cooked meals on the table most nights, then it stands to reason that my house will look like a landfill. If the house looks clean and inviting, and I'm still managing to put healthy, home-cooked meals on the table most nights, then I'm guaranteed to look like ass every time I set foot out the door. Look okay, clean house? Frozen pizza for dinner. It never fails. I can keep two balls in the air, but the third one comes straight down and knocks me half unconscious.

Right now, it's my house that's trying to do me in. Partly because of this self-improvement crap I've been doing, I look alright - some of the time, anyway. My weight is okay, I have fingernails and my roots aren't showing. I've just finished week three of my eight week running program, and am amazed at how well it's going - so far. Money is not as bad as it could be. My job is going fine. So obviously, my house is going to be the problem.

The talk with the boys went quite well today. I sat them down and said This Is The Way It Is, and it's really not open for discussion. I did not argue, I did not get angry - I simply said Times are a'changin' and it's time to get with the program. We'll see how it goes, but it was a promising start. With any luck my house will be able to get off of the condemned list sometime soon.

Which kind of worries me. Because then what would be the weak link?


sharon said...

Life would be very boring if everything was 'perfect' all the time.

Glad to hear you have put your foot down with a firm hand ;-) No backsliding allowed and keep those purse-strings tightly closed until you get the results you want!

The Boisterous Butterfly said...

You made me realize that that's why I like to keep my life so simple, because of the amount of balls I am able to keep in the air. I just never thought of it that way, but I thank you for that visualization. It's a good way to show what I do every day and a good explanation. I like to juggle the few things I juggle very well and fall apart when one thing hits the ground, when I should just bend over and pick it up again. Thank you for this clarifying moment.

Maggie May said...

Well, I think you are doing very well. Like Sharon said, life WOULD be very boring if everything was perfect.
Maybe we are meant to have a weakest link as a kid of safety valve.I stop US snapping!
Mine also is the house and mechanical/electrical problems (or the fear of them.)

laurie said...

stay firm.

make a chart.

the weak link in this case will be YOU. so watch it! staying on top of the situation will take more energy and more diligence (at first) than letting the house slide back into a pit.

good for you. now the hard part begins.

Frances said...

Yay you - you did the best thing. It's really impressive - I second Irene and
I absolutely agree with Laurie.
You are the one who can stand firm and be clear. You are the clasp on that chain.
The kids will prefer it. If you seem to be grounded and okay with things that should settle stuff pretty much.
From my own experience, it is so easy to say something direct and strong and then not to stick to it at all myself. So easy to be distracted.
The other link that can break is complication. That twists the chain and then it falls apart.
Keep it simple enough to remember when you are REAL tired and REAL anxious.

Akelamalu said...

You're keeping your head above water - well done. Get the kids cleaning the house and all will be hunky dory. :)

Kaycie said...

Here's the thing: you don't always have to have a weak link. Sometimes it pops up every now and again, but life can go forward relatively smoothly for long periods of time. You are on the right track!

Kaytabug said...

Way to lay down that law girl! Stick to your guns. Taking away privileges,from computer to video games(the controllers and power cords are the easiest way to take it away instead of the whole thing)to $$ and whatever else is the way to get them to do what you want them to do. I know this has been said before, just chiming in to reinforce that it works. You are on the right track!! You can do it!!

Iota said...

Good for you, getting the boys with the program. Good luck! Stay firm.