Okay, I just have to come clean.
Several people have written to ask if I'm okay because my last few (hundred) posts have not been up to my normal perky standard. I know, I know. I haven't been feeling so perky. I mean, it's HARD to be all perky when you're in the midst of a run of Stupid Luck.
Stupid Luck (TM) is very different from BAD luck. Bad luck is cancer, death, loss, grief, FULF. Stupid Luck is, hypothetically speaking, reaching for a box of spaghetti, opening it and upending it only to find that the box was already open on one end --the OTHER end--and you've just dropped spaghetti all over your kitchen floor. It's going upstairs to put your kids to bed and leaving your puppy unsupervised for the only ten minutes of the entire day and finding a large accident in your dining room when you stagger back down. It's having a flare-up of TMJ so painful that you can't eat a tomato sandwich for lunch. It's your beloved cat, who inexplicably stops using the litter box and STARTS using, well, the whole house. It's having insomnia. It's fouling up the kids' piano lesson schedule. It's having a detailed conversation with your older daughter about feminine hygiene when your husband is unavailable to distract your younger child and/or hand you shots of hard liquor. It's just...
It's just coming up against your own limitations/incompetence/neuroses all the freaking time.
I used to call them Sieve Days--those days when you feel your holes. When you feel how disorganized you are... and like you are treading water trying to get anything done. It's kind of hard to tread water when you feel like a sieve.
I started thinking about all this and realized that maybe it's not really Stupid Luck at all, but more the natural rhythm of life itself. Life continually has all of these tiny challenges (although maybe not always such a large amount of bodily fluids and steam cleaner chemicals) and maybe what we're supposed to do is to find the humor and grace in the uneven dance of it all.
Yesterday, I was feeling so overwhelmed at how much I had to do and how badly I seemed to be doing everything that I just started doing one tiny task at a time. I walked into a room and made a bed. I didn't immediately start decluttering the desks and closets and planning a new paint scheme...I just made a bed and walked to the next room. I did one load of laundry. I loaded the dishwasher. I focused on doing exactly one task at a time, with as much concentration as I could bring to bear. (This is more difficult than usual, as I have taken up my unfinished novel again and the characters have a tendency to come out and have these very deep conversations right when I'm in the middle of, say, making soup or something and it's all I can do not to burn the house down.)
Anyway, it occurred to me that maybe the REAL Stupid Luck is rushing around, multi-tasking and trying for greater efficiency every minute of the day. I feel so frazzled when I do that. I make dumb mistakes.
I feel my holes.
Maybe we really do make our own luck, Stupid or otherwise.
Today, I am going to do exactly one thing at a time. Make one bed. Mail one package. Pay one bill. Pet one cat. And instead of crossing things OFF of my To Do List, I'm going to create a DONE list and fill it in as I go. (See, see??? This is where I get all crazy and start cross-referencing my To-Do list with my Done list and the next thing you know, I've got a six page spread sheet and have done exactly NOTHING. Oh, I make myself so crazy!)
Today, I'm going to try to be very present for each small task I do. I'm going to slow down and think before I leave the puppy unsupervised or schedule anything without having my calendar right in front of me. I'm not going to let the length of my To Do list get me all stressed out. I'm going to be PROACTIVE instead of REACTIVE.
Who's with me?