Honestly, don't even bother reading this one.

Today, I'd had enough.  I was going to accomplish something besides the washing, drying, and piling laundry, doing dishes, teaching kids, and attempting to dig out from a house full of clutter that definitely finds its way to the wrong place a lot faster than the right one.  So I plunked Noah down in front of Sam and said, "I need to be away from him for like ten minutes."  I picked a simple task - thinning out the magazine stack.  I have only subscribed to one magazine in recent history (All You) because it has a ton of coupons and easy-to-read articles...which was really great...back when I had time to both coupon and, well, read magazine articles.  Each one contains a fun little puzzle page at the back with my favorite crossword puzzles.  I love these particular ones because they aren't too difficult that I can't finish them, but they aren't so simple that I don't have to think about them.  I made a stack of the oldest year of magazines and decided, by golly, I was doing those puzzles.  But not at the moment.  Talk about becoming derailed.  No, that's ridiculous.  What I was going to do made so much more sense. 

I thought to myself these would be great to take on our upcoming cross-country field trip.  Sam and I could work on them together as we traverse the country with the wind in our hair and five kids sitting silently and happily in the back seat. 

But, seven extra magazines might be a bit bulky.  Packing space is at a premium for this thing, so, I set out on my little project.  I pulled each puzzle page and solution, trimmed them with scissors, and taped the puzzles, two to a page, to computer paper.  Then I taped all of the solutions to another sheet and laminated it so it wouldn't get ruined.  While I was doing all of this, Sam walked in holding the Noah that I'd delivered to him for my ten minute break and just stared at me. 

"Soooo.......what's going on in here?"

I was sitting there on the living room floor amidst a pile of magazine scraps and re-taped crossword puzzles, and I suddenly realized how utterly stupid I must have looked.

And, yet, it had seemed like such a good idea when I set out.

Sam smiled and tried to humor me.  He did some nodding.  He asked if I was going to laminate the crosswords puzzles too so I could do them in dry-erase marker and reuse them when I was done.  Maybe even sell them.  Start a little cottage industry.  I could really recover my investment from that magazine subscription. Yeah, pretty sure he was scoffing.

I shook my head at myself, packed up the project, and we fixed dinner.  A couple of hours later, I looked at those crosswords puzzles taped to paper and I busted a gut.  What in the world what I thinking???  Hahahahaha.  That was so dumb.

Sam, always at the ready to joke around, joined in the fun.  "I didn't know what to think.  One minute you're crying because you don't have time to do anything...and then, the next, you're taping crossword puzzles to a piece of paper."

Then, in an instant, as fast as I started laughing, no kidding, I literally cried again.  Because the whole reason I wanted to do a project at all came flooding back to me.  Because I needed something, anything that was just for me.  And I'm tired and basically just a mess.  A mess who apparently felt owed five minutes of time to do something completely alone and without interruption even if it was stupid.  Like cutting and taping crossword puzzles. 

Now, I'm laughing again. 

It must be extremely difficult to be married to me.
Basically, this post is dedicated to the man I love, who loves me in spite of violent mood swings and strange quirks. 

We'll see, though, if I let him do those taped crossword puzzles with me on our out-west adventure.  That'll really show him.   

This post is also dedicated to all of the single-parents out there.  I spent 4.5 days this week alone while Sam was away on business and, apparently, 4.5 days is how long it takes for me to go completely insane.  Hats off, my friends.  You are the strongest, most amazing people I know.

Goodnight, everyone.

Tomorrow, maybe I'll start a rubber band ball. 


Sharon said...

Jennie, you are amazing. Don't ever forget or doubt that.

And yes, so is Sam.


Debbie said...

Though I only had TWO children, I did have a husband who was gone basically all week, every week. I relate to this post very, very well, especially to the part about how hard it must be to be married to me with my mood swings. I've been swinging back and forth in his world for thirty years now, and the man deserves a medal of honor.

I agree about the single parents. I have had the same thought many a time in my frustrated moments. I have wondered why so many are doing it by choice these days.

(And I love that magazine for the exact same reasons. I actually like that little puzzle where you have to find things missing. I'm kind of 10 like that.)

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