Tuesday, February 01, 2011
And it better not be fake blood, either....
This blog may sound like a whine, but I don’t mean it to be. It’s just that I’m at the end of my rope, and the knot I’ve tied doesn’t feel real sturdy.
I’m in what I call “Blood and Fire Mode.” That pretty much means that unless something is actively on fire or there’s massive amounts of blood, I really can’t help you. My To Do list has reached critical mass, my calendar causes me to hyperventilate, and I can’t even face my inbox. I can’t make a list because it will only depress me – instead of getting a kick out of breaking down the task into things I can scratch off once I accomplish them, I’m left wondering where to start and is it even possible to break this down into organized steps?
This is a different feeling than that one I get when it’s three days before I leave for conference and there’s so! Much! To! Do! This is a feeling of dread that settles in my stomach. I’ve learned to recognize it over the last thirty-something years. I know myself. A meltdown is approaching.
I know it’s coming because I don’t want to check my email. Watching twenty messages download onto my computer doesn’t give me a thrill. I don’t really care what’s there, don’t want to face it, and I go surf blogs instead. Then, two hours later, I’m still just as far behind only now I feel really guilty for not using that time more productively. Then some fresh hell does ping into my inbox, and all I can do is roll my eyes before I go off to read blogs that make fun of Twilight.
If I try to make progress on the To Do list, there’s always something throwing a monkey wrench into the plans: people not returning my calls, a piece of paperwork that must be done before we can move to the next step – only that piece of paperwork is in Nebraska, and the only person who can fax it to me can’t find it, and even if she could, the person who needs to sign it is out on vacation until Thursday. Forward progress comes to a screeching halt, and the ripple effect screws everything else.
Meanwhile, the To Do list grows longer and more emails ping into my in box. Sigh.
Unfortunately, it’s not something I can rally the Playfriends around to get through. I can’t call in support troops. They’re already in place, holding the hill and drawing enemy fire while I muddle through. Someone told me it sounded like I was on the edge of Depression, so I asked Counselor Shelley about it. Not only did she not offer me drugs (or sympathy, for that matter; free BFF counseling lacks nice “So-how- does-that-make-you-feel?” statements), she found no signs of depression. Overwhelmed? Maybe. Stressed? Probably. Depressed? No.
No way out but through, so get moving, kiddo. (Remind me to find a more sympathetic counselor. I’d add it to my To Do list, but…)
So Blood and Fire Mode is really a self-protection mode. In a way, it’s good, because it allows me to focus on what I *need* to be doing, instead of being talked into making eight dozen cookies for the PTA bake sale. The PTA is neither on fire nor bleeding, so they don’t get a place on my to-do list at the moment. (And even if they were on fire or bleeding, the PTA is full of adults who know how to call 911, operate a fire extinguisher, and if necessary, tie a tourniquet. ) I get to prioritize my list without feeling guilty. I can ruthlessly decide that No, I don’t have the time (or the energy or the inclination) to drop everything and work on someone else’s problem. My plate is full, thankyouverymuch. Call me next month.
So, if you’re on fire or bleeding (Or under the age of ten and about to vomit), then make sure the subject line in your email clearly states that.
Does this make me sound like a raving, selfish bitch? Or have you gone into Blood and Fire Mode yourself?