Friday, December 14, 2007

A Dr. Mario Epiphany

Have you ever been watching an action movie, and you see the hero at a full sprint? He's just booking toward his objective. He's almost there- you see him in slow motion, you hear his breathing. When all of a sudden, from out of nowhere the villain grabs his ankle and trips him. He doesn't just stumble. He goes flying; head over heels, gun sailing, limbs flailing, until he finally skids to a stop flat on his face. That's me.
I've been booking along, making tons of progress in my life. I've been reading my scriptures, going to the temple, exercising regularly, keeping my house clean. I've been in serious danger of someone casting me in bronze and sticking me in an effectiveness museum. Then my husband's work schedule changed. I've been in a slow-motion wipeout ever since.
I won't divulge the details of the change, because some of you would just smirk and say to yourself "I totally handle more than that every day of my life!" It's enough to say that it's changed me from someone calmly contemplating the ocean, to a poor wretch struggling in a rip tide barely keeping their lips above the waves. The problem is, I should 'totally be able to handle it'. It's really not that bad. Tons more people really do deal with worse. That's what's making it so hard.
It'll be early evening, and my kids are all swarming me like killer bees. They all need something, and I'm desperate to get away. I don't have anything to give. I'll lock myself in my room and kneel and pray. "Send help now, now would be good!" I'll feel some peace, enough to refrain from violence or tears in front of the kids for the night, but I'll wake up with my shoulders in knots.
It's so ironic that some sort of answer would come through a twenty-year-old video game.
As most of you know, I have an on-going evening affair with Dr. Mario. We meet on my treadmill after the kids are in bed. A few nights ago, I was busting along at my usual pace. In the game, I'm up to level 15 out of 20 and on medium speed instead of slow. I'm losing. Over and over again. I don't give up though, I just keep trying. When I start to get frustrated, a little voice in my head says, "why don't you slow down? I do the unthinkable, and slow the treadmill down. I'm at a comfortable walking pace now, and what do you know? I start to win again. A little voice in my head says again, "why don't you slow down?" and I understand. My life's a lot harder now. That's not going to change. This isn't a temporary glitch; it's not going away. I need to slow down, and find a new pace. I need to not expect so much of myself. I need to show a little mercy to this poor gal who's trying so hard.

13 comments:

The Bloxham Bunch said...

I think you accidentally joined my club of "kids driving mom crazy". I find that guitar hero helps me out. The only problem with that is, I cannot be talked to, poked, or bothered in anyway. I do not answer the phone, door, or anything. But when I am done---there is a calm, peaceful mom (kind of). Hopefully life slowes down and calms down before christmas break. Just know, your not alone!

The Clan of the Crazies said...

I know it is super easy to look at other people who are flourishing under a "harder" schedule, but you have to remember that they didn't just start their schedule. Any time there is a change like that there has to be a period of adjustment, no matter how "supermom" you are. Even if you stay in this schedule forever I'm sure you will adapt and soon be flying along like you were before, just in a different order. It's not fair to expect to be running like a champ right after you pull a muscle. Besides, there is nothing inherently wrong with having the kids all have some outside or quiet time for an hour in the evening where you are not to be disturbed while you make dinner or get back in touch with your inner child, or whatever you want to do. (o:

Alli said...

Amen, sister...Amen. You know, Heavenly Father gives us the life we have because it is the perfect combination of what WE need to become like Him. That perfect combination is different for every human....every woman. What you "handle" is eons above what I handle, but He knows me and pushes me above my comfort level to allow me to grow. Forget what others handle and just keep on keepin' on! I agree that you must also remember to give yourself some time to adjust...there's nothing wrong with that and in no time it will seem "normal" and "handle-able" again!

Anonymous said...

your at level 15 at a speed of med.you are getting good!o:

Jenn said...

That's right. Just think, "row, row,row your boat"- yes, keep moving forward "gently down the stream"- it is not requisite that we should go faster than we have strength, and be gentle on ourselves, "merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily"- wallowing can always make a bad thing worse "life is but a dream"- in not long at all our little ones will be changing our diapers (yikes, payback time!)
And in the words of Mom, "for Pete's sake, you're a life boat right now, not a cruise ship!"

alinde said...

You know I can totally relate! It's so easy to think that others have it so much harder than we do, but we are all unique and can all handle different things. Some can handle more than others and some much less, but we should always know that the lord never gives us more than we can bear.

My sister in-law has 8 children with her 9th on the way, she doesn't just handle all the children all the time, she home-schools them too and always seems to have everything under control. I have 3 children all under the age of 7 with another on the way and like you it's all I can do just to smile and not become the bear-like-mother every child dreads. (Smile)

I think you’re an AWESOME mom and you're always looking so beautiful and composed and not to mention how unbelievably nice you are to everyone. You’re the best! Thanks for your friendship! (Smile)

Kim said...

Missy, thanks for calling me the other day. Sorry I was a little scattered brained. I've never been a very good phone talker. I get all tongue tied and kind of nervous. You're my friend but I look up to you so much and truthfully, you kinda intimidate me. You'll probably laugh when you read this, I'm just throwing myself out there. I love this post. I'm right there with ya. Have you ever read "Who moved my cheese"? What did you think?

EarlGirl said...

You're right, Kim. I did laugh. I think I'm way too dorky to be intimidating. Remember when we went on that girls weekend? Do you remember my secret talent? Every time you think I'm intimidating, just picture me doing that. That should cure you! By the way, that anonymous comment above is from my firstborn son. I told you guys Dr. Mario brings me respect.

The Clan of the Crazies said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Clan of the Crazies said...

Okay, so what's your secret talent?! I'm dying to know! Can you put your heel behind your head too? Can you wiggle only your left nostril? Can you interlace your toes together like fingers? Man, you think you know a person!

EarlGirl said...

Oh, you've seen me do it. You know, how I can screw my face and my hands up to where you would swear I was...well..it's not politically correct to say. It's really convincing.

Lee said...

Life gets chaotic. I am glad you had a good revelation. I have missed seeing you at stuff lately.. we just seem to be missing each other.

Abby said...

Here's a parallel experience. My Dad recently gave me a blessing and counseled me to pour my heart out to the Lord. I feel like I'm always talking to the Lord, but I need to find a time a place when focus more on what I'm telling him, and really think about what I'm telling him, too. I had one of those days last Saturday. Not out of the normal for me right now - just a huge struggle when I wasn't expecting a huge struggle. It was heavy on my heart. Still brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. Anyway, I was headed into Wal-Mart for some last minute groceries, my head was dropped low. I was trying not to cry. I heard that voice in my heart - "Look up." I'm thinking, "I know - the lovely blue sky with white fluffy clouds always makes me smile. . ." but then again - "Look UP."
Right there, just like on any other Wal-Mart in the world "Open 24 hours." I remembered my Dad's blessing, and then I hear. "I'm here for you."
Funny how the Lord can use those little every day things to teach us the most powerful of lessons, isn't it? BTW - I think I'm going to post this on Peaceful Walk, too. I loved what you wrote though, I don't want to bump it down any.