Thursday, February 5, 2009

Turn It OFF!

All week long, I've had the Bloomberg teletype going through my mind. Constant chatter, reminders of things to do, issues to worry about, things I can't forget. I wake up in the middle of the night after Little Miss fusses or my husband snores too loudly one time too many or Mister Man comes to poke me to tell me about a dream... and then the machine I thought I'd silenced is back.

I breathe in slowly to the count of four. I hold it a beat. I breathe out to the count of four. I focus on the counting, hoping I can ignore the buzzing in the background of my brain. I read somewhere that this breathing engages some relaxation deep within you, and who knows how it works or if it does, but whatever. I continue this four or five times and feel myself slowly start to relax, but as soon as I make that admission, the thoughts become louder again.

I take a deep breath in and out, then I start counting backwards from two hundred, hoping to fall asleep and silence my innermost thoughts for just a little while before the alarm goes off and I truly need to focus on them. Again.

This week seems to be particularly bad for this. It's been a busy week, and while some of it is good in that I've gotten a lot done, I have a lot more that isn't done. And my time is tight.

I give up. I can't ignore everything, so here's my list of ten things I can't stop thinking about this week. Just tell me I'm not the only one who gets stuck in these ruts.

10) My boss's little boy is in the hospital with pretty bad pneumonia, having had surgery to insert tubes to drain fluid from his lungs on Monday. I feel so badly for thinking my boss was making a big deal over nothing last week when he talked the pneumonia that didn't even require breathing treatments. I just hope his son is better soon.

9) The Cinco de Mayo planning meeting is next Tuesday. I still haven't put together the list of tasks for this. I haven't made the agenda. I haven't looked at our notes from last year's event. I haven't found someone to step up to help chair this. I haven't sent out a reminder to the school yet -- I hope people show for the meeting....

8) Do those little candy hearts have milk in them? Last week on Monday, Little Miss had horrible diarrhea that lasted into Tuesday, and she had to stay home from school until Thursday. My parents swear they didn't give her anything with milk. This week, Little Miss had diarrhea that went away quickly on Sunday afternoon, but maybe it's the food she's getting at Sunday School. Did they accidentally give her Goldfish? I think she really is allergic to dairy. Wow, that's going to be rough as she gets older.

7) I'm exhausted. I'm really tired. I need to get more sleep. But even when I got more sleep and went to bed before 10, I'm still exhausted. Maybe the blood bank turning me away for low iron in my blood (11.0 on Saturday) really is something I should pay attention to. Or maybe I just need to sleep more. If only people wouldn't wake me up and I could sleep through the night. Would it be wrong to wear earplugs to bed?

6) Is my thumb healing ok? Every time I accidentally bump it, it gets so sore. Is that normal? And it feels bumpy in a way that's different from my other thumb. Maybe it's just scar tissue that needs to break down. How long before I call the doctor? I really should get a physical anyway. It's been awhile. Oh, and I'm due at the dentist, too. I need to remember to call the dentist tomorrow.

5) I can't believe Mister Man is going to kindergarten next year. The kindergarten roundup meeting is on the 24th. That seems so soon, and I can get the registration packet then. I hope Mrs. F isn't retiring. I've heard such good things about her, and the other kindergarten teacher is a first year teacher this year. I hope he gets someone who gets him. Or maybe we can get into the dual language program. But that's so competitive with the lottery. I wonder how many slots will even be open with all the siblings from previous years. It would be nice to get him fluent in Spanish though....

4) I was the featured blogger for SITS last week. That was way cool. I can't believe I had 237 different people (yes, I counted and kept an Excel spreadsheet -- shut up) visit me. How interesting that of all those people, only a few people had the same name. I would have thought that there would be far more overlap. I wonder how many of those people will come back again. I hope at least some people enjoy what I write. Did I choose good posts? What if I would have put out some other ones. I'm so far behind in my blog reading after this though... I feel badly for the people that I haven't visited in awhile. And what about the BATW people. I need to focus on them, too. I still feel badly, but I just got so overwhelmed then, but the SITS was so much more and I got through that. I need to add them to the to do list.

3) I hope I can do a 5K. I've been learning to run for so long, and I want to do the St Patty's Day run. I can't believe that's only six weeks away. I'm working on week six right now, but I didn't get beyond week 8 before. And I have the worst part yet to go. But at least I have done it so far. I'm due to run on Friday, but when will I find the time? I have chiro with Mister Man after Little Miss gets on the bus. Will I have time to get to the gym and back before she gets home from preschool? Otherwise, I'm sunk since my husband has basketball until late that night. Saturday doesn't work, and I don't want to just skip a day. Maybe if I just take a quick shower to wash the sweat off but then come straight home and do the hair and makeup thing while Little Miss is taking her nap.

2) Can we pull off a book fair? We stopped doing the Scholastic one over a year ago because we can't get the volunteers. Usborne is too expensive, especially with this economy. It's not fair to ask the parents to buy those books, and we need to get the books into the hands of the families who can't buy the Usborne and need the $1.99 books. If we try to do this though, will we end up with Scholastic hounding us non-stop after this? But really it's the right thing to do, isn't it? Maybe I can help get things settled. At least another elementary is donating a ton of their book fair profits to us. That helps. How are we going to get teachers to choose their books though if they can't see and touch them? Maybe I can take a trip to the warehouse with the principal and a teacher representative.

1) I so don't want to go to work. I don't like the work I'm doing now, but there's no way I can justify quitting my job in this economy. It's so bad for so many people, and I know I couldn't find a similar job even in a good economy because I'm part time and work from home and do get challenging work. We really should just sock away whatever money we can, as this environment is so shaky. The way things are going, who knows how long my division will even be around. If they shutter my division, I definitely won't have a job. It would be nice to be able to spend more time with the wee ones and do more volunteer stuff, but who knows what will happen with the economy. It's looking so deep right now. And protracted. And I see high inflation coming. Really high. How do we combat that? My parents haven't mentioned the word Florida even though the wee ones keep talking about how they want to go back. How bad does that mean this is?

Wow. I promise I'm not really that neurotic. All the time. Actually, I think I feel my blood pressure going down just typing this out. Ohm. Ohm.

I love how I have one small train of thought that goes so many different places so quickly. All I really need to do is make a list of what I need to get done and start cranking away at it. Although (hello school district accounting people I've now left two messages with and have yet to call me back), it would be nice if when I try to cross something off the list anyone else involved would cooperate!

So what have you been thinking about this week?


morninglight mama February 5, 2009 at 7:55 AM  

You are so definitely NOT alone in going crazy about the to-do list. I wish you some peace and quiet, as well as productivity! :)

Melisa Wells February 5, 2009 at 8:04 AM  

I have a brain list similar in length and intensity to yours; add migraines and suddenly high blood pressure to that mix and you have a Me that is in desperate need of an all-inclusive resort vacation: TOTALLY ALONE (alright, the family can VISIT).

Must be going around!!!

MaBunny February 5, 2009 at 8:31 AM  

Wow, that sure is a ticker of things to worry about!
Have you ever tried giving little miss lactaid milk? it has NO lactose in it, which is usually what causes the diarrhea and cramping. I used to drink it , but now drink soy.
Hope all works out and your bosses son gets better - that sounds bad.

Outnumbered2to1 February 5, 2009 at 8:42 AM  

I found when I cut back volunteering at school, my ticker tape thought process slowed down tremendously. Not that I condone parents not helping at school ;)

MaNiC MoMMy™ February 5, 2009 at 9:30 AM  

Whoa. I'm trying to think if I think about that much stuff. I think maybe I do, but not to that much extent, and maybe it's because I'm on effexor.

Also, If you're that exhausted and getting enough sleep you might want to get your thyroid checked.

I hope you find some calmness soon. But you know, your kids are still little and you are not getting uninterrupted sleep ... that was the worst time for me in my life... until everyone hit age five, things pretty much sucks.

Hang in there.

Katie Lane February 5, 2009 at 9:59 AM  

Do you have the power to read minds? I could have sworn this was what I was thinking.

I feel the EXACT same way. I haven't gotten sleep all week. There are so many things going on in my head I can't shut it up! If you figure out the trick let me know. Good luck.

Michelle February 5, 2009 at 10:22 AM  

morninglight mama - I'm not sure if that's a good thing that I'm not alone or not ;) I'm working on the productive part. But today's another work day, so....

Melisa - Whoo! That's rough. My mom has HORRIBLE migraines, and I certainly don't envy you. How do you teach regularly when you have that? Can I go to that all inclusive resort with you? Pretty please? I promise to be quiet!

MaBunny - The dairy isn't lactose intolerance, it's actual dairy issues, so no casein or whey or any milk proteins. It is more than just the diarrhea but is the ear and lung issues, too.

Outnumbered2to1 - Yeah well... as PTO president, it's kinda hard to cut back on the volunteering ;) In two years when my term is up though. Except that I've already heard from our elementary that they're putting me on THEIR PTO for next year. Eep!

Manic - DON'T say thyroid. Please don't. There are tons of issues with thyroid in my family, and I used to have to get blood tests every six months. I'm not up for that. If I just pretend, will it go away?

Katie Lane - Yep, that's my secret power ;) I will say that the focusing on counting backwards from 200 does work. I generally don't get to 150 and only rarely get below 100. There are some nights when I don't know that I get to 190!

Sometimes Sophia February 5, 2009 at 12:52 PM  

Whoa. My head hurts for you. So many bloggers have huge 10 lists. Congrats on your sits day!!

Remember: Stress is when your gut says NO and your mouth says YES...

Jill February 5, 2009 at 2:21 PM  

Michelle, low iron in your blood will really make you feel tired. You should start taking a multi vitamin plus iron. You'd be surprised how much lack of iron effects your mood, energy and just about everything! I hope you feel better and I will pray for your bosses little one!

Melisa Wells February 5, 2009 at 2:51 PM  

It is REALLY hard to teach and motivate others when I don’t feel good, but it’s mainly a mental problem and I can usually do it: I guess I'm pretty strong, mentally!

I think when you’re an instructor, you have so much adrenaline running through your body that it helps with the ailments during class. I actually taught last night (my fave class, as you know since you read me regularly) and had a GREAT workout: got my mind off my mind. Know what I mean? Yesterday morning was much harder for me. That class has fewer people in it and I was in the thick of my headache. But I made it through! :)

And yes, you can go on vacation with me. We can sit in silence together.

Mary in MN February 5, 2009 at 4:36 PM  

Hi Michelle,

I just googled "Usborne" and found your post about the book fair. Okay, you REALLY need to go with Usborne, but have a read-a-thon! If families really cannot afford more than a 1.99 book, then a read-a-thon (called A Reach For the Stars) is perfect, because the kids actually get FREE books by reading and getting pledges. Then a portion of the money raised can also back to the school, or the school can get it all in books if they want. Just a thought.

It's fun to read about your week.... and makes me feel better knowing other people have as much on their plate as I do :).

Take care!
Mary in MN

Karen February 5, 2009 at 7:39 PM  

I really think that my brain is in shut-down mode. While I have a ton of things to do and think about, I've learned to repress them all and live in the moment. While that sounds great, it's not really.

Michelle February 5, 2009 at 8:09 PM  

Sometimes Sophia - Thanks for the congrats! My gut says no about way too many things though. If I only listened to my gut, I'd be single, childless and working in a very different job. And some of the stress is worth it in the end. But yeah... I have a problem with saying no :)

Jill - I actually am wondering if that would help, but I'm thinking I should actually talk to a doctor first, as I was reading about some different causes of low iron including some that iron pills don't help. Stupid internet!

Melisa - I am SOOO there. Just tell me when. I'm packing my bags now :) I'm way impressed at the mental fortitude. That's some good dedication! Do you do Imitrex?

Mary - Oooo. This I may have to learn more about. The hard part is that it's a preschool, but a good friend of mine is a rep (not ours unfortunately), so maybe she can give me more details. Thanks for the tip!

Karen - Heh. Living in the moment does have its pluses. I'd like to be able to switch back and forth at will. I'd also like to be a size 2. And win the lottery. And magically fix the recession. Wish me luck, eh?

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