Thursday, April 19, 2007

Strange Reaction

A week ago last Monday Slipshod called me from work and told me that a former co-worker & casual friend (by which I mean they didn't actually hang out during off hours, but talked a lot at work) had died over the weekend. I was flabbergasted. I didn't know the guy personally, but had met him, but what really hit me was that he was a great love of a friend of mine & Slipshod's, and I knew it would have hit her incredibly hard in the gut - which Slipshod confirmed. I think he may have been the one who told her (they worked together at the last company, and do again now).

M's death was a tragedy - he was young and healthy and in fact was out doing something he loved when he died in a rather freak-accident type of way (involving motorcycle racing on the track, but he wasn't on the track). For the rest of the day, probably week, after Slipshod told me, I kept having those thoughts you hate to have - where you allow the true reality to come to the forefront, and you think about how anybody could die at any time. You know, the kind of thoughts that can make you crazy if you start thinking about them and your family in the same sentence, as it were.

In an attempt to control my reality, I started folding laundry. I folded until everything was done, and put it all away. I washed three more loads, then folded them and put them away. Since that day I have done one or two loads of laundry every day, folded it while the girls are playing in their room, and that's it - long-term laundry problem solved. Over the course of the rest of the week I caught up with the dishes and even cleared off my worst "hot spot" for clutter in the kitchen. The leaning piles of paper on my Computer Desk of Doom have been sorted into bags and boxes. This weekend Slipshod and I WILL go through them.

This tragedy spurred me into a strange kind of action and now I seem to suddenly have a handle on things around here (well, a start, anyway). I wonder if it will last. It's strange - after all this time of failing miserably at balancing things around house and home I have suddenly figured out how to keep up. It seems like this stuff is working itself out while I'm not really looking at it or thinking about it. Apparently I'm working on the "lost" principle - you know, like when you're looking for something and you can only find it when you stop looking and start doing something else.

Now I'm just trying to get a little done here, and a little there, instead of getting totally overwhelmed by the whole house, like I usually do. Apparently my mind just needed to go somewhere else so I couldn't overthink and psych myself out about all the stuff I'm trying to accomplish every day. Sad that a sudden death was what it took, but I suppose you could say I'm putting my feelings to good use...

Ultimately I am still letting those thoughts of, "anybody could go at any time" stick around, but less in the "omigod, I'm not taking the kids out of the house because they could die" kind of way, and more in the "I need to get things under control and have some sort of written system so that if I go suddenly, my family will be able to carry on with some kind of routine the girls are used to" kind of way.

1 comment:

The Pizzitola Family said...

I know those feelings all too well. I'm a bit obsessed about it. First my dad dies. A few months later, my oldest sisters husband dies. Then my next oldest sisters husband died. Then her next husband dies (both of of different causes and a few years between-one in a boating accident the other a heart attack at work-she didn't do, but I know you thought it-I did!). Then my sister who's next to me in age-husband dies while I still lived in San Jose. See the pattern?? All husbands seem to be dying off. So when mine doesn't answer his cell phone after like the 100th call....i start to freak out and go into house cleaning mode. I think it's like when you start to clean for a baby...nervous reaction. ???? I feel ya though.