nope, it isn’t always easy


(okay, this is not really my desk. My office has a health department warning right now. This is where I write since the Dell tech left.)

Today is the last day of September. There always seems to be a never-ending list of things to do when fall comes. Shut down the cooler, start of the furnace, dogs to the vet, doctors appointment, event and travel planning. And, like my buddy, Lynn Ames,[Rainbow Awards Finalist-2013] (courtesy nod) I had to rummage through piles of receipts and payment records so I could meet with my NEW accountant. Yes, I filed for an extension a minute ago or was that April?

I filled out  the form online and dutifully paid my patriotic taxes so that my elected officials at could continue their frat party in Washington and get nothing done. But God help me if I don’t file my tax returns, you can bet I will end up in prison. (I’m not gonna go there, I’m not gonna go there, deep breath.)

Normally, I would be writing, revising, or staring intently at my computer screen with thoughts of sugarplums and new stories swirling around in my brain. But all that swirling is a list of things I need to get done. It’s apparent that I suffer from Fulminating Overload Paralysis—FOP. The more I have to do the less to get done.

Anecdote: Many years ago, I was preparing a move from a small house in Albuquerque to a new place in the high desert. Long story short there were problems with the people cleaning and packing, a mix-up with the movers, and an 11th hour melt down by me. All of which precipitated my chronic FOP.

I screwed up my courage and called a good friend to ask for…help. If you know me at all, you will understand how difficult this was. Nevertheless, she came over as I stood and the middle of my kitchen crying, pointing, shaking my head, and saying, “I don’t know what to do.”

She surveyed the room and gently replied, “Okay, let’s start with this corner.”

In an amazingly short time, the boxes were filled, stacked, and organized. The kitchen was clean, and we were enjoying a drink.

Yeah, it is funny in retrospect, and it was just that simple. But when I’m in the eye of the storm, I can’t see any way out. Some of you may know what I’m talking about, and most of you will throw up your hands and say ‘what’s the big deal, just Do It’.

It probably does seem illogical since I worked the majority of my life as a well-trained and extremely capable nurse. I spent the first seven years of my career in the emergency department where I lived on adrenaline and devoured problem solving for breakfast. Ironic, that at this stage in my life, I’m unable to apply the same principles of triage.

WP_20130930_002Alas,times change but the rewards I’ve reaped the past few years– as a writer have also been tempered by a lack of spontaneity and flexibility. In order for my mind to wander, I’ve restricted my extracurricular activities and flexibility. Routine has become much more vital to my happiness and productivity.

Make no mistake; much of this is simply the joy of aging. My energy and enthusiasm are no longer limitless. I weigh my decisions more carefully and pragmatically. I know this sounds a little negative or self-pitying. It’s not. The trade-off  provides me with insight and wisdom I’d never anticipated. The 10,000 foot view has given me greater perspective about the things I value in life. It’s a good place to be, well, except for that old FOP business. Wisdom and perspective doesn’t translate into perfection.

However, the taxes are done. The remaining obligations are on the calendar. Best of all, the mini maids are coming on Thursday  <g>.

This isn’t at all what I planned to blog about; so you can thank Lynn Ames for prying open this can of worms. And since I recorded the final episode of Breaking Bad*, I just may go watch it.

WP_20130927_004…I guess it won’t be sitting on the couch.

* the final was really excellent.

…and today, October 1st, 2013,  the government is shut down by selfish, shortsighted, spoiled frat boys. Sigh. “of the people, by the people, and FOR the people.”       harumph.

11 thoughts on “nope, it isn’t always easy

  1. loved your blog today jeanne. especially this—“Fulminating Overload Paralysis—FOP. The more I have to do the less to get done.” i’m so glad someone finally put a name to this disease from which we both seem to suffer. phew. i am not alone;-)

  2. Awesome Blog JBM. I don’t write, but I can identify so much with everything you wrote. “What’s the big deal, just do it” doesn’t work for me anymore. Then I get so overwhelmed, I don’t know where to start. I also have to ask for help when these situations happen. You hit the nail on the head about the effects of “the joys of aging.” Thank you so much.

    1. Thanks, Rena, this is my second Dell house call after they replaced almost everything in the laptop last summer. I may end up giving in to the fruit…

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