I haven't posted yet about the title I chose for my blog, but this morning has afforded the perfect opportunity. Today is the second day of classes for my writing courses, and the first day that I was on my own this morning (Eli--my superhero-- had the day off on Monday.) to get up and get myself and Eliot ready for the day and out the door, drop him off at daycare, and make it to work, hopefully finding a parking spot and making it to my 9:00 class on time. (Okay, I know some of you are saying "9 a.m. isn't really that early; what's the big deal?" But it IS a big deal for me, so shut your pie hole!) I was stressing out all morning--I got up before 6 a.m. just to get in the shower before Eliot woke up so that I didn't have to worry about him crying the whole time I was in there. Finally got him fed breakfast, deftly avoiding the flying globs of applesauce-- he refuses to eat lately and spits and slings food everywhere whenever I have the audacity to suggest that it might be time for a meal that doesn't consist of crackers or biter biscuits.
Got to work on time, found a spot, and made it to my first class only to realize about 10 minutes into it that my first class is English 1002, not 1001, and I'd given them the wrong diagnostic writing prompt. Oops! and *$%@! I looked up from my desk and saw them all busily writing on the wrong topic, and a thick black cloud of doom began to form. My guts started churning and my interior voice was yelling, "Your idiocy and incompetence is unparalleled! You are the sole cause of famine and death!"
For me, this sort of thing is usually all it takes to make me feel worthless and destroyed for the entire day. And since I happen to be a very forgetful, befuddled sort, things like this happen often. If Eliot drops his pacifier in a public place and I fail to catch it before it hits the dirty, ucky floor, I will be certain that I am the worst mother that ever lived (at least for the next thirty minutes or so).
I like to call this phenomenon an alarming lack of perspective.
I know that when I feel myself slipping, I need to just stop, take a breath, and think about why whatever just happened is not the end of the world. Mass chaos will not ensue because I give the wrong handout. My son will not keel over and die if we have to find a place to wash the nuk before he can have it back. In fact, if I give it back to him without washing it, he probably still will not die. Probably.
So "Stop. Drop. Roll." is my reminder to myself to quit running around in mental circles like my pants are on fire and just stand still for a moment. Stand still, let the insanity fall away, and then move on and do what needs to be done.
When I decided to start blogging, I meant for this to be a space where I could write to myself and work out my various neuroses by calming myself down and taking time to think and reflect. I didn't intend to share it with anyone. But then I realized that people probably like to see pictures of Eliot and hear how he's doing, so I decided to share anyway.
Well, that, and I am also incredibly vain and like attention.