Lurch

As much as that looks like lunch, I really do mean lurch. Lunch isn’t for another few hours, YOUNG.

Lurch. How our days, even in lives that are by all standards smooth (and by that I mean no huge medical issues, no death for the moment, no major economic troubles, natural disasters, and so forth) change speed. Frequently. In a way that hurts my head.

How I value smoothness. (Have I mentioned I become carsick easily?) There is bliss in I am weeding the garden on a Sunday afternoon,  same as last Sunday afternoon, same as last spring and the spring before. Spring Sunday afternoon, weed the garden.

Aaah, but the lurches. I blame A’s travel, but that’s just a scapegoat. Things hum along, one week at the exact same level of complexity as the last: boil eggs, remove splinters, locate tap shoes, ballet shoes, leotard, and tights. Cut soy nut butter and jam sandwich in diagonal halves and place in waxed paper bags for lunches. Etc.

But then: cannot hit the grocery store on Thursday because now it’s swimming lessons on Thursdays and this week it’s kindergarten orientation night anyway, so what will we have for dinner that’s quick and doesn’t need cooking, and suddenly the lawn needs mowing again and how come May doesn’t have any pants without holes in the knees?

This is partly about being a project manager, and I imagine our household would benefit from some sort of MBA-level analysis. There is probably a term for being at absolute fucking peak capacity all the time, and therefore having a bit of trouble shifting routines when things change, like, for example, the weather, or the size shoes your kids wear, or, twice a year, when school starts or stops for the summer (a practice that seems more and more like a relic of an old and strange time) and the whole weekday routine gets spun around. Not that we can’t cope with these changes. Just that there are moments (days, weeks, depending) of whiplash. Times when I forget what it is I used to cook for dinner all the time because every night we are shlepping a tub of hummus to one potluck or another. Or when I am just confused about where in the hell all of August’s socks are all of a sudden and how it is that I am managing to neglect so very many things all at once.

This must be one of those things most people learn as they age: life is not actually an interstate highway. It’s more like tooling through my neighborhood in a Honda Civic, stop signs every three blocks. Or, come to think of it, more like the autoroutes in France, where one second you’re flying along between the white lines at some number of hundred kilometers per hour, and the next second you’re screeching to a stop in some tiny village while three uniformed school children and an old lady pulling a little trolley full of apples cross the street in front of you. And the second they’re done crossing, you’re off again. Zooming along until the next little town. Maybe at the same time you’re also singing all the lyrics to the entire Crowded House album Woodface, peeling a tangerine, and letting the infant in the backseat suck on your right thumb. And every few minutes you open the window up and vomit from carsickness.

So exciting. And yet there’s so much undone all the time. When’s lunch?

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2 thoughts on “Lurch

  1. The project management terms for what you’re experiencing are things like “lacking sufficient margin” and “insufficient risk reserves.”

    But I’m a project manager and we still have times like this. Really, between my project management experience and the fact that my husband is an engineer, you’d think we’d have our household just humming along. And we do, until we don’t.

    I like your analogy to driving along on a highway that goes through small towns. My experience with that is mostly in New Zealand. And yes, we were listening to a lot of Crowded House!

    1. HA! Thanks for the vocabulary, Cloud. And the validation r.e. Crowded House. Which I haven’t actually listened to in *years*, but which this moment is making me lean to for some reason.

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