My Inner Zooey

I have always wanted to be one of those women who have it all together – or if they don’t, they put on a darn good show of it. You know who these women are – they get their adorable Christmas cards out every year by December 5th (or tenth at the latest), they have all their Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving (or Black Friday at the latest), their houses are freshly decorated for every season, they never have unsightly muddy dog prints on their kitchen floors, and they always look like they were dressed by Zooey Deschanel – even on the weekends.

How do these women do it? Do they not work? Or do they have endless reserves of energy, like hyperactive elves? The overachiever in me says, “Please give me some of whatever she’s on.”

Try as I might, I know I will never be this woman. For starters, I like my yoga pants too much to exchange them for a dress and kitten heels to wear while I’m scrubbing the toilet.

But there are parts of life I feel myself missing out on because I take on too many responsibilities, both wanted and unwanted.

Responsibilities I would like more of:

  • Working on my novel
  • Spending more time editing photos, both for personal use and the blog
  • Making dinner at least four three nights a week. Let’s aim low, here.
  • Spending time with friends
  • Exercising regularly
  • Sending out Christmas cards
  • Doing more crafts
  • Working in my garden
  • Decorating my house
  • Organizing my house

Responsibilities I could do without:

  • Working on work that is not writing or gardening (namely, spreadsheets)
  • Cleaning of any kind

What’s strange about these two lists is that the shorter list takes up far more time than anything on the longer list. Life has gotten out of balance again, as I have let it get in the past.

It makes me all sad-faced. I know, I’ve been sad-faced a lot this week.

Sometimes sad-face forces me to take inventory, though – why am I dissatisfied with my life, and what is in my power to change this? If it’s not in my power, how can I find peace?

Right now, I don’t have the answer. All I can do is keep taking inventory, writing and praying that this will save me from falling back into the life I don’t want to lead.

Usually just keeping up the good fight is enough to keep me going, but it’s a slippery slope down into that life, and hard work scrabbling my way out of it.

Maybe I’m just tired and cranky because it hurts to breathe.

Actually, I’m pretty proud of myself for one thing. I haven’t been able to send out Christmas cards in, oh, I don’t know, a decade? (Life of a perpetual college student/overworked drone). This weekend, I have uploaded photos to a Christmas card template, and as soon as I have the husband’s seal of approval on photo choice (because I’d want him to extend the same courtesy if our positions were reversed), I will order them and have them all out by Monday. You hear, me? Monday. You guys are my accountability and I know you won’t let me down.

Unless I tear another rib muscle, then no promises. 

I don’t know why this is so important to me. I feel like I have no time for a social life or reaching out to people, so maybe this is my way of doing that? Being thoughtful? I may or may not have reached a point in this process where I lose track of any rationality.

Mike gave me the freedom to take a pass. “If this is going to overwhelm you, then you don’t have to do it.”

“This is the kind of stuff I want to do, though,” I replied. “The stuff that overwhelms me is stuff I don’t want to do but have to. Like washing dishes or spreadsheets.”

He just shrugged his shoulders. He knows better than to fight my inner Zooey. She may be dedicated to all things cute, but she’s sure stubborn.

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Comments

My Inner Zooey — 13 Comments

  1. I think that those women actually have a legion of hyperactive elves on hand to do all the chores. They are terribly difficult to catch, but once under your control they can easily manage a household. I think Martha Stewart has the largest captive breeding colony on record!

    Feel better soon, and good luck with the Christmas card project! One thing at a time, right?

  2. I applaud you for being aware that it may be time to take stock again – not everyone recognizes that and then they blink and find themselves back in familiar territory. You’re wiser now than you were in your other life, so don’t sell yourself short. And nobody has it as together as it appears…this is like a rule in life to remember. I’d like to believe that when I’m 90 years old, I’ll look back at the things I could never quite get to that stressed me the hell out, and laugh at how silly I was to think those things were ever all that important to begin with. I don’t mean the stuff like spending time with people you love or doing what you love, but the being ON all the time kind of stuff. (It’s hilarious that I’m spouting this off to you while I worry myself into pieces constantly over things that don’t deserve it.)

    Can I also say how happy I was to see Zooey’s name in this title? Because I freaking love her, and New Girl is one of my favorite excuses to stare at the TV for 30min. a week (aside from Dexter, Walking Dead, Parenthood, Criminal Minds, and all those silly singing shows I can’t stop watching – damn, I watch a lot of TV).

    Also, I’m sorry about your ribs…heal quickly!

  3. Take pride in the fact that you do have a card put together! (and I bet it was fun choosing a design and picture) Little things like that can help turn your sad face into a smile…or at least a creepy grimace.

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