My husband is born a multi-tasker. Back in the day, when he was a cop, I liked to call him at night before I went to sleep. I’d ask him what he was doing and the answer was always something like, “Oh, I’m just driving 110 in a high-speed chase, PMing a knock-knock joke to my partner, and eating a taco.” Then I’d be like, “AND YOU ANSWERED YOUR PHONE?!” And he’d say, “Yup. Hold on a sec.”, and I’d hear him cue his radio, muttering cross streets to dispatch in his deep, serious cop-voice, and then he’d be back, “This taco is AMAZING…”
Whatever the opposite of a multi-tasker is? I’m that. I’m a barely-do-a-single-thing-at-once-er. If have tons of crap to get done, I have to make a list on a piece of paper, and then I have to carry that piece of paper around with me, checking things off as I go. Sometimes I have to refer to the list when, in the middle of a task, I have completely forgotten what I’m doing and find myself standing in my bedroom, or the kitchen, or Target, or a parking garage in midtown with my face all scrunched up, like, “Wait. What was I doing?”
It’s kind of a problem.
The thing is? Life doesn’t give a fat turd about my to-do list. It just piles stuff on, all willy-nilly, without an ounce of consideration for my lack of capacity to get stuff done. Life is so rude. Since I know this about life, you’d think I could plan for it by putting things like “dead car battery” and “broken incisor” and “unexpected guests” on the list. You’d think I would just build in time for “stitches”and “stepping in dog poop”, but I don’t. Then, when things start to pile up, I feel like I’m in the drivers seat of El Chupacabra’s patrol car, racing too fast, typing a blog post, yelling at my kids, and not even remotely enjoying the taco. Because, unlike my multi-tasking hulk of a husband, I don’t feel like I’m in control when there’s so much going on. In fact, the complete opposite is true; I feel like I’m a split second away from crashing and burning.
And that makes me cranky.
And then nobody likes me.
You know why? Because nobody wants to hang out with the chick who’s white-knuckling life. Nobody. She’s no fun. And her face always looks like she just smelled a fart.
I tried to be pissy about my cop-husband’s habit of doing too much at once. I told him it was irresponsible and foolish and dangerous. “You’re too casual about it all!”, I fumed.
He looked back at me and said, “Um. You know I’m a trained professional, right?”
I didn’t really get his point, but that statement lingered in my head for years. Until the other day – When I was going a million miles an hour in no less than 37 directions, wrangling kids and running errands, texting through hard times with a friend who needed good words, researching sex-trafficking and slavery, squealing into the phone at my sister’s big news, planning an upcoming talk in my head, digging through the tangle of receipts and gum wrappers in my purse to find my 3 foot list of things yet to-do… and it felt crazy, but it also felt good. And then it hit me: The taco is amazing.
When you’re smack in the middle of the space you were designed for, life is easy to savor.
I am a trained professional. I am uniquely equipped to handle my bizzness.
Yes, I have to make lists (and take medication) to function like a human being, but I have been entrusted with this job. I’ve been groomed to parent these boys and comfort that friend, and I’ve been prepped to write and speak and share stuff on the internet. I can do all of those things – I can even do them all at once – because that’s what I was made for.
When I loosen my grip, my sweet skills take over, and I don’t feel like I’m fighting to stay on the road. It just happens. Kinda naturally. So, even in the chaos of Crazytown, I can relax. I can take a breath. I can enjoy the taco.
And the taco is pretty much amazing.
…. …. ….
…. …. ….
Do you need to loosen your grip? Maybe pick up a taco?