Worst and Best

Worst Thing of Today
Hours of post-Thanksgiving washing-up – which wasn’t that bad, really, felt very-good-humoured about it all

Best Thing of Today
Feeling ‘joyful and triumphant

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Under Control, Not In Control

I have a perfectionist streak. I think I get it from my dad, who has always wanted to do things ‘right’. It’s something I continually struggle with, the knowledge that perfection isn’t achievable this side of eternity, and, no matter how hard I wish for it, or plan for it, or work for it, or long for it, it ain’t happenin’.

We don’t entertain too much, partly due to my dissatisfaction with our house, our yard, our lack of hospital-grade cleanliness, and etc.; the contrast between the picture that I have in my mind of how it (and I) should be, and how reality (bites) actually displays itself, grates.

So, preparing for having people over is always more of a big deal than I know it should be. I always over-plan, over-provide, over-panic.

This Thanksgiving (which we celebrated yesterday) was a bit different. Yes, I planned a bit more efficiently, and, consequently, was able to paint our spare room and mow our big back yard in the last week, as well as working full-time and fitting in all the ahead-of-time baking and table-preparing and vacuuming and bathroom-cleaning and etc. But, that wasn’t really what was different.

The morning of the day we have people over always looks a bit similar – getting up at a moderately early time, thinking, ‘Yeah, I’m in pretty good shape, I can fit it all in.’, which morphs into ‘Ah…perhaps I’ve bitten off more than I can chew.’, which graduates into a slight panic attack about 4 hours before guests are due, which becomes a grumpy, resentful attack on HL when I feel he isn’t ‘steppin’ up to the plate’ and helping, which rises to a feeling of impending doom as the hands on the clock spin faster and faster, inexorably dragging me towards ‘Battle Stations, all hands on deck, take that to the garbage, move those shoes from the hallway, help me with this platter, make sure the cat litter’s scooped out, you know you have to carve the turkey, right?, ‘. Stupid, huh?

Yesterday morning was starting to look a bit like that. I felt a little panicky and out-of-control by about 10.30 (guests arriving at 1.30pm) as I had so much to do, and I said to God, ‘Please, stop this. Make time slow down a bit, or help me to feel like I can manage to get it all finished in time. I’m not in control here.’

About half an hour later I noticed that everything felt smoother, I felt calmer, and I mused to myself, and God, I guess, ‘I feel more in control, I can manage.’ A minute or so later, though, it occurred to me that I wasn’t, in any way, in control, I didn’t have anything in hand by myself, on my own, no matter how hard I tried. More truly, I was under control. When I stopped, for a moment, in my rising panic, and asked God to take the lead, I surrendered my feeble attempts at being in control.

The rest of the preparations, while still busy and a bit crazy, seemed to shrink into proper proportion. Not everything got done perfectly, but it didn’t matter: there was much turkey and wine and laughter and true joy.

Thanksgiving was awesome.

Funny Things Said By My Husband

Me: This Australian processed cheese in our Thanksgiving celery sticks is pretty good, almost tastes just like Easy Cheese. (This isn’t exactly what I said, more like the gist of the comment, with extra details to put it in context.)

HL, taking a big bite: Yeah, pretty close.

HL, 2 seconds later as he pulls a cat hair out of his mouth: Only with more hair…

Worst and Best

Worst Thing of Today
Days weeks of Thanksgiving planning over in a few hours

Best Thing of Today
Our Thanksgiving celebration was awesome – all was good: food (particularly the turkey), family, and friends…will elaborate tomorrow

Worst and Best

Worst Thing of Today
So, so tired…and sick of being busy, and tomorrow’s going to be even more so…and my vacuum cleaner just died – here’s hopin’ it’s just overheated

Best Thing of Today
There shall be turkey and pecan pie tomorrow

Worst and Best

Worst Thing of Today
Having a minor internal meltdown as I look around my house and over my To Do list, and realise that Saturday (i.e. when Americans who are living in Australia celebrate Thanksgiving, because we don’t get the Thursday off work) is barreling towards me at a seemingly ever-increasing pace…No matter how well organised we try to be it always seems to end up that way before we have people over to our place, particularly for a ‘big’ occasion

Oh, and I woke up at 5.30am to the cats fighting each other (possibly a misunderstanding over a tom cat that was outside the back door) which ended in blood, fur and tears (one of the cats, not me)

Oh, and the laundry is currently possessed of a very unattractive smell, due to the hot water inlet of the washing machine overflowing and soaking into the hallway carpet, cat litter, fur, lint, dirty laundry, and the already damp cement laundry floor

Best Thing of Today
I’m having a much harder job of this one today…ummm…my cold/flu seems to be going away, and the weather has warmed and dried up a lot…oh, and HL mowed the front lawn

Worst and Best

Worst Thing of Today
*cough* *sneeze* *try to breathe through blocked sinuses*

Best Thing of Today
Cheesy, tomatoey, gooey pizza, and a Survivor episode

Best and Worst

Best Thing of Today
My room is finally painted, and the furniture moved back into place, and it looks lovely…relatively

Worst Thing of Today
Work was very hard today, zero productivity with the million interruptions that happen in a high school office at this time of the year (Can I sign out? Can I pay for my son’s school fees? Can I speak to the principal? It’s urgent. Can I enrol my kid for next year? Can I buy a Yr 10 formal ticket? Can I get these typed up for Presentation Evening? Can I, can I, can I? I DO NOT KNOW, STOP ASKING ME.)

Funny Things Said By My Husband

HL, wandering into the computer room with a breakfast sandwich he picked up while out this morning: Mmmm, this sandwich is really good…fresh-made, sausage egg muffin…yum!

Me: Harumph. I had a bowl of Weet-Bix, and you bring your yummy, hot breakfast sandwich in here and make the room smell tasty.

HL, snickering: Oops, sorry. *grin*

Me: Out. Get out. You and your yummy sandwich, get out.

HL (and his sandwich) shamefacedly slink out.

2 minutes later…

HL, plaintively: I’m lonely in my banishment.

Me: Oh fine. Bring you and your sandwich back in.

HL: *grin*

Best and Worst

Best Thing of Today
Got so much done today

Worst Thing of Today
Still a very large amount to do to prepare for having company over for Thanksgiving

Worst and Best

Worst Thing of Today
The inescapable smell of mould while painting our spare room

Best Thing of Today
My 3 favourites snuggled up on the couch

Worst and Best

Worst Thing of Today
More and more and more painting of the spare bedroom

Best Thing of Today
Prawns with Ginger and Shallots, Pork in Peking Sauce, Special Fried Rice, Anatevka, a hug from HL, and 2 little kitteh paws poking under the door, playing with a toy

‘I love the nightlife’ – not so much these days, actually

Our Saturday night consisted of Chinese food and Fiddler on the Roof…and I enjoyed it so much more than our staff Christmas party last night (think alcohol, screeching laughter and much estrogen).

Worst and Best

Worst Thing of Today
The sudden realisation that I’m about to go out, probably not to return before midnight, and I’ve not posted my best and worst…so, this is it

Best Thing of Today
I’ll say the staff Christmas party that I’m about to go to, in the anticipation that it will be the ‘best thing’…who knows? maybe it’ll turn into the ‘worst thing’ and I’ll have to revise my post…

Worst and Best

Worst Thing of Today
The impatience of ‘somebody who shall remain nameless’

Best Thing of Today
Lindt chocolate

Worst and Best

Worst Thing of Today
a) Work was pretty hideous – crisis after crisis, with computer system breaking down in the middle of all of it, and b) having a friend have to work in our disgusting laundry – it’s the last room of our dilapidated house that we need to work on, and it’s covered in lint from the unvented dryer, cat hair, and cat litter, which the cats continually track from the litterbox

Best Thing of Today
a) Despite crappiness of work it never felt like it would inevitably overwhelm, which it would have in the past, and b) having people discover yucky things (e.g., my laundry) about me is good therapy for a semi-recovering perfectionist, and we ended up with a fixed washing machine because I let a friend into the room we generally keep closed when company comes over…things will NEVER be perfect, and trying to come to grips with that is healthy, but difficult

I’m grateful for mates

The pump on our washing machine was burnt out. No water would drain, and so we were left with gross, saturated washing, and regular floods in the laundry. Our friend is an appliance repairman. Our washing machine now works perfectly. So, instead of having to fork out $800+ for a new washing machine, we paid ‘mates rates’ (= the price of the new pump + a cup of coffee), and our washing machine works like new.

Worst and Best

Worst Thing of Today
Getting up at 5.50am to clean, wash the dishes and bake gluten-free cookies for a friend

Best Thing of Today
A lovely visit, the joy of children and Moses supposing his toes were roses

Worst and Best

Worst Thing of Today
Trying to find some way to decorate gluten-free cookies for a friend…every bloody thing seems to have gluten in it, even stuff that doesn’t need to, like icing sugar – argh

Best Thing of Today
A snuggly kitteh

Best and Worst

Best Thing of Today
Made a lot of progress on turning the walls of the spare bedroom into a lovely asparagus/pea-soup colour, a colour which the guy at the hardware store called ‘interesting’ (a comment which I thought was quite poor customer interaction)

Worst Thing of Today
Why do I snap at HL?

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