take care of yourself, i said, like it was easy, i said

I had a plan.

Saturday night, after weeks of being stretched in a thousand different directions like a Gumby who'd dared to wrong a Medieval king, I said to myself "enough is enough. Take care of yourself."

I sat on the couch and made a plan.

This would be the week of Taking Care of Myself.

I made a list of things I wanted to do:

- Run
- Yoga
- Get a pedicure
- Dinner with a friend, in a restaurant, no kids
- Go to a movie
- Cook a meal after the kids are asleep with a glass of wine and music
- Take a long bath
- Take a long walk

This list is pretty sad, you guys. That a grown-ass woman needs to write a contract with herself to achieve pleasant conditions for bathing and walking and eating? That's pretty low.

Note the absence of bucket-list-level items here. I wasn't reaching for the stars. Didn't need to win the powerball to do anything on that list. Nothing I'd need a lawyer to clear up for me after the fact with a bottle of prescription pills that "clearly caused a funny reaction." Just regular lady relaxing stuff. Stuff I imagine everyone else does all the time even though probably nobody else does them and everyone just thinks that everyone else is doing these things and nobody is actually doing them.

Here's what I've done so far this week:

- Run (yes!)

- Go to the grocery store with the boys (no!)

- Get sand poured on my head by a seven-year-old who said "sorry" while grinning at me and STILL POURING (dick!)

- Wait on hold for the Municipal Courthouse Customer Service Representative to tell me the number on the parking ticket that was jacked out of my car. (rage!)

- Pay a parking ticket. (resignation to the fact that I am a dumbass who earned a parking ticket!)

- Wait on hold for the health insurance customer service representative to clear up who is and is not in network. (despair!)

- Fold laundry with a glass of bourbon (so this is what I've become! This is the most I can hope for in a week that I explicitly labeled as a week of self care! Folding! Wheeeeeeee!)

It's demoralizing, to say the least. WHO LIVES LIKE THIS?!?!

and then
i saw this
perfectly stacked
pile of books
each opened
to his favorite page
then laid down
i can just see
his hands
smoothing the edges of the pages
into one

What was I saying?


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