Overschedulers Anonymous by Maureen Eich VanWalleghan
It’s 11:24pm and I need to find a over-schedulers anonymous meeting. Oh they don’t have that…well they should because I am an over-scheduler and I need help.
After writing this blog, I am still going to clean the guest bathroom and do a bit of cleaning up in the kitchen and figure out what I am wearing for the parade I am suddenly walking in because my daughter can’t walk by herself, and then I have to figure out what I am wearing to the rodeo afterward because I have to give the costumes back and then and then and then ad nauseam…
Today was long: kiddie parade this morning, shopping to get ready for my stepson’s visit—he is visiting for a month and staying in my daughter’s princess bedroom. I bought a few things to try tone down the girlie girl feel. He’s a teenager so I just wanted to respect that. Anyway, this evening I went and got the rodeo tickets, gave my daughter a bath (really play and soak for 30 minutes then quick hairwash). Then fixed up the room, put everything away that my daughter managed to pull out while I checked my email and sent off an electronic submission for my film to a festival in Germany (today being the final, final deadline). Oh please stop me.
Tomorrow (today now, July 2nd) is even more intense. Okay, what was I thinking about saying yes to a parade on the same morning that my stepson is coming in for a month long visit. My husband is picking him up at 8:30am (three hours to the airport and then three hours back) and because of my husband’s work schedule we are going to the rodeo (a very big deal in these parts) when they hit town and then my husband will go to work. I really want to run away screaming…help…help…help me…Did mention I also have work to do for the courses I am teaching and for my new online outreach job. I will be squeezing that in on Sunday.
Okay, if you are an over-scheduler raise your hand, because I know that I am not alone. I know what I was thinking about the parade. Neat experience for my daughter. It will be a fun time hanging out with her older good friend who invited her. Blah, blah, blah, blah…
So this rant is making me think of a favorite poem by Susan Griffin—circa mid 1970’s—in her book Like The Iris Of An Eye, in section III, The Tiredness Cycle.
This Is the Story of the Day in the LIfe of a Woman Trying
This is the story of the day in the life of a woman trying
to be a writer and her child got sick. And in the midst of
writing this story someone called her on the telephone.
And, of course, despite her original hostile reaction to the
ring of the telephone, she got interested in the conversation
which was about teaching writing in a women’s prison,
for no pay of course, and she would have done it if it
weren’t for the babysitting and the lack of money for the
plane fare, and then she hung up the phone and looked
at her typewriter, and for an instant swore her original
sentence was not there. But after a while she found it…
The poem keep going for another two pages. I love it. Griffin so beautifully captures the the collision of trying to make art and the rest of life. And though she is not talking about over-scheduling per say, she brilliantly reveals the whole tiredness of a mom’s life. My copy is old and the binding is broken. Who knew 20 years later—oh no, almost 30 years later—this poem would be prophetic.
The title poem is online, “Like The Iris Of An Eye.” Read it as a teaser and then consider reading the rest of the book. I love poetry. As an over-scheduler, reading poetry fits in my life. Writing poetry is another matter. I wish I could say it was National Poetry Month, but that is in April.
I really need to find that over-schedulers anonymous meeting. It’s now 12:32am and the bathroom toilet is calling me.