I am home after a busy day of work and running after-school errands, and I find my husband in the kitchen with his earphones plugged into his ears, speaking into his Smart phone in tones you would expect from a senior on Bingo day. This is what he is yelling, “Twilight Zone, play Twilight Zone.” I am only half listening to this monologue as I am busy doing more important things, like putting away all the stuff everyone has left lying around the kitchen. Then, Brian gives the same command again, “Twilight Zone,” and I hear him laughing. “That’s funny,” says he, “My phone told me to call Lori.” If there were ever to be a soundtrack for my life, I guess that song by the Golden Earrings must be destined for me.
On days when I am not dancing to the beat of “The Twilight Zone,” there are a precious moments of sanity and joy to be found. My version of a pretty good day is to come home with a random plan for supper, and find out that my husband has already put into the oven the .99 cent Turkey potpies I bought for such a day as this, and he did so without me even asking. Adding to this imagery, consider me with a bag of groceries slung over my arm, inside which are two packages of French fries that would go perfect with the above, creating a delightful ensemble. That wee little bonus, along with the dog already let out to pee before I get home, meaning no pee on the floor, make for two of the best things that could happen to a girl like me.
Sometimes, on my worst days, when I sit down to write, I just want to vent my frustration about everything I cannot stand about cleaning up mud off the entryway floor, picking up dirty socks and cleaning crumbs off the countertops. Those grievances actually can consume my thoughts. I can spend a great deal of time cranking about things that make my life less than ideal, and when I do, I am left feeling lonely, isolated, frustrated, purposeless, angry and annoyed.
So, when I sit down to write, there is great temptation to give in to that urge that nags at me, “VENT.”
But, when I choose to take those same frustrations, and turn them into something I can laugh at, the sting of anger loses its hold over me. I feel such release in actually reading over my own words, knowing that I survived another day, and it was actually, dare I say it, hilarious in the end. So, instead of choosing to focus on work and how tired I feel, I think instead about little D. who came into my Kindergarten classroom this morning wearing mascara or little A. who is now sporting a Mohawk, which little P. could hardly take his eyes off. Or, I think of my own children, one of whom told the babysitter that “we never, ever fight anymore at our house now that we have a dog.” You just never know what is going to come out of her mouth next.
Or, I just imagining what I look like when I leave the house in the morning with two different gloves on either hand, my Foodland bags hooked over my wrists, and half the accessories I hope to wear stuck in my pant pockets, is enough to make me titter a little at the end of the day. I picture myself flying down the outside steps, using my Mom voice to herd the children into the vehicle, all the while balancing my breakfast and coffee in one hand, yet as soon as I arrive at school, switching it over to the professional persona of a pulled together, totally organized teacher. It’s zero to 60, folks, in about thirty seconds. It is a crazy life, there is no doubt about it. But it is my life, and I going to hang on for the ride.