Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Silly Woman vs. The Greatest Generation

EDIT: For evidence of the awesomeness engendered by my parents and their parents and so forth, check out the video I added to the bottom.

I seem to have a difficult time balancing work with my personal life right now.

Strike that. What personal life?

While I usually have an hour or so in the evening to write or sort my thoughts after work-work and before I begin my freelance work, I have eliminated all that silly free time and have focused all my energy on making deadlines. Any excess minutes are spent waiting in traffic and knocking on the dry cleaner's door to beg her to let me in past closing time (yes, I'm that woman).

It's not a sustainable existence and I know it will only be this way for about another month, so I'm trying to hunker down and make the best of it without ticking off too many friends.

Yesterday a girl from my high school volleyball team changed her facebook status to "married" and I remembered that I still had her wedding invitation, unopened in a stack on my floor. And I live about 5 blocks from the church. I have literally nothing to say for myself.

Yet, when it comes to conveying the defcon of my stress levels, maybe I'm not dramatic enough. My mother somehow thought nothing of asking me to make time to spend an entire weekend at the beach visiting family. As if I'm just a silly girl running around in twirly little dresses, picking daisies who can pop off to the coast in a snap.

She never seems to grasp that all the things I do behind my little laptop are actually difficult, time consuming, and stressful. I'm sure she would be infinitely more impressed if I did the type of labor that leaves a person with calloused hands and a sweaty brow... but that's one of the many "work harder, not smarter" differences between us.

I was downright surly (on the inside) as I stuffed not-enough clothes into a bag and mentally considered every bit of work that I could be doing as I headed for Pensacola with my little brother and his friend from college.

When I saw my grandparents (who I love and adore endlessly) sitting in a beach-side restaurant overlooking the pristine water and sand of Pensacola Beach (which I love and adore endlessly), my mood unsurprisingly and instantaneously changed and I felt guilty for having my priorities so wholly and completely out of whack.

Later, I sat indian style cross-legged on the floor of their house, flipping through the laminated pages of genealogy books my grandmother has put together over the years. I was reminded that I am fortunate to be part of an absolutely incredible family... which is why I work as hard as I do.

And what a waste all that work would be if I never stopped, amidst the chaos and deadlines and full voice mail boxes, and made a point to spend time with the people who made it all possible, let alone worthwhile.

And, in any case, I hope spending time around my grandparents will cause some of their goodness and wonderfulness to rub off on me. One can hope.


This is my baby brother, Sam, in a concert last week. Shaky camera and random zooming courtesy of my great videographer skillz.