Instructions for Crazy

Who is that crazy person in my last blog post?  Woah.  She’s crazy, isn’t she?

She hasn’t completely moved out, but I think I’ve at least stashed her polka dot and pinstripe clown suit in the closet for a couple of days.

AWP was restorative.  I slept a lot, ate good food, and had great conversation with some amazing women and a few good men.  I sold books and talked about writing and reading and slept.  Sunday morning, I ordered breakfast in bed and wrote for three hours until it was time to check out and fly home.  And then I played with my children and saw my husband who was not a mirage but the actual thing in flesh and blood not tucked in skype or my phone but the real deal, and it was very good.

The crazy person in me still feels a little unstable, still cries easily and flinches when something unexpected happens.  My eye still twitches.  But we have a few strategies to manage her now, I think.  Here are your instructions, Crazy:

#1: Take life cut into triangles drizzled with maple syrup.  If you try to jam that big of a piece in your mouth like that it’ll make you gag and that’s just gross, so cut it into bite-size pieces, and make sure it’s sweet.  Get up fifteen minutes earlier, for God’s sake, and slow the morning down a smidgen.  Start the day with a Word so it sticks to your hips like the pancakes.  Get everyone off to their respective destinations, and then breathe because you’re at the day job and the day job has manageable to do lists, meetings, phone calls, goals and instant gratification.  The work day does what it’s told and doesn’t talk back because you’re the boss (well, of your work day, anyway) and that’s what work days do, they do what they’re told, that’s right uh huh you know it.  Then return everyone to their destinations of origin for food (home-cooked if you’re able, and if not, don’t beat yourself up, they won’t die from that cheeseburger… at least not today), baths, and bed.  Try to make bedtime stories and prayers and songs happen.  Try.  And then breathe again, take a few hours to drink a glass of wine, write, read, and listen to quiet music.

#2: Sneak in some exercise here and there because you know how good it feels to get a good sweat on.  Even if it means skipping your lunch break to get to the gym, do it.  Just do it.  You can even drop the crew off at the childcare station after work, even though you feel guilty about all of this childcare but hey, better to have a sane mom some of the time than a crazy one all of the time.

#3: Be content with adequate for once.  Be content because nobody is impressed with 150%… they think you’re crazy AND YOU ARE.  Those looks are pity, not awe.  Those looks are, dude, you’re crazy.

#4: Cancel the spring soccer practices and games.  No one is going to miss it, not even for a minute, and baseball is right around the corner, when your husband’s crazy schedule loosens up, and you won’t have to tote the gang into the rain on Saturday mornings alone.  Lyd might be sad for about ten seconds and then she’ll be over it and on to coloring and dancing and laughing and light.

#5: Don’t substitute another weekly activity for the one you just cancelled, i.e., no swimming lessons, gymnastics practices, dance, ballet, tap, piano, karate, etc. you crazy person just let it go so you can enjoy your children for more than the minutes they are sleeping silently in their beds.

#6: The laundry can wait until Saturday.

#7: The dishes can wait until… there aren’t any more clean ones.

#8: Don’t shut down and shut out your friends and family, even though it’s tempting to hole up, burrow in, and battle through alone, even though it feels safer and warmer under these covers.  Coffee is good.  Wine is better.

#9: Even though he’s on the road and working, call and text your husband, who loves you and misses you, and believe it when he says it because it’s true and you know it’s true that this is just a season and crazy will end one day in the foggy not-so-distant future that feels a million years from here.

#10: Read instead of watch TV.  Write instead of scroll through Facebook.

#10: Sleep, you dimwit.  You need it.  After all, you just made two #10s.


For fun–

What I’m Reading: Grace Notes by Brian Doyle (which is awesome. read it.)
What I’m Writing: a lyric essay on miscarriage, which is so inspirational I can hardly stand it.
What I’m Drinking: the last of a bottle of merlot and a large cup of water.
What I’m Listening To: Norah Jones, “Painter Song”

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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