We all have them from time to time, right? I mean, I’m not alone on this one, am I? Please tell me I’m not alone on this one. Because, you know, misery loves company and all that jazz. And also because the idea that it might just be me sometimes feels like too much to bear.
So, yeah. This week has pretty much been a suck-fest at my house. I had all these plans for the week, and you know what “they” say about plans. Honestly, I’m beginning to think my biggest mistake is making any sort of plan for my week. It’s the kiss of death. Each time I come up with a plan or even ideas of what I might want to do during the week, everything seems to go to hell in a hand basket. I swear my future week sits around watching me plan and laughs to itself. I KNOW Monday does that. Because Monday is a jerk.
This week, I found my plans derailed by my daughter’s insane history assignment. She’s in the seventh grade, and they are writing a research paper. In and of itself, that’s not insane. I mean, people write papers all the time. What’s insane is that my daughter’s topic dealt with the reasons why the US should not have become involved in the Vietnam War. It’s a HUGE topic. There’s almost too much information out there on this topic. And my daughter’s paper had a five page limit. Five Pages — ugh.
So my daughter worked on this paper. She researched and wrote her little heart out. But she could not get it down to any less than seven pages. In case you forgot, that’s two pages over the required maximum. And, of course, my kiddo left things until virtually the last minute, so there’s no help to be had from either of her teachers. This doesn’t make me the happiest Mama in the world. I wish she had gone to her teachers a week ago to ask them for help. But what can I do? She’s twelve. She makes bad decisions, and I end up hoping she learns something from them. Finally, she comes to me and asks for my help with it.
I edited the hell out of that paper. I edited it to within an inch of its life. I read and re-read and deleted sentences and minced words until I thought I would lose what’s left of my very frazzled mind. We worked on that stupid paper until 11 PM on Sunday night, 11 PM on Monday night, and 11:30 PM on Tuesday night. At the end, I was down to two sentences over the five page limit. I was sitting at my desk counting letters in words and looking in the online thesaurus to see if there were shorter alternatives. True story.
It felt like I was back in school, pushed up against an impossible deadline. It’s completely ridiculous, but I’ve been stressed out about this silly paper all week. I even had those stupid “stress” dreams — you know, the ones where you’re running across your college campus, late for class, but you look down and realize there’s no actual classroom number printed on your schedule. I hate those dreams. Finally, finally, at around 11:30 Tuesday night, we got down to our required five pages. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see the end of a project in my whole life.
I would fall back on the old saying about tomorrow being a new day with a new beginning and all that. But tomorrow is kiddo’s big band trip, which requires us to get up at 3 in the blessed AM in order to get dressed and be at school so she can get on the bus by 4:15. So the idea of tomorrow being a new day doesn’t exactly thrill me right now.
But Saturday has to come eventually, right? By Saturday, the paper will be a not-so-fond memory. And the band trip will be done.
So maybe, just maybe, Saturday can be a brand new day. That might be all right.