I seem to be on an eight week cycle of what I used to call a meltdown. I replaced that term with crumbled. I’m not a fan of hot flashes, much less meltdowns. A wise friend coined it “Crumbling.” This week another crumble moment arrived. I now call it my Crumble-Fest.
Usually it begins with something technical. Now, I know I have crazy pheromones and I can screw up a credit card machine at a store and strange screens suddenly pop up on computers when I get close. I am technically allergic. Someone should give me a crown and a sparkly wand so I can pretend to enjoy my Queen of Screwing Up Technological Affairs.
This time it was a friend’s simple house alarm that started my Crumble-Fest simmering. I was watching her dogs and I had implicit directions for the alarm. It’s very simple actually. You push the unlock button, use the key and the door opens. Push a button on panel on the wall to tell lit to stay. The problem became when I left, should I have pushed another button on the panel? I couldn’t remember. For four days, all was well. On the fifth day, I entered the house, let the dogs out the back door and all hell broke loose. The alarm screamed! It screamed really loud. I tired to disarm it. It wanted a code. I had no idea what my friend’s code was. I smacked at it and cursed really loud. It couldn’t hear me over the siren’s wailing. I’m pretty sure I had the code in my phone, which I left at home because why would I need my phone to let her dogs out?
Meanwhile the two dogs were yanking the leash to escape the ear piercing sirens. They were half way onto the porch when I stumbled out the door, cursing loudly. My neighbor across the street waved as if nothing was strange. Do I have a reputation that I don’t know about? Am I that crazy neighbor? My hair, which had just been styled the night before, was glued to my head with sweat. My night shirt was half way up my butt as I struggled to keep the dogs in tow so I could turn off the damn alarm. “Please God, don’t let the police and firemen arrive,” I prayed out loud.
Finally, like a gift from God, it stopped. My neighbor disarmed it from the west coast when the security company called her about the intruder at her back door. This happened at five o’clock. It was the second call she’d gotten that day. The first one was when I set it off at eight a.m. She called my husband in a panic. “Someone tried to break into my back door!”
“Anne is there now, don’t worry,” he told her. The he realized I was there and he should worry. They should all worry! I am the cause of this mess. I called my neighbor,
“It’s okay, it was just me,” I confessed.
These things throw me into a tailspin. What kind of adult can’t figure out a simple alarm? I ask you, seriously. I am not stupid, but I am one confused lady some days. I figure that if I just stay away from technical challenges, things will improve. I thought that eight weeks ago too. It’s inevitable. Electronics are everywhere.
I called a friend to vent and as I was listening to her feedback, I noticed my thoughts:
Did I put dog food on the grocery list?
That laundry has been in the dryer for two days now.
I need to clean the grout in my bathroom.
Will those new milkweed plants really bring me butterflies?
I can’t believe my high protein bars have so many carbs. No wonder I’m still fat.
Anne, get the Smurf popcorn house for the girls before you leave for the airport.
What colors should I paint my writing room?
This is one busy mind. I barely heard what advice she offered. It was something to do with changing my thoughts about the situation. I wish I could remember it.
In the midst of this, I got myself so worked up; my tears ducts decide they need some attention. My eyes start stinging, just as my husband walked into the room.
He headed towards me to hug me, stopped and asks, “Uh oh, if I hug you, will you cry more?”
I tell him, “Yes, but hug me anyway. I hate feeling like this.” I bawl into his shoulder. He rubs my back and tells me I need to slow down. “Anne, we’re older. We can’t do it all like we used to,” he consoles me. “Let some things go and calm down.”
And so this is me calming down. At four-thirty in the darkness of the early morning, I am having coffee and slowing down. There is a fan blowing on me to prevent a hot flash.
When I finish this, I’ll write in my journal and begin with, “Good morning, God. It’s me again, your friend, Anne.”
When I consider that I am in the midst of so many things, it’s not wonder I can’t keep it all together: getting my second book, Angel Bumps, published and working on the marketing of the launch, planning trips to visit my daughters, helping with the family business of selling pressure washers, and trying to exercise (just getting sympathy for my chubby legs here).
Add in the things I am doing in my mind, and only in my mind:
Painting chairs for an eclectic look on my back patio
Hanging flowering baskets out front under my awnings
Painting the dining room
Washing the dog
Yoga…did I mention Yoga? I’m doing the Child’s Pose and falling asleep.
Writing a children’s book
These thoughts rattle around in my brain like a reckless train. They weave in and out throughout my day. As I’m taking an order from a customer, I realize that the paint sample I saved for my dining room is missing. This leads me to the thought that I should probably raise the roof in my writing room and get a ceiling fan, maybe two.
I thank the customer for his order and I realize that I have added two ceiling fans to his order. All he wanted was a pressure washer! Thank God I didn’t add a few bras.
Now in my new effort to slow down, I am going to go back to bed and ponder my blessings. I have no reason to shed even one tear. I am blessed in so many ways. I have been shown Divine Favor. I just need to remember that I can’t grow into who God intended me to be while I’m washing the dog, baking cookies, shaving my legs, taking an order for a pressure washer and playing with a new Google Home all at once.
Mental note: add dog treats to my shopping list!
I know the root of my crumble is I can’t handle as much as I used to. When I feel stupid and lose my mind, I crumble. I’ve been thinking about sitting in church all by myself and just having a chat with God. Actually, I’m just supposed to listen. This is not a time for me to be a chatty Kathy. I fear that the choir might be practicing and if I hear one song, even a note, of a song that touches my heart, I will be a bawling mess in row two of the side aisle. I will weep louder than the choir.
With all the chatter in my head, I can’t hear what God is saying to me. Finally, I got it.
“Slow down and listen, the rest will follow,” He whispered in my ear.
It’s time to put the piece together again, just like Humpty Dumpty. I just need to leave some of the crumble pieces where they lie.
Thanks for listening. I just needed to work through my Crumble-Fest. God told me I’d feel better. He was right.