Be careful what you wish for.
Ever since I wrote about the need to earn my couch time – either physically or mentally – I have been given multiple ways to do just that.
After posting that blog I have had 4 very busy, somewhat stressful days at work. Two of those days were followed by chaotic evenings with errands, kids’ conflicting schedules, homework and a few arguments. Each night I collapsed on the couch, mentally and physically exhausted, but almost too stressed. The couch (and ice cream and my computer) worked its magic, however, so by bed time I was relaxed and feeling better.
I expected today to be somewhat relaxing, and was looking forward to it after 4 really long days. (Sunday I left the house at 5:45am and did not return until 9:30pm, but remember, I wished for “couch earning” time.)
I slept in til 6am and eagerly went for a run – 30 degrees and slightly windy, but not awful. That’s where the fun ended. While trying to organize my children’s after school schedules and get them out the door on time, I discovered my #3 son did not have all his homework completed as promised. **BIG sigh** I reinforced AGAIN with him that if he’s going to stay after school for all these activities, he MUST finish his homework. If this can’t be done, then he will be forced to quit one or more of the extra-curriculars. They left for school, and I buried my head in my hands. Will this ever get easier?
Then my husband asked me to stop by the tax assessor’s office located in the Courthouse to drop off some papers. Being very unfamiliar with the courthouse, I was a little hesitant to go, but I did. Before entering I read through all the offices located in the building to make sure I was in the right place. I didn’t see it, but entered anyway. I met the guard right away.
Guard (sternly): Can I help you?
Me (friendly, hotel clerky like): I’m looking for the tax assessor’s office. Am I in the right place?
Guard (sternly): Down the stairs to the right. Do you have a cell phone on you?
Me (becoming intimidated, not wanting to cause trouble, so still friendly): Yes. Right here. (I show it to him)
Guard (sternly-ER): Didn’t you see the sign on the door?
Me (scared): No, Sir.
Guard (disgusted): That big red sign on the door. The one that says NO cell phones.
Me (scared-er): Oh, I’m sorry… <long pause while I waited to see what I should do> …Um, Should I leave it with you?
Guard (still disgusted and bothered by the trouble I’m causing him): I’m not supposed to hold on to them here.
Me (very apologetic) Oh, okay. I’ll take it back to my car.
Guard (interrupting me, still with an authoritative tone): But I will hold it this time.
Me (in a ‘forget-it-now’ tone): That’s alright. I’ll take it out.
Guard (condescendingly): If you’re going to the tax assessor’s office, you’re going to be in there a long time.
Me: Well, I’ll just come back then.
I go to the car, and text my husband. “I am not going into a place that is run by asses. Sorry.”
I brought the papers back home, and related the story to him.
“I don’t think he had the right to talk to me that way,” I whined to him.
He nodded in agreement, “Yes. You’re right. What did he look like?”
The relief I felt was overwhelming. Not only was he not upset that he would have to turn the papers in himself, but I have a feeling he’s going to address the issue with the guard.
So I happily told him what I could remember of his looks – which wasn’t much because I was afraid to look at the guy, but it doesn’t really matter now. My husband’s got my back, and I love it.
I continued on with my day in a much better mood. I got some laundry done, and the grocery shopping done. I vacuumed the floors and carpooled a few of the kids. I’m on the couch and feel okay about being here.
And I know life is hard sometimes, but that just makes couch time even sweeter. I’d much rather have it this way, than not have earned it at all.