Saying When

by Scary Mommy
Originally Published: 

People ask me pretty often how I “manage it all.” Lately, my response has been to snort and reply that I’m hardly managing it all well, at all. Actually, it’s more like maniacal laughter than snorting and I’m pretty that sure I frighten people when I do it. Lately, I seem to be coming apart at the seams a bit. Perhaps you’ve noticed.

Remember that cheesy 90s movie Regarding Henry? Harrison Ford played an asshole lawyer who got shot in the head during a holdup and loses all memory of his life. During his first day back at work, his secretary pours his coffee and tells him to say “when” when he’s had enough milk. He doesn’t understand the request and she continues to pour the milk dramatically until it spills over onto the saucer. Later in the film, Henry realizes that the life he made for himself is not the one he wants to live. It’s time for him to make some changes. He says “when.”

Well, I’m saying when, too. I’m lucky, though. My life– the important stuff– I love. It’s the other stuff I’m having trouble handling. The stuff we can all live without, even though it might not be easy.

Much to my daughters dismay, we have found a new home for Lucky. (Note to all the husbands out there: When your wife says she doesn’t want a puppy, she means it, no matter how ridiculously cute he is.) I feel awful and guilty and know she’s going to have a tough time, but sacrificing my sanity just isn’t worth it. We’re having one last weekend with him and spending it taking lots of pictures and soaking up lots of tears. Next week will be spent spoiling the kids rotten.

My job was just too much. Working full-time from home sounds like the perfect situation, but it’s hard. So much harder than I ever thought it would be. I’m stopping that as well and am trying to take on a few smaller, more manageable projects. I have that degree in graphic design, after all, and I may as well use it. The financial aspect is going to hurt, probably more than I even realize, but it seems worth it.

I feel like I can breathe for the first time in months. I’d forgotten what it felt like, and it feels good. It feels right.

I love it when dated, sappy movies show me the way.

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