[Finding a moment of sheer happiness alone in the new house: winding down after a party in Leifsdottir dress + Scorah Pattulo heels + Gara Danielle turquoise beads n’ things. Note the fish on the dress, not the fish we had yet to hang.]
I’m pretty sure there’s a little control room in my brain, with busy, bespectacled men at computer screens, pulling levers and munching donuts, crumbs sticking to the corners of their mouths and filling cracks between F keys. It’s the picture of managerial mediocrity in there: never quite bad enough to get on the radar of the executive board, but rarely accepting awards of excellence.
Things were nuts up there the last few weeks, with servers crashing and supervisors bellowing and thumping fists on stacks of paper. My favorite operator—a chubby man with thinning hair and a tremor in his left hand (I call him Crenshaw), Chief Engineer: Multitasking Department—normally excels in these instances. But at the same time as I stood in the alley, bowing over a patchy Alberta spruce I’d killed in only 3 weeks, Crenshaw had a particularly bad moment with a spilled coffee cup that has a picture of his cat Mittens on it. The accident caused him to take his eyes off his screen for a split second.
See, Crenshaw plays a constant game of Pong, his role often overlooked because he does it just. well. enough. He internalizes stress and allows the rest of the crew to do their job with little to no hiccups. It’s harmony, although everyone wishes the dude who enters the code that makes me sneeze after applying mascara would up and quit. Thusly, we forgive Crenshaw for being a little fat, and not having much of a life–just like we have to forgive ourselves sometimes for letting things slide in the face of having too much on our plates.
Just too much to not excel in one particular area. Just enough to not get around to the easy stuff. Just enough to not nurture the things we care the most about.
Most importantly, Crenshaw rarely loses his cool when a ball slides off the screen with a soft, digital ping. Even-keeled. Practiced chaos. We’re alike in that respect: we softly simmer to power the functioning. Always going.
It’s when Crenshaw is dismissed for the day that he shuts down his computer:
A natural comedown. Inertia. Hitting the skids, for one confused moment.
“Now what?” he wonders.
The house is nowhere near finished. Nay—it’s only just beginning to feel like a house.
But after weeks of late nights, exhaustion, sticker shock at gallons of trim paint, endless to-do lists, forms to mail back, taxes to stomach, contractor’s bags full of refuse in every corner, trips to Lowe’s, and the realization that we literally have not stopped since we left Saratoga last February… we woke up completely confused.
Things were put away. There was food in the fridge. The rugs were unrolled. What the hell are we supposed to do now?
[Well, hang the Death Bunnies, for one.]
A busy brain box wants something else to wring itself around.
But of course, the answer is simple.
Start enjoying it.