So I saw the latest “Star Trek” movie this weekend (hence the title of this post and the reference to someone named “Jim” who, for the purposes of what I’m talking about here, doesn’t really exist). Nonetheless, the “there’s not enough time” feeling is really overcoming me at the moment and there’s no better therapy than putting off all those things I don’t have time to do and using that time to tell you about how stressed I am about not having enough time (got it? Also, apologies to my husband, the mental health professional, who would likely argue that there are, indeed, MUCH better therapy options … options which he gets paid a pretty penny for).
You see, something monumental has happened – I have entered my third (and final) trimester. GASP!! PANIC! FREAK OUT!!!
Yes, I know I was experiencing all these same emotions in my last post, so please forgive me for belaboring (pun intended) the point, but this new milestone has sent me headlong into true meltdown mode as I try to feebly craft a list of “must dos” for my life over the next 12 weeks (assuming the wee one stays tucked inside until his due date, which is always the variable you just can’t really fully prepare for completely). And, of course, people just LOVE to tell me stories about how their baby came a month, two months early – cue the hyperventilation!
And all of this has led me to one conclusion … something I’ve known for a long time actually but have been afraid to come right out and admit to openly – that I have serious control issues.
Now, if you know me you’re likely laughing right now saying “Isn’t that cute? Like EVERYONE didn’t already know that.” And you’re right. It’s no big secret. If you’re not playing kickball the way that I like I will take my ball and go home. At work I am less than cooperative about giving up ownership of any projects and will drown myself in extra hours of hurried typing to get everything done on my own rather than share the burden with anyone else. And at home? At home I demand nothing but perfection from poor GAR and constantly agonize about everything in my residence that is not completely up to my standards (which, if you’ve read my previous posts, you would know is just about everything).
Oh sure, there have been some ways in which I’ve been able to “let go” a little. And, yes, having “perfect” home is a big one. GAR and I have been living under construction for 3 years now and, in general, I have accepted this fact and even, for the most part, embraced it. But, call it crazy pregnancy hormones … or some buried nesting instincts finally poking their way to the surface … but lately I have been less than thrilled about the “partially finished” nature of everything around me. What I used find exciting and full of adventure when it comes to home improvement now feels like a burden as I frantically race to get it “all” done before baby arrives. Everyday my list of “honey dos” grows exponentially and yet the countdown until baby’s b-day is constantly getting smaller. I know it won’t all get done in time. I know I’m setting myself up for failure by pressing for it all to get done in time. I know that most of it doesn’t even NEED to get done in time because, let’s face it, this kid needs little more than milk, shelter and a place to sleep (but did I mention that we don’t have our crib yet? Aggghhhh!!!) so, really, I need to cut myself some slack here.
But I can’t. I won’t. I keep driving myself nuts insisting that everything be exactly how I want it. I keep trying to control it. But I can’t. And I realize that I’m going to have quite a lot of things that are out of my control soon … so what I really need is to learn to let it go (some of it anyway). But how?
If you were an avid watcher of the show “Friends” like I was you may recall that Monica had similar problems “letting go” when she and Chandler were starting a family. This is one of my favorite parts that I still think of and it makes me laugh.
Monica: It's just, I think, there's never gonna be a right time to have a baby. I mean, now you're unemployed and in a little while you'll find a new job that'll keep you really busy. There's always gonna be a reason not to do this, but I think once the baby comes, forget about all those reasons.
Chandler: I guess. It's always gonna be scary when we have a baby.
Monica: It's gonna be really scary. I mean, god. When we have a baby, there's gonna be so much that we're not able to control. I mean, the apartment's gonna be a mess, I won't have time to clean it. What if the baby gets into the ribbon drawer? Messes up all the ribbons?! What if there's no room for a ribbon drawer, because the baby's stuff takes up all the space!? Where will all the ribbons go!?!
Chandler: Should we go make a baby right now before you change your mind?
Monica: Yes, please!
So here I am, trying to get my ribbon drawer in order, but I also know that soon I’ll have much bigger fish to fry and that ribbon organization will just have to take a backseat. But it is a total mental shift. And I think that, just as my baby will be growing and learning each day, I’m going to have to approach this whole thing as a learning opportunity for myself as well. He is going to have complete control over me – when I eat, when I sleep (if at all), when I shower – you name it. He shall be my tiny little Christian Grey (without the S&M stuff and billions of dollars), controlling me and acting as my puppet master, and I will have to do as he wishes – ribbon drawer be damned! And if I think there’s not enough time to get it “all” done before he gets here well then I am in for a rude awakening about how much time I’ll have to get anything at all done once he is here.
Perhaps it’s best to start with baby steps. To accept that there will never, ever again in all of my life, be time for everything, and that these next 12 weeks (give or take – but, seriously kid, try to stay in there for 10 more at least, okay?) of feeling like I’m behind … feeling out of control … feeling like something’s got to give – that THIS is how it will always be from now on. This is just the loss of control that happens before I totally lose control forever. And it’s best if I learn how to embrace it – just like I learned how to embrace living in a house that’s in a constant state of upheaval – because that’s my life now and, when I look at it, that’s what I really want. I want a crazy, hectic, somewhat insane life full of diapers, playtime and bedtime stories, even if I know that also means dirty dishes in the sink, unplucked weeds poking through the cracks in the driveway and home improvement projects that have long ago fallen by the wayside.
Still, if I could just get a few ribbons organized first that would be great. You hear that kid? Just a little more time. No rush.
In the meantime, please enjoy these adorable photos of my niece that I took while in Michigan this weekend (while I was away and, therefore, not accomplishing everything on my “to do” list at home). It’s hard to believe that soon she’ll have an even more bitty cousin!