Responsibility Seesaw

Responsibility Seesaw

A seesaw appears to be a binary. Either you’re up or down. Emotionally it’s easiest to imagine this as you’re happy or you’re unhappy. Stressed or not stressed. I am often stressed by responsibility so naturally I dream of relief. How wonderful it would be to roll the backpack of anxiety off my weary shoulders and shove it deep into the closet, not to be hoisted again until next season. I wish for this so often. I am delusionally imaging a world of equilibrium. I think if I am not stressed about too much to do, I will be in a stasis of happiness.

No. Stasis does not exist, it is merely the briefest moment of passing through the fulcrum from one state of anxiety to the next.

I noticed this last night. I was taking stock and feeling pretty darn good about my week’s accomplishments. I had managed to do so much! And the future was looking a little less hectic. It’s as if I had been stuck in the up position of the seesaw for a month by an elephant of labor who either refused to pump his thick legs up and down or who was just too large for it to be effective. But miraculously, he had shrunk in size and I was slowly floating down. Happiness is just on the other side! Here I come!

I felt total bliss as the board evened out, me and the now skinny elephant smiling across from each other, perfectly aligned, our eyes meeting in joyous anticipation.

How brief was that joy, how fleeting that sense of ease. The skinny elephant suddenly transformed into an emaciated rodent who flew up in the air as my terrified butt whacked the ground. Thrown from the game he scurried away, leaving me unable to go up again. What if I don’t get any more work? What if all the jobs dry up? What if I have nothing to do? All the anxiety was back, just a mirror image.

Too much or too little. Those are always the main course. The hoped-for sense of ease is a momentary movement in between.

I am glad I could see it so clearly. And the metaphor helps. Possibly the thing to do is get off the damn seesaw.


Illustrations by my brilliant husband, Andy Norman.

Talented Husband Turns Our Lemons To Lemonade

These three things happened this week. I made Andy draw them. He is so good at drawing.

1.  While walking our dog Decaf, Andy picked up the poop, tied off the bag, walked to a trash can and threw his iPhone away. He then proceeded down the block carrying the poop. No worries there.

Andy_052315_Andy throws away iphone

He told me the trash can was really nasty and it was difficult to get the phone back. Sorry hon.

2.  Decaf has fleas. They are super duper bad this summer and our normal flea potion has been rendered ineffective by genetic mutation. Good job Fleas.

We comb the fleas off everyday with our lice comb. How nice that it can do two jobs, so handy. Andy thinks I am partly baboon because I like combing for fleas. I could do it all day. Olive wanted to show solidarity with Decaf so she snuggled him while I was removing fleas. They can hop off that comb mighty quick. I am not sure putting your hair in proximity is a good idea. But you cannot say: this is the stupidest thing I have ever seen in my life! because kids remember that stuff forever and that’s who you will die as, the person who told them they are stupid. They won’t even remember that they offered their head as the last refuge to a terminal flea. But you know what? My girl loves her dog. Way to go Olive, relationships first!

Andy_052315_Olive flea comb

3.  This one happens every week. I wish I could be nicer to my family. I love them so much.

Andy_052315_Caren at the Fridge