On Monday night, I curled up in bed after a day of eating lightly, and thought, OK, I just need to do this 729 more times.* No problem!
Yesterday . . . was intense.
First I called the driving school, to rail (politely). If my daughter wasn't ready for her test, why didn't a single one of her instructors ever give us a heads up? A driving test is eighty-five dollars, for God's sake — not money I throw around lightly.
The woman I spoke to didn't budge. "OK, then, do you want to schedule another test?" "Is it still $85?" I asked. She said it was. "Then NO," I said, as witheringly as I could. "We will go to the RMV."
How I would like to report that this wounded her deeply.
"OK, then!" she chirped. "You're all set!"
Perhaps she was chirping to hide her pain.
I did fire off an angry letter, which assuaged my feelings a bit, but still.
For the next task on my plate o' fun, I sat down with my daughter to go over all her college acceptances and financial aid offers. Yes, I do realize this is a first-world problem, but still. It is incredibly stressful!
We thought we had a solid plan: scrape together enough for a year at her dream college, then reassess. But we made a Pro/Con list, and things weren't so clear. Emerson, the dream college in question, has the greatest Pros but also the greatest Cons. In the meantime, her second choice — Eugene Lang College: The New School for Liberal Arts in Greenwich Village — has emerged as a real contender.
We are attending Accepted Student Day at Emerson this Saturday, and I will make an appointment with the Office of Financial Aid, turn on my most charming charm, and wheel and deal and plead and wheedle my socks off — but I also signed up Husband and Mimosa for a tour of The New School and a night at a hotel in New York City, the Friday of April vacation week. Whee!
The evening concluded with the first session of Deep Water Challenge. We didn't know what to expect, but from the description I thought it would be something like this:
OK, I'm exaggerating a little. It was in fact a good workout; every muscle hurt afterward; I came home and took Aleve and soaked in Epsom salts. It is going to be very good for my knees, shoulders, and core, I think — all my parts that need help.
But we are basically taking my mom's Aqua Aerobics class, which Mimosa has a particular horror of. She was especially scarred by watching old ladies change in the locker room after class. Today I must call the school, wheedle and plead and charm again, and see if I can get her tuition refunded. (We will then sign her up for yoga, which I'd asked her to do all along.)
I can do all this. Negotiation and confrontation are not my favorite things, but I can do it.
In the meantime, though, my daughter gets up this morning, I ask her how she's doing, and she says, "I'm a big ball of stress." I asked why, and she said, "Oh . . . the swim class, having to transfer to a new college my second year, all that stuff."
And I'm all — OK. I get that she's stressed; it is a stressful time.
But I am doing all the heavy lifting!! I am doing the hard work!! All she has to do is sit back and be taken care of!!!
I would like to say that I didn't say any of this out loud.
. . . . . .
I might have said some of this out loud.
But mostly I encouraged her to let go of what she could. I would handle the exercise class, the college stuff would all work out, one way or another, her dad and I have her back, there is nothing in front of us that is insurmountable. And mostly, I reminded her of one of my mantras, which comes from the exciting and challenging world of restaurant service:
"Sorry, that's not my table."
In other words: There are some problems that are ours to solve, there are some problems that are other people's to solve, and there are some problems that are out of our control entirely. Do not waste good mental space and energy worrying about the latter two! Focus on your own table.
(I am especially gifted at seeing what other people should be doing.)
In other news, today, I took a good look at my son — my calm, easy son — who is performing in a play this weekend:
But this, I can handle.
Off to stockpile some charm and get ready for a day of high-level negotiation. Onward!
— Lady C
p.s. I also ate lightly yesterday. 728 more days to go!
* I estimate that it will take at least two years to lose all the weight I'd like to lose, at a realistic rate.