Tag Archives: too busy

Lucky to be Working Again?

Taking a break

First of all, let me tell you how grateful I am to have a job. Every morning I wake up to NPR, and by the time I get out the door there’s always a story about the unemployed.

From May through September, that would be me, as I mentioned in last week’s blog The Show Biz Hiatus Dance.

I’ve now been back to work for three weeks and have received two glorious paychecks. I’m not scrambling to grab another balance transfer on a 0% interest credit card to pay for the DWP bill, yet knowing that the temperature has to reach triple digits in my house before I turn on the air conditioner.

Because I am a very VERY busy mom, my calendar is always chock full of commitments, most of which I try to fulfill, and because I work from home, my schedule is flexible enough that I can usually pull it off.

Here was my extracurricular schedule this week:

Saturday:

8:30 am – 5:30 pm Models of Pride conference with Emily

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Going away dinner for my neighbor

8:00 pm – 12:00 pm Colfax Charter Elementary Parents Social

Sunday:

8:00 am – 1:00 pm AIDS Walk LA

Monday:

9:00 am – 10:00 am Meeting

6:00 pm – 8:30 pm Colfax Annual Giving Telethon

Tuesday:

7:30 pm – 8:30 pm Meeting

Wednesday:

4:30 pm – 5:15 pm First basketball practice for Jake

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Valley Village Homeowners Association Meeting

Thursday:

10:20 am –? Great California Shakeout

7:00 – 8:30 pm Take Mary Belle to Turning Pages volunteer group

Friday:

9:00 – 10:00 Celebrate my friend Lisa’s birthday

This doesn’t include car pools, daily community reading in my son’s kindergarten class, family dinner, chores, helping my kids with homework, or obvious things like taking a shower or sleep.

This was a tough week. I’m a dialogue editor working from home on the new ABC show Once Upon a Time, and frankly, the production sound sucks. There are probably a lot of variables of which I am unaware, but there should never be a reason why I should be cleaning 5000 microphone zaps out of a show. A job that typically takes me 50 to 60 hours this week took close to 80.

Where did I get those 80 hours? I made it to Jake’s first basketball practice, but otherwise everything after Monday was a wash, including the car pool, reading, dinner, chores, and even eventually the shower. And sleep. On Wednesday and Thursday I crawled out of bed, parked my butt in my Herman Miller Aeron desk chair and stayed there until the wee hours, leaving only to make a smoothie or use the bathroom.

Thursday morning, I got a call from the dub stage saying my tracks sounded like crap (ok, they didn’t use the word “crap,” but it was the same implication).

What? No one has ever accused my tracks of sounding like crap. My boss told me that they were trying to move along with the mix, but that I would need to recut the problem areas, which apparently were across the entire show.

While I was on the phone with my boss, I got another call with the caller ID from my daughter’s high school. Emily wasn’t feeling well and wanted me to pick her up. The school is 20 miles away, and I realized at that moment that there was no earthly way for me to finish my show by Friday.

I started to cry. Not just cry, but bawl my head off, heaving and jerking around like some daytime soap star. It was the hardest and longest crying fit I’ve had probably since puberty. My 15-year old was still on the other end of the line.

“Breathe, mom. Breathe. It’s ok. I’ll just lie down in the nurse’s office and wait til school gets out.”

I barely heard her as I cried some more and dripped tears and runny snot all over my bed. I wanted to take a nap. I wanted to die.

I sobbed a little longer, and then started working again.

My husband Tom came home from work, made dinner, and read to Jake. Mary Belle helped Jake with his crafty project (don’t get me started – those crafty projects will soon be getting an angry blog of their own). Emily took the school bus home and said she felt better by the end of the day.

I kept working.

I started to make better time.

It turned out that there was a technical glitch on the stage, and my tracks were actually not crap. Oops. I started to reclaim a small portion of my fractured self image.

I worked again until after midnight, then drove to Disney at 7:00 am with four more minutes of material to cut. I brought my laptop, MBox and drive and finished cutting on the stage, managing to stay just one step ahead of what they needed.

I left the Disney lot just after 1:00.

And now I’m on to the next episode.

I’m going to start early erasing some of my calendar for next week. And I’m thinking of turning on the air conditioner tonight, just to remind myself how lucky I am to have a job.

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Filed under Anxiety, Career, Debt, Financial Insecurity, Humor, Multitasking, Parenting, Volunteering

Rainy Days and Too Much to Carry Always Get Me Down

Mary Belle's broken umbrella

This morning I awoke to the sound of the sprinklers hitting the window way too early in the morning, only to realize that it was actually raining. I swear it was over 90 degrees only a couple of days ago. And because it rains so seldom in Los Angeles, it throws everyone into a tizzy – including myself. Yes, I heard the weather prediction, but I didn’t believe it.

So at 6:45 am I realized that my 5-year old is now three sizes too big for last spring’s rain boots, that he doesn’t own a waterproof hoodie, and that my windshield wipers merely smear, not wipe. I also discovered that every umbrella we own is broken. There were a variety of reactions from my kids about this piece of news. My rebel oldest daughter refused to take a broken umbrella, and I’m sure she was aiming to stand under a rain gutter just so she could wear her soaking wet clothes as a badge of honor. My 10-year old didn’t seem to care that the umbrellas were broken – she just wanted the prettiest one. And my son refused to take the girlie umbrella, even though that was the only one his size.

Today’s rain reminded me of an incident about ten years ago. Mary Belle was just a baby in an infant carrier, and Emily was about 4-1/2 years old. She had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes the year before, and we carried a bag of syringes, insulin, glucose tabs, Glucagon, glucose meter, lancets, and strips everywhere we went. Fortunately Emily performs pack mule duty with her diabetes kit these days, but back then, it was a large bag, and I’m the one who carried it.

Anyway, we were headed to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese’s for one of Emily’s friends, and it was raining cats and dogs. Emily fell asleep on the way to the party, and when we arrived, I couldn’t wake her up (don’t worry – it wasn’t a diabetic coma… she was just taking a very hard nap).

It was a busy day at Chuck E. Cheese’s, so I parked at the far end of the parking lot. I picked up Emily and figured I could lay her down in the booth inside until she woke up. I scooped up Mary Belle in the infant carrier. Then the diabetes kit. The diaper bag. My purse. The birthday gift. And a bag of toys that were left at our house from the last playgroup that included the guests that were coming to Chuck E. Cheese’s. Then, balancing all these items with my arms, legs, elbows and knees, I struggled to open the umbrella and move everyone out of the car. I did a little twist with my hips and slammed the car door with my butt.

Unfortunately, I was physically incapable of straightening. I could feel the bags slipping. The umbrella caught a gust of wind and I lost it. I was suddenly caught in the downpour and the girls and I were completely drenched. Emily woke up. Mary Belle started wailing. The birthday present fell in a puddle along with the bags.

Just then, a friend of mine and her daughter approached. They were also going to the party. She asked, “Can I help you?”

I said, “No, I’m fine.”

And then I started to cry.

It was the first time as a mom that I realized that I really, truly needed help, that there was no physical way for me to do this on my own. My friend scooped up the bags, her daughter picked up the gift, and Emily was finally awake enough to walk on her own.

I blubbered all the way across the parking lot to Chuck E. Cheese’s. And I suddenly accepted the fact that it’s not so bad asking for help when you need it. I doubt my friend was keeping score, as in, “I helped Cathy in the rain so now she owes me big time,” which was one of my great fears about asking for help. She was just being kind. And by trying to do it all on my own, I was being stubborn. And foolish. And stupid.

I’m still not very good at asking for help, but I’m getting better.

I had originally thought of playing around with the song Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down and titling this week’s blog Rainy Days and sleeping-children-and babies-in-infant-carriers-and-diabetes-kits-and diaper-bags-and-purses-and-birthday-presents-and-a-bag-of-lost-and-found-toys-and-a-broken-umbrella Always Get Me Down, but it would have been just too dang long.

In conclusion:

I believe if God was just a little bit smarter and kinder, he/she would instantly grow an additional arm for every mother of young children whenever it rains. That, and give her the humility to ask for help.

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Filed under Anxiety, Friends, Humor, Multitasking, Parenting