Operation Remove the Stick Out of My Rear

I have been an intolerable basket case for days now.

My mood went south last week after a particularly challenging week at work. Nothing monumental, as far as work-related stress goes, but enough that my brain was solely preoccupied with work, and how I would tackle a few items, and for whatever reason it’s all seemed very Sisyphean in scope and by Friday I was angry.

Everything seemed to set me off, or, rather, everything that my husband did or did not do. Cup of coffee left on the dining room table? Blood-boiling rage within ensued. Him wanting to unclog the bathtub drain in my bathroom before Abigail’s nap time instead of me going for a run to the store? I was ready to put my fist through a wall.

I’ll tell you right now that my first inclination was to suspect I was pregnant (I’m not) and then move on to my thyroid. A few tell-tale signs have indicated something is up, the least of which is that my hair has started falling out in large amounts, one of the most attractive side effects of thyroid disease, believe you me. The next, of course, is the most concerning, and that’s the massive mood swings. To go from mind-numbingly sad to near-homicidal rage within the blink of an eye is not normal. And it’s not fun.

But my thyroid is only partially to blame. Some of it has to fall squarely at my door. How I cope, even under the worst of hormonal instances, is my call. I can choose how to live my life under these circumstances and how I choose to react (or not react) to stress.

One of the things I’ve been trying to tackle this year, with little success, is my need for everything to be just so. And I don’t mean from a “My-child-and-husband-must-be-perfect” thing, but I’m damn-near impossible when it comes to having a house that is cleaned, picked up and organized.

I’ve talked about this in the past – I like order. I like organization. I don’t exist well in chaos, and I don’t make apologizes for it, and I don’t take my clean house as a sign of a life un-lived or whatever it is that that divisive Facebook meme said. You run your house your way, I’ll run my house mine.


It’s work to keep my house in order, even with the awesome nanny. It’s not like I’m having her do any non-AG-related tasks at my house, so someone has to clean up, shop, cook, pay the bills, etc. As any person who also works a job outside the home knows, this shit is hard. You throw in a little helpless person and it’s work. Despite what Elizabeth Wurtzel will tell you. But I need to cast off the shackles. I need to pick my battles. I need, in the face of a particularly taxing week, when work is getting more of my attention than any place else, to cut myself and my family some slack.

So this is the week of something new. It’s not ground-breaking for some, but for me it will be.

They say when you detox you go cold turkey on things like dairy, meat, etc. and then when it’s over you gradually work things back into your life that weren’t quite the sources of toxicity that the others may have been. And so with that spirit, I’m going to detox myself of being such an anal-retentive about my house.

I’m going to let the mail pile up until the end of the week. I’m going to let the toys in the playroom just be. I’m going to hastily make the bed (I seriously can’t not make my bed). I’ll let the blanket on the couch remain unfolded if it gets used, and I’ll let some dishes pile up in the sink. Chances are good that I might not even hang up a pair of pants or two.

This all sounds silly, I know, and typing it out that way, reflected back, makes me come off as an unrepentant control freak, which in many cases I absolutely am. But I don’t like the idea that I’ve become so inflexible that I’m a harpy for my family to be around, and that I’m using an untidy home, or the work that I usually don’t notice to achieve tidiness, as an excuse to channel my frustrations about an unrelated aspect of my life onto them.

A picked up, straighten up house is not going to bring resolution to the  items on my to-do list at work.

I’d like to be a happier person, and I’m pretty sure that can come with counters that aren’t wiped down and laundry that isn’t put away. I’m not sure that I can live with both, but surely I need to let go of the fact that my husband is incapable of closing his closet door every day.

Seriously. I need to let that go and move along.

Today’s goal: Leave the toys be.