Dropping the balls, crashing the plates

I never got the hang of juggling. I know there is a pattern to it, that you are supposed to toss the balls in a particular direction, but whenever I tried to juggle, the balls had their own wacky orbits and did not follow any pattern whatsoever.

I am trying to juggle a new full-time job, four full-time kids, three stinky cats, two blogs, a husband and a partridge in a pear tree. Everything’s going swimmingly, except for this blog-thing. (And the cooking dinner thing, which I can’t seem to get running smoothly.) I smack my forehead at about 1:00 a.m. and say, “Oh, shoot! I forgot to write in my blog!” and then I fall into a horrible dream in which someone is chopping off my toes. (Not really that particular dream, but that is the worst childhood dream I can remember.)

And you know that feeling you have when you’re in a room full of loud people and you’re talking in a normal tone of voice to a close friend and then suddenly, you realize you have just said out loud, “And the doctor said the discharge was . . . ” just as a conversational lull occurs and your private confession has turned into a head-turning shouted announcement? Oh, you don’t know that feeling?

Then you will not empathize when I explain that sometimes, now, that’s what it feels like writing a blog which has become somewhat less private that it was in the beginning. My topics for conversation are fairly limited . . . and my children are going through a boring, bickering streak . . . no one is giving me any good material, at least nothing I can use here. I clearly need to mingle with more strangers who have no idea what a blog is.

There’s a book about blogging called No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog which makes me want to clutch my heart in a dramatic gesture and gasp, ” . . . and probably nobody cares what I did today, either, or whether my daughter is driving me nuts with her constant chatter . . . ” It’s tricky to fashion something out of nothing day after day.

And so Happy New Year! 2008! Doesn’t it just seem like yesterday that the nutcases were trying to freak us out by telling us that the world “as we know it” would cease to exist on January 1, 2000? Because the computers would grind to a sudden and lethal halt and we’d all have to beg those fatalists to let us into their bomb shelters so we could eat their stockpiled lentils and oatmeal? I did not participate in that tomfoolery . . . who has time to fret about The End of the World As We Know It when there are more important things to consider such as whether or not there are clean underpants for everyone in the family? And such as whether U.S. Americans can locate The Iraq on a map?

Oh, the late-night hosts are killing me with their writer’s-strike beards! First David Letterman and now Conan O’Brien. Beards always make me think of my dead dad, which is a rather morose thought, but then again, I love to remember him and then shake my head over all the technology he has missed in these eighteen years since he’s been gone. He was one of the original fans of the computer. He built one from a kit in 1977. It had red and blue button and I have absolutely no idea what it did, other than take up all his spare time. He programmed it with cassette tapes, which seems ludicrous, but I promise, it’s true. He would have been in love with the Internet.

So, I know you don’t care what I had for lunch (nothing! I ran out of time between running errands and starting work), but do you care that I painted over the red stripes in my living room? My 9-year old is disgusted with our boring “Wheatfield” walls, but my husband has breathed a sigh of a relief at the monotonous sight. He’d love nothing more than to live in a plain-jane house that looks exactly like a dorm room before anyone moves in. Beige walls, a book shelf, a bed. What else does anyone need?

Well, in less then eight hours, I will be back on the computer, working again, throwing plates into circular patterns that end up spinning wildly out of control. I am a rotten juggler. But I can type without looking at the keyboard and surely that’s worth something.

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9 thoughts on “Dropping the balls, crashing the plates

  1. ANOTHER blog?!? Or are you leaving your ClubMom site? Honey, from someone who had a complete physical breakdown back in her late 30s from pushing herself to the brink and beyond, you’ve gotta slow DOWN a little bit!! It took me a year of enforced rest to get my stamina back…I don’t want to see the same thing happen to you. I came to wish you a Happy New Year…and here I end up sounding like a harping Mom, haha! But we women have to learn to take care of OURSELVES, too.


  2. It’s not so much about what the words are, but in how they’re strung together that draws me here. You are quite skilled in this, so it’s a pleasure to return each day to read about Mel’s view of her life. Even when she fears it might be dull stuff to the audience.

    You and Pioneer Woman are my favs.


  3. I’m terrible at juggling too… there is debris littering my life from all the balls and plates I’ve dropped!

    And as a point of interest I do care how your kids are doing and treating you and even if you painted your living room. It proves you are a real person!


  4. That’s the thing about blogs. What we right can be summed up as “blah, blah, blah.” But we get to use grown-up words like viable and reciprocity and lots of stuff I don’t know how to spell. But it’s a great reprieve from Momville.

    Please, keep writing when you can.


  5. I love your word usage in this one. ‘Tomfoolery’ is something my science teacher says on a daily basis, thus making it one of my favorite words of all time (right next to ‘caddywompus’, but I don’t think that is the correct spelling).I would be thrilled if you used the word ‘caddywompus’ in one of your next entries.
    And on the plus side, I think it’s difficult for anyone to juggle. And not writing every day makes the readers suspenseful. I know I have to check back here every few days.


  6. I was wandering what was going on. Glad to hear it is only a job and not anything else. Geesh only a job she says.
    Are we really supposed to “cook” food for an evening meal?


  7. Bricks out of straw – that’s what it feels like some days….how many times can I amuse perfect strangers with tales of vomit and mice and ill-fated home improvement projects? More than I would have imagined, anyway.


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