I am a rabid beast frothing at the mouth whenever I have a disruption of thought or a slight inconvenience.
This. Is. 46 … and a half.
I’m not so sure “mid life crisis” is what it should be called. Unless the crisis is the part where you are surrounded by humans you made with your own body who have reached adolescence and still cannot recognize the dirty dish they passed by – THEIR dirty dish – actually belongs in the sink.
To recap: The mid-sized person walks past the item that actually needs to be taken into the next room where they are currently on a journey toward, but still manages to leave untouched presumably for the small gremlins who raid the house every night undoing all of the done things. The wet towels on the floor, the abandoned dirty dishes, the dropped entryway items, the infinite amount of cups that pepper every room and surface.
The cups!! I’m tempted to only have 2 cups for each kid period. No other options. But I don’t want them drinking out of the dog’s water bowl and infecting them with their half brained logic and teenager breath.
My youngest is a chatty chatterbox chatter. They take after their father. I love that they can express themself with minimal processing. They have an abundance of thoughts and feelings and emotions and opinions on just about everything about their day. It’s fantastic. But it’s not fantastic when I need my own brain to engage with my own thoughts and needs. My brain cannot actively listen to someone’s every vocalized thought and simultaneously read a recipe and follow directions.
How most nights in my house go: I turn on some music to help propel me through making dinner. If i’m following a Hello Fresh recipe, there are a lot of directions and chopping and peeling and mincing and dicing. I need a groove to get through this. I turn the music down when I need to return to the recipe directions, and then turn it back up to stir or simmer or strain. Then I turn it back down to finalize the meal. The last touches. The plating. The remembering to include all the things on the table everyone may need to enjoy said meal.
What my brain explodes at is at any time during that process if I’m asked 800 questions – 85% the same question just asked in different order or verbiage – or told an opinion, or asked to look at how cute one of the dogs is, or in any way interrupted not for a bleeding emergency. I have come to accept this is just how it is now. My brain cannot multi task anymore during certain chores. Somehow my youngest sees this as a challenge. They know how many heads I can sprout at the minor inconvenience of having to pause my music. They know precisely how many snakes live on each of those heads, and yet still I am interrupted nightly for seemingly meaningless questions that don’t actually require an answer.
Tonight, after my 2,375th attempt at making dinner where I actually start AND end in a good mood, I prefaced dinner prep by stating, “I need there to be time between questions. I need you to think about whether or not the question about to come out of your mouth is actually something you cannot answer for yourself. I NEED some peace while i’m cooking tonight.”
Immediately starts telling me every thought in their head stopping only to ask me questions.
Finally I was able to articulate the reasonable part of my reaction. “(as an Interpreter) My job is to listen. Actively listen to six different classrooms all day long. A person relies on my ability to actively listen and understand what is going on at all times in six different classes of 13 year olds. When I come home, there’s long periods of time I want to use my ears for what I enjoy, and not what you require of me. Ironic as it sounds, music actually relaxes me. Songs I know, music I don’t have to pay attention to, but I already know and can dance or sing or just hear without relaying a meaning or grab every single word out of. I just need time between all of the demands and ask you don’t throw them at me all at one time.”
(sidenote: Active listening is a skill. It is not simply hearing noises and understanding. It’s shutting off your own inner dialogue and paying attention to another person wholly. Believe it or not, it takes skill and intention) – professional Interpreter
They apologized, but in that moment, I told them “I’m not telling you this for an apology. I just needed to say this out loud so I don’t feel like an absolute asshole. I want you to hear what my reasons are so you can understand that it’s not just me telling you, ‘ stop t a l k i n g! !’ There are reasons.”
In a nutshell, if I weren’t 46, I wonder if small inconveniences like my nightly karaoke dance party/making dinner getting interrupted would send me into a seething spiral. I kinda think not. This rollercoaster of reactions to what is happening around me is getting quite tiresome. Mid life crisis might be a better description of what someone living with me experiences more than it is for me inside my own head.