Tag Archives: sick

Closing the Loop

Getting this post in just under the wire – an hour and a half before the calendar flips to September. I couldn’t let an entire month go by without a post. That’s not responsible self-promotion.

It’s been a hectic month. One which forced me to adopt a new catchphrase: “Close the loop.”

As a lifelong procrastinator, I am forever reluctant to finish (and start). I am rarely impulsive, which can be a good thing; I don’t make rash decisions, I “sleep on it” whenever I can afford to and I listen more than I talk. Over-analysis has often led to paralysis, though. I am so busy trying to see a thing from all angles that I don’t actually make a move. Perhaps this is why I knew better than to take up chess.

So back to what August was – hectic. Work was kind of all over the place – developing shows, producing an independent film, overseeing post-production on a few commercial projects. All good things, but not if you have shingles.

Wait, what?

Shingles. Like chicken pox for grown-ups, except you want to die because the pain is searing and unrelenting. And the only thing that takes the edge off is some heavy narcotics, and that is not an option for me, as a parent.

So yeah, how does one get shingles? Well, first you have had to have had chicken pox as a kid. Check. Then, you need to have an overwhelming amount of pent up stress and anxiety that can only manifest physically, because you aren’t finding the proper outlets for release. Asking for more help, working out, being more social – all good outlets for release, but for me, the only way to stem the tide of debilitating stress is to close that f*cking loop. Get ‘er done, as Coach Taylor would say.

Make a decision, move on.
Call the person back, immediately.
Don’t spend more than 24 hours re-working a treatment.
Make the follow-up meeting for as soon as possible, as opposed “when everyone’s schedules have eased up.” Girl, you know better to think that will ever happen.

Having shingles woke me the hell up. NOTHING is worth getting so worked up about; not my kids’ constant fighting, or going over-budget on someone else’s passion project or looking at the upcoming school year like a basted together patchwork quilt of after-school childcare, extra-cirricular activities and no fewer than 3 babysitters. It’s all so messy, and it won’t kill me…unless I let it. It’s figured out so far – not for forever, and it won’t kill me. I must move on.

I’ve had so little patience at home the last few months; having shingles forced me to throw down that namaste gauntlet and literally “peace out.” I mean, the itching and pain would actually increase as I felt myself reacting to my son’s ridiculous rebellion or my daughter’s frequent, seemingly unwarranted, mood swings. I remember something a former boss taught his staff: “You can’t control others’ actions, but you can control your reactions.” And I’ve been working damn hard to dial down my reaction, stay in the calm zone, and close the loop. Be done. So much mental energy is spent when you don’t allow yourself to just be done. I can’t afford that; I need that brainspace for the creative work that is my lifeblood. It’s very hard to brainstorm and write when your mind is cycling through steps of all the production-related or home administrative tasks that I fail to delegate (working on it!) and it is so overwhelming that you can’t even start, let alone finish. I’m done subscribing to that practice.

And so we are done with August. Two weeks of horrific shingles pain has passed, though my forehead still bears faint red marks. (Oh yeah, did I mention that the shingles were ON MY FACE??!). The film is in the can. We ended the summer with a week of spectacular weather on vacation in the Poconos. School starts, and some professional adventures, which I hope to share soon, are on deck. I still have a lot of work to do on the whole procrastination issue; it’s hard to break a habit that was cultivated at such a young age. But at least I identified a mantra that puts me in the right head to take it on.

Close the loop.

Sitting still in the fast lane is an accurate description of how I roll these days.

Sitting still in the fast lane is an accurate description of how I roll these days.


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5 Reasons Why Mom Can’t Get Sick

I always say that I never get sick.  And then this winter I got sick, and stayed sick, for about 2 months.  Nothing relieved the coughing, dripping, hacking and sore throat.  The doctors were stumped.  And then, it went away.

So I learned not to take for granted any “well period” I may have, especially because children have zero tolerance for a dip in their parents’ fortitude.  I also learned what kind of chaos ensues if my senses are compromised when I’m down for the count.
1. Nose stuffed: Can’t smell that stinkbomb that the baby dropped in his diaper just before he went to bed.  The odor permeates the house throughout the night and the deposit chafes the little guy’s rump.  Diaper cream and fumigation techniques are tested to their limits.

2. Eyes watery.  It’s all a blur.  Trying to order more diaper cream online.  But may have selected Ben-Gay instead.  A 3-pack.  That COULD be an amazing chocolate cake the kids just baked in the middle of the living room.  If only I could smell it to be sure…

3. Ears clogged.  The tea kettle boils over and the water evaporates.  The crash of the precariously designed Lego tower goes unnoticed, as do the wails of its architect (and the cackles of its demolition expert).  The diapers delivery is missed because the doorbell wasn’t heard.  Household now at dangerously low diaper cream levels.

4. Throat sore.  Can’t call for more tissues.  Can’t ask for a cough drop.  Can’t yell at anyone to stop drawing on the walls.  Popcorn for dinner?  I  literally have no say.

5. Body achy.  Hugs hurt.  Lap’s off limits.  A nursing child suddenly weighs a ton.  Can’t hold a toothbrush.  Kids’ hygiene habits are suspended until I bounce back.  I teach the kids to air kiss goodnight.

Another lesson learned – ask for help.  If you pretend you can still do it all, people won’t ask if you need them to pitch in.  You do.  Because you’re probably terrible at microwaving popcorn.

How do YOU deal as a parent when you’re sick?


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