Sunday, January 13, 2008


Something chemical happens when you take taffy and stretch it, right?

Like, you cook up sugar and whatever else. And then you pull it and pull it and it - or rather, you stick it into a machine that pulls it and pulls it. I've watched those at the beach before. And it forms into candies you really only ever buy at the seashore. You pull it till it hardens, but is not too hard.

I remember once, for my birthday, I wanted to have a taffy pull. I loved the idea of this stretchy candy that you made by pulling and pulling.

We decided that this could be part of my birthday activities.

The problem, as it turned out, was that we lived in Bangladesh, where it was ungodly hot and the humidity was, on a good day, 100%.

I think we took the would-be taffy, or anyway, whatever part of the candy was left after the rest had saturated our clothing and hair, and poured it over popcorn and made popcorn balls or something. Or maybe Betty just threw it out.

Thinking back, though, it's really kind of disgusting to eat something that a whole bunch of grubby, snot-gobbling little six year olds had their hands all over. I think that was the same year that someone gave me a baby goat as a present. It cried all night and pooped all over the yard and my dad gave it away the next day.

But I digress. Or maybe I just gress. Because I wasn't actually talking about anything in the present tense before that.

What I was thinking was that for the past couple months I have felt stretched. I have too much going on. Much of it fun, and I can't complain about that. But all this fun of the last couple months also coincided with me having two jobs at work. I officially start my new position tomorrow. It's a promotion, and it's great, and I'm really excited about it.

But I've been doing chunks of work in that capacity for a while. And December got busy, both with those projects and the job I already had. And then I was getting ready for Christmas. And New Year's. And having friends in town.

I have been feeling like I am in one of those pulling machines, although actually, I am the one trying to stretch out in all directions. It's not really fair to say that I am being pulled.

But, like, if I were taffy, either I'd be stretched too much and the sugar bits would crystalize and I'd flake a little, or I would get shipped out with my wrapper only halfway on. Or I'd overheat and get temporarily melty, unable to hold firmly together.

I find the balance of everything difficult. I think if I were more organized, more schedule-y, more disciplined, better able to stick to a routine, it'd be easier. I'd block out out two hours for this and three hours for that. And actually use them for their allocated activity.

But I seem to be unable to do that. I don't have enough time for everything I want to do, but maybe it's because I want to do more fun stuff than I have time for. I don't know. Because I find that for me, it's hard enough to get myself bathed and dressed and out the door, and do a solid job at work, and have a fun social life, and get the grocery shopping done often enough to eat more than pasta and power bars and pickled herring - which keeps very nicely in a jar in the fridge, by the way. And is a remnant of my Viking heritage. And now a digression.

My place currently looks like a clean laundry and mail explosion. My fridge is almost bare. And I find myself in the office on a Sunday, making sure I'm lined up for Monday.

And I just think, thank goodness I don't have a dog, although I dearly want one. Or a family. How on earth would I be able to manage a being in my life who was regularly dependent on me?

For those of you with kids and jobs and lives, how on earth do you do it? How do you get people besides yourself clean and fed and out the door and then take care of all your own stuff? I mean without melting into a taffy-pulled frenzy on the floor?

I can't even begin to imagine.


  1. I am still reading LG, because I think you are funny, and you constantly make me smile, and it's kind of interesting to stay so up-to-date on the life of someone I have never met. But I read it most of all because you are so openly honest about yourself, and that is something I have never been able to achieve in my writing. Partly because a number of people who actually know me read my blog, but mostly because I'm not comfortable laying myself out there like that. Kepp it up, it is an inspiration.

  2. I think you're just living a modern person's life. The more there is to do, the less time there is to do it.

  3. i totally understand how you feel! i am the same way and i just had a asked how we do it, and the answer is, we (i) just do it. theres no magic formula and i only got SLIGHTLY more "schedule-y" after having just get up every day and do what needs to be done.
    you are comfortable with your life the way it is, thats why it continues to be that way. and its ok. its good. :)

  4. It is only the really talented people that feel the most overwhelmed. And being tired and frazzled means you are just adding to so many more of your wonderful life experiences.

    You will someday have a dog...and a family. And you will still feel overwhelmed. And you will handle it with all the grace and style that you handle everything you've done so far.

    I'm really proud of you for your new adventures. :)

  5. I wonder the EXACT same things. Sometimes I look down and think "how are my shoes matching today? Where did I find the time to pick out matching shoes?"

    Oh, and in case you were looking for reason #4586 why I read your blog? it's sentences like this: "I think that was the same year that someone gave me a baby goat as a present."

    Congrats and good luck with the promotion! All of this is very exciting :)

  6. TSS - Thank you! I appreciate it.

    Neil - Hey! Yah, true. Very true. I might just get more angsty about it all than others.

    B*M*E - That a totally reasonable way to look at it. I like that.

    Steve - Thank you thank you. Ahhh, I hope all of that really does happen. Thanks so much for all your support!

    Nicole - Yes! And thank you - on the goat thing and on the promotion. :)

  7. Congratulations on the promotion!

    What Baby Mama said. You just get up and do it. And you really can't give it much space in your head because it's when you start to think about it that you end up a taffy-pulled frenzy on the floor.

    You'd be fine if you find yourself being responsible for another being.

  8. I was going to comment on this post in earnest, but instead:

    Go buy a bag of marshmallows. Then stand near a sink. Then take five marshmallows in each hand. Then make big dramatic gestures with your hands like two jellyfish mating. Smash em together. Be passionate.

    Do this for five minutes.


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