I can’t find my reading glasses. I am pretty sure this is not a unique phenomenon just for me, especially considering the clerk at the drugstore commented that she has at least 10 pairs because she constantly loses them. I think they call that foreshadowing in the biz.

After one day of glorious use — I can see my iPhone! Look how much clearer my computer screen is! — they are gone. Nowhere to be found. The last thing I remember is my husband asking me to try them on the other night — because men have a thing when you wear your glasses, don’t they? Does it go back to the librarian fantasy? I don’t know. So I tried them on and we laughed because reading glasses magnify your eyes to the people looking at you and the bug eyes just aren’t as sexy as one would think.

So, if 40 is the year when your eyes go bad, 41 is the year when they are even worse and your brain is diminished enough that you can’t keep track of a pair of damn glasses. God help me if I need to buy the string to keep them around my neck.

For some reason, this made me cry. I think it was the combination of too many things piling up around the house — laundry folded, but not put away, toys taking over every single room of the house, bedrooms that are a disaster, closets that need to be switched for the seasons (and because of the fact that the kids are outgrowing everything — quickly), sheets that need to be changed (um, when was the last time?), school papers (Oh my, the school papers. Times two for two kids. I can’t keep up.), checks that need to be written for the taxes, for track t-shirts, for random bills, reading logs that need to be filled out, snow clothes and boots that need to be put into storage. You know the drill.

An avalanche of mundane shit. One that makes you cry because you can’t find your glasses in an avalanche of mundane shit. An avalanche that makes you feel like a failure because why, at almost 41 years old, can’t I keep this all together? Why, if I am old enough to need reading glasses, can’t I manage a household? Why don’t toys get picked up and put away at the end of the evening? Why am I more apt to look past them and tell the kids to go to bed? Why don’t I spend every Saturday morning like my mom did — stripping beds, cleaning bathrooms, and returning the house to a clean state? Why can’t I be that good? Why, even though I like to cook, does evening meal preparation feel like a chore I can’t conquer?

As a professional, I managed large, complicated projects and kept track of details and remembered everything. As a doctoral student, I dove so deep into analyzing research, I sometimes couldn’t come out. As a child, I had a memory that was tack sharp. As a mother, I can’t do any of it.

And the question that is nagging me is whether it is aging, or boredom, or just a general hatred of cleaning? And the other question is where are my glasses? And should I bother continuing to look for them or just go get a second pair?

3 thoughts on “The Avalanche of Mundane Shit

  1. Man, this post brought rushing back to me all the very same feelings of failure that I felt at this very same point in my life. I had three sets of school papers (what fresh hell is that, anyway?) but I certainly didn’t have anything under control. I just felt like I was in the eye of the storm. This is the point where I actually got a fresh perspective of the Stone’s “Mother’s Little Helper” and the infamous line, What a drag it is getting old. Not even because I have a phobia about age; I just don’t want anything else to fall apart before I have an opportunity to regain some sanity and get my shit together! The good news is that this too shall pass. Hang on to the wine and the man, and enjoy the ride while you can (and upon rereading that, it most definitely did NOT come out the way I originally intended, but I notice I’m also not changing it either), and there’s a slower pace up ahead. It’s worth it, if you can keep some semblance of your sanity till you get here.

  2. That is it exactly, Robin. Trying to get my shit together before I’m too old to appreciate it. And i know it’s faulty thinking, and it’s a journey not a destination, but I just wonder if I will ever feel like I have it all under control.

  3. At nearly 46, I am on my fourth or fifth pair of reading glasses, because I keep needing stronger magnification.

    Which basically sucks. The getting old.

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