Thursday, October 09, 2008

When things get so busy you begin losing it. . .

Hump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial Page

Holy moly, I've never been so busy in all my life. It seems like a mountain of paid and volunteer work has taken over my life. I'm supposed to be on vacation next week. Just the thought of it makes me weep with a combination of joy, terror and panic.

When I'm not in terror, I'm panicking because I think I should be terrified. Then, I get worried because I'm not panicking -- and surely I must be going pretty much insane. Then I just start giggling maniacally to myself. Who needs drugs?

To add to the hoopla, I think I'm getting a cold, although it could just be the time of year and seasonal allergies. I usually sound stuffed up for most of October. Must be all those falling leaves! And since I refuse to turn on the furnace just yet, I wake up in the morning to find my breath frozen in mid-air and the cats trying to set each other on fire to keep warm. Luckily, those little paws can't hold matches very well, so they're safe for now.

I'm so tired that I'm starting to hallucinate, I think. I'll go outside and see something run by that isn't there. Either that, or banging my head against the wall at night in frustration has loosened up something in my brain and I've become psychic and can now see ghosts. Don't worry. That little girl you hear screaming outside isn't really there. That's just me after seeing some long-dead wolf chasing a long-dead rabbit across my lawn. Spooky!

When I get this tired, I start to feel a bit silly. I want to invite in religious evangelicals who come to my door soliciting support and shock them. Perhaps I could ask them if they'd agree to a new holiday to replace Christmas? Hmmm. . . what to call it? Catmas? Instead of Santa Claus who hands out gifts, we'd have Santa Claws who comes down the chimney and scratches your face in your sleep?

Well maybe not. Doesn't sound like much of a holiday, does it? (Well, buying gifts for the kids would be easy: bandages!)

I wear my heart on my sleeve, so it's pretty easy to know how stressed out I am by the way I answer the telephone. Instead of a friendly and inquisitive "Hello?", I simply pick up the receiver and start to cry. It's a real conversation starter.

Thank goodness, I'm not an alcoholic or I'd be drinking my brains out (is that even possible?) right now. There's nothing better than a good ol' strong martini. The first few sips make your face scrunch up in disgust, but after that it's pretty smooth -- that is, if you can get past feeling that you're drinking floor cleaner.

Martinis are the best, though, aren't they? I love them. They have the effect of turning me into a puddle of drunken foolishness pretty quickly.

After two or three, I'm a giggling, stuttering sot. (It's a true sign that I've had too much to drink when I start stuttering. And if I'm really far gone -- which happens about once a decade, I hiccup and belch at the same time. Not the most attractive thing on Earth. Let's just say that the marriage proposals and job offers don't exactly start flooding in.)

You'll know I'll be having a really bad day when I simultaneously belch, hiccup, cry and stutter at the same time. Heck, just send an ambulance if that ever happens.

Oh man. The more I think about it, this isn't allergies at all. I think I'm really getting sick. I'm too busy to get sick! Now I need to start filling myself full of vitamins and other potions to ward off those darn cold germs. Begone with you! I have no time for your annoyances!

Maybe I can let those door-to-door evangelicals in to pray over my sick body instead of trying to play a prank on them. I suppose anything could help, eh? I'd probably need a couple of martinis to relax. "You can start when you hear me hiccup and belch at the same time," I'd tell them. They would just look disgusted and quietly leave.

So much for that idea!

I have such a difficult time hiding my frustration when I'm overly busy. I mean, I try to do my best, but then when someone comes to me with a surprise, I give them a look of complete panic and terror that is so obvious that it makes their eyes open wide. "What's wrong?" they ask, thinking that I'm about to tell them that my entire family died in a tragic Frisbee accident.

"I'm just busy and I'm really tired," I'd reply, hoping that they would immediately go out and hire an entire symphony orchestra to play, "Oh Woe Is Brian" for the entire world to hear. Well, yes, that would be very nice, thank you very much.

It's difficult not to get whiny when you think you're getting sick, are exhausted, and are busier than a tail on a happy dog. I just need to put my nose to the grindstone, hunker down and keep ploughing through my work. I know it will all get done. At least I hope it will. In the meantime, I'll keep co-workers at bay with my looks of wide-eyed terror whenever they stop by my office to ask for help.

I'll just get out my box of tissues to dab away the tears and blow my nose, pour myself a stiff martini, and keep working to get everything done. After all, next week I'm on vacation! And you know what that means, don't you?

I'll be whining because I'll be bored.

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