Usually this means it's time for me to go back to work. This off in the
weeds phenomena happens to me when I've been off work for a long time,
perhaps too long, say, for example, like when I've had a week off for
Thanksgiving or something. I become obsessed, compulsive almost
(compulsive certainly, the husband says) about checking things off the
To-Do list, about keeping the house in order (control issues, anyone?)
and, the worst part is, no matter where in my house I go, no matter
where I look, I start to see a project in every corner.
Every time I open a kitchen cabinet or drawer, I see shelf liner that needs to be cleaned or replaced. I see burned out light bulbs in the ceiling, dust on the closet floor, crap in the attic that screams, "garage sale!" I keep seeing the stain (red wine? hairball?) on the carpeting in the basement that never quite came clean enough, although, I know, no one else can see it but me. (The best advice the carpet guy gave us, when we asked him for a color recommendation, was "camouflage.")
December makes it even worse. Christmas shopping. Christmas cards. And have I mentioned in the last fifteen minutes all three of my children have birthdays in December? (My eyes usually continue spinning in their sockets until approximately February third.)
All these potential projects start to bug me, wear on me, make me goofier than I usually am. This is when I know (although it takes me longer to realize it than it does my family) that it's time for me to go on a trip. My husband has never actually gone so far as to hand me the phone with the Crew Desk on the line, but I know there are days he would like to. "I don't know how they ended up on the phone honey, but they did mention a nice four-day South America trip that leaves tonight. It's warm there this time of year, you know."
I like to think I'm getting better about recognizing the phenomenon of being stuck in my own personal weed patch. I go for a run. I go to yoga. But I still end up coming home and throwing my keys on the table by the door that wobbles and really needs someone to reglue the legs.
When I come home from a trip, however, I'm like George Bailey in "It's A Wonderful Life," kissing my wobbly banister newel. I can't see the projects anymore, I'm just so damned happy to be back. The trick is, doing a better job of staying out of the weeds when I am home. The weeds. Which reminds me, I need to water the plants.
I think we're all thankful I leave for work today.