Well, here we are, jellybeans. Tax season is now in the rearview. I have days and days of cleanup and filing and various nonsense to take care of, but the deadline hanging over my head is DONE. I just have to make it through a day and a half and I get a whole day off! Whoo-hoo!
Listen, I’m going to be squishy for a minute, so if you hate things like that, cover your ears. Or your eyes. Or whatever you cover, I don’t know. I NEED TO BE SQUISHY SO DEAL WITH IT.
I’ve been through seven tax seasons with this firm now. The first two weren’t too bad, because I wasn’t in my current position yet. The next four were a nightmare. I mentioned the weeping. And the exhaustion. And the weeping. How about the weeping? SO MUCH WEEPING. And the time I fell asleep in the shower. While weeping. And the yelling and the irrational expectations and the work heaped upon work heaped upon work. I dread these four months every year. Every year they’re a little worse. Every year they’re a little less tolerable.
Until this year.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. It was bad. These past four months have been insane, and I’ve gotten far less sleep than any human should be operating on, and tempers got short, and my coworkers got snappy, and even though I’ve been running as fast as I can, I’ve been horrible at keeping up with things. Some of my friends have been woefully ignored. One of my blogs has been woefully ignored. I haven’t been responding to emails in a timely fashion. I messed up a couple of major things over at the theater because my head was NOT in the game. (No worries. They were fixable.) My house is a disaster zone. I haven’t been seeing nearly enough live theater. Dumbcat is not getting cuddled as much as an adorable cat like Dumbcat should be and is getting very yowly and needy as a result of that.
However: I didn’t cry. Not once. Not at work, not at home. (Well, over WORK, anyway. I cried PLENTY over things that mattered. Television. Things that people did for me that were unexpectedly kind. Things that made me laugh to tears. Oh, plenty of tears. Only on my own terms, thank you very much.) I only snapped a couple times at my coworkers, and please believe me when I tell you those couple of times, they TOTALLY deserved it. I mean, I’m not a saint, let’s be honest. I didn’t lose my shit. And – AND – here’s the best part. I laughed. I LAUGHED. More than I was upset, I laughed. Maybe at stupid shit, but I laughed. And I had a smile on my face for most of those four months. A smile that CONFUSED and BEFUDDLED my coworkers. Because it was all mine, and I had no right to be happy when they were so miserable, did I? I did, though. I had a reason.
I had this.
I had my blog to go home to at night, and I could let off steam there. I had you all commenting to respond to. I could check my stats and see that more and more people were (for some reason – yay!) reading what I had to say every day. I had two other blogs to write for. I had my Twitter friends cheering me on daily, even when (DAMMIT) work took Twitter away (or Twitter just disappeared, who knows what exactly happened there other than THERE IS NO TWITTER EFF.) I had my friends sending me emails of encouragement, making me laugh, telling me I could do it, telling me how much I was missed. I had people. So many people. Who cared how I was doing.
The internet got me through tax season, and it got me through tax season SMILING.
I have a support system I didn’t have at this time last year. That support system rallied around me without even knowing they were doing something amazing. It reminded me of Adam Sandler’s line in Punch-Drunk Love: “I have so much strength in me you have no idea. I have a love in my life. It makes me stronger than anything you can imagine.” You, all of you, blogging, all of this – that is the love in my life. Knowing all of you and being able to write this have this made me so, so strong. It gave me something to look forward to; it gave me something that was all mine to have to come home to every night.
So I’m being squishy. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’ve never been a person with much in my life, and never with this much at once. I feel so lucky. I thank you all for being there and I thank you all for being such amazing, wonderful, funny, intelligent, beautiful people.
I promise you’ll see more of me online now that things have slowed down. I probably won’t have Twitter back at work anytime soon – or ever – but now that it’s quieter, I can be more involved here and there (and possibly sneak my phone out more often and get on Twitter, shh, don’t say a word.) More writing. MORE WRITING DAMMIT. For ALL the blogs. Finishing up some major and super-awesome-shiny-funny-mega-posts that I have on the back burner. Plus, the fruition of one major top-secret project, plus a few little secrety-style projects I’ve been working on all slyly over the past few months. More commenting on more blogs. More paying attention to what’s happening around me. More being a better friend to those of you I’ve been AWOL toward. I promise, I promise, I promise. No more walking around like a horse with blinders on because one more thing on my teeter-totter was going to break the camel’s back. HOW DO YOU LIKE MY MIXED METAPHOR SO AWESOME RIGHT? Oh, also, MORE ALL CAPS GOODNESS.
Also, I’m going to cuddle the hell out of my poor cat. That poor silly dumb boy. He’s so sad and lonely.
OK. End squish. But just, thank you. Some of you, so, so mega-thank you that I can’t even express. You know who you are. I’ve told you privately how thankful I am for you. But just to reiterate: you’re the best friends a person could ever wish for, seriously. I am so lucky and I don’t want to think too hard about why, all of a sudden, this is the case? But I am. And thank you. Thank you, thank you. I owe you. I love you all to itty bitty pieces.
Two little things and then I’m off because I have a kabillion things to do before bed tonight.
ONE. Dad told me a story that he said was “for your internet people” and how could I not share?
Dad: So the last night we’re in Florida, we have to leave the condo. So we have to go stay in a hotel.
Me: ZOMG MAGIC FINGERS MAGIC FINGERS.
Dad: This is not 1963. I told you, they don’t have those anymore.
Me: I know. Dammit. I am so sad I never got to stay in a place with Magic Fingers.
Dad: I did once. It was the WORST.
Me: WHAT? You stayed in a room with MAGIC FINGERS?
Dad: I never told you this?
Dad: One year, your uncle, Mr. Helper Mule, and I were hunting. On the way home, we stayed at a fleabag motel. It had Magic Fingers.
Me: ZOMG. Z. O. M. G.
Dad: Wait, I’m not done. So we’re all really cheap so we got one room with two double beds. Well, your uncle and I couldn’t sleep with Mr. Helper Mule. He’s not related to us. So he got one bed to himself. And your uncle and I were going to sleep together, but with like a barricade of pillows and luggage between us.
Me: That seems restful.
Dad: Yes. So Mr. Helper Mule flopped on his bed. It immediately broke. That place was so cheap.
Me: Why are you staying somewhere so gross? You’re going to get scabies.
Dad: I don’t think that’s how you get scabies.
Me: It might be, you don’t know. WHEN DO THE MAGIC FINGERS HAPPEN.
Dad: Oh, now. Anyway, so your uncle got on the only working bed. And he said, “Look! Magic Fingers! I’ve always wanted to use Magic Fingers!” and he put a quarter in the machine. And that bed was VIBRATING. ALL OVER. Out of CONTROL. It was not at all relaxing.
Me: Aw. This ruins the idea of Magic Fingers for me.
Dad: Oh, just wait. It gets worse. So then, after a few minutes, we realized: Magic Fingers was BROKEN. It wouldn’t shut OFF. It went on for EVER. So we had one broken bed, and one that was jumping all over like a bull in a barroom.
Me: This is an awesome visual. What did you do?
Dad: We eventually realized you could unplug it. And Mr. Helper Mule slept on his mattress on the floor. No one slept much that night.
Me: Thank you for curing me of my ridiculous obsession with Magic Fingers.
Dad: You’re welcome? I think?
Me: That was a quote from Moulin Rouge. My internet people would have gotten that, I think.
Dad: I hated that movie, because you tricked me into watching it and it was a musical. But I loved it, because of Nicole Kidman’s costumes.
Me: Nice. You should be a movie reviewer.
SECOND, guess who I got to sort of kind of talk to on the phone tonight? THE NEPHEW!
He was staying with my mom tonight, and I could hear him talking to her in the background. Because he is LOUD. And BUBBLY. I swear, that kid is totally related to me. It’s the best.
He told many stories. One was called “That T. Rex that bit my toe that time, I hit him with my bulldozer truck until he stopped doing that” and one was called “I’m scared of the Ghost Ball” (I don’t know what that means either) and one was called “I am STARVING I want a cereal bar” (my mom said he’d eaten about ten minutes ago) and one was called “don’t say I have a big belly! I have a LITTLE BELLY!” and one was called “a boy in my daycare hit me, but I told the woman who runs daycare, and she told him to stop, and he did.” SO MANY STORIES. I love him more than the whole wide world.
At one point, my mom told him not to run, or he would fall, and he said, “OK! Time to go!” and she said, “Where are we going?” and he said, “NO! TIME TO ROLL!” and then laughed and laughed. Then he was pulling stickers off the tricycle he got for Christmas (I put those on, and they were totally crooked, so I was cool with that – they were embarrassing, but I was SO DAMN TIRED at that point at Christmas) and when my mom said, “What are you doing?” he said, “I wanted to do that to it,” all seriously. Like his intent was in question. And then, at the end of the phone call, I told my mom to tell him I loved him, and she did, and he said, “I DON’T LOVE YOU!” and I pretended to cry and she said, “Oh, The Grandson, you made Aunt Amy cry!” and he said, “No! I love her!” and then she said, “Now she feels better!” and he said, “Because I love her, that’s why.” AW THE NEPHEW! I love YOU. Seriously, you could put that kid’s photo after the word “joy” in the dictionary, with no words at all other than that, and everyone would immediately know what you were talking about. He is joy. Complete and total joy.
OK. Off to bed. Thank you, and love your faces. EVEN YOU DING DONG JOE. Even you.
Thank you for being my people. You’re the world’s best people that ever peopled in the history of people. And you’re all mine. I’m not giving you back. Not ever ever.