Choosing to be happy when skies are gray

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.

Just a tip? Don't ever do a search for "magic fingers." OH MY EYES MY EYES.

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?
Me: NO.
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.

Dad used to like Nicole Kidman, before she became scary bony looking. I'm in agreement. She used to be smoking hot, didn't she? I miss that.

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.

About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

25 responses to “Choosing to be happy when skies are gray

  • sj

    WOOOO FOR TAX SEASON BEING OVER YOU DID IT!!! (capattack totally necessary)

    I’m really pleased that more people are finding you. Your type of ranty rambliness is right up my alley (but not in a gross way).


  • elaine4queen

    so many things! i know it’s RISKY but i really think you need to tell nephew the GHOSTANOONIE story because he would totally get it and love it. then swear him to secrecy, natch.

    even in that tiny picture i felt a bit sick seeing nicole’s chest. bumpy.

    now for the big news. YOU CAN GET SCABIES FROM BEDS. also any textiles. if you get scabies it is a total mare, because you have to wash ALL THE TEXTILES.


    • lucysfootball

      Ew ew ew SCABIES. I am the most freaked out right now.

      I could never tell The Nephew about The Ghost of Noonie. If he told his dad, I would be FINISHED. Yikes!


      • elaine4queen

        i know. you really don’t want scabies. i can attest to that. possibly worse are bed bugs, since scabies can be treated and got rid of with a spot of laundry, apparently bed bugs travel through walls and treating one home isn’t enough. turns out the metal bedsteads of yesteryear were not just decorative, but were a lot about cleanability.

        probably too young to be trusted with such a dangerous secret. GHOSTANOONIE will doubtless keep…


  • Rich Crete

    All your readers went to your apartment yesterday while you were at work. We were going to have a surprise party for you for being so brave and surviving tax season without weeping. We even brought cake. But Dumbcat wouldn’t unlock the effing door. It was a long way for some to travel, esp the Euros, only to be stymied by Dumbcat. But it was the thought that counted.


    • lucysfootball

      You DID? That is AWESOME! I wondered why Dumbcat was hiding in the pots & pans cupboard when I got home last night! THERE WAS CAKE? Ugh, damn. Sorry for the failed travel, everyone!


  • MsDarkstar

    I would have emailed you except that I don’t think I have your email. And maybe you don’t give your email to Internet People. I have a billionty email addresses because I consort with Internet People all the time and I have different addresses to give to different people so I know if they are really the person I gave that address to.

    I am glad that tax season did not lead to bathroom weeping this year. I am happy that you survived relatively unscathed. I am puzzled as to where the twitter is hiding at work. Maybe it got misfiled. That sort of thing happens all the time where I work because people who have no business being in the files get into the files.

    And I don’t know about your office, but mine has been FREEZING COLD lately. To the point that I am wearing fingerless gloves today because my hands get all ICY.

    Also, contrary to what your Dad and other Internet People naysayers might have you believe…. I, for one, love you very much. And I love your blog. And your (often secret so you won’t get in trouble at work) tweetings. I am glad that I found you though Lisa (who, by the way, I might get to meet when Jenny The Bloggess is in town next week and I am SO EXCITED!!)

    I think I am going to go to the restroom now and try to crawl into the sink where I run the warm water over my hands so they don’t hurt from the cold all day. Have a wonderful Wednesday!


  • CMTomaso

    Went on a business trip to the middle-of-nowhere Oklahoma and the no name hotel we stayed at had Magic Fingers. I toyed with giving it a try; even going as far as getting change at dinner.

    Just before I decided I could wait no more, a ruckus to end all ruckuses happened next door in my colleague’s room. The whole hallway filled with guest trying to see what was going on as he ran to the manager’s desk. It was his Magic Fingers and it was violently shaking the bed. They had to cut the power cause they couldn’t get to the plug.

    We call him “Magic Fingers” to this day! Saved by my own indecision. Woohoo!


  • ProfMomEsq

    Laughing, crying, laughing … I’m not sure whether I’m crying with laughter or laughing with cry … ter? Whatever. You rock.

    I am so ridiculously excited for you to go on vacation, I can’t stand it, because the “quick” posts you write are fabulous enough. But, posts when you have magical stuff going on? I can’t WAIT for all that fabulousness! I can’t!! Plus, super secret stuff?

    Is it warm in here, or am I having my own personal summer?


    • lucysfootball

      Aw, thank you so much! Yay!

      I KNOW, isn’t vacation going to be the coolest? I am SO EXCITED. So many things planned!

      Oh, and top-secret things? Yep. Total fabulousness. :)


  • jbrown3079

    You are making our lives a little richer. These posts are something I look forward to every day. Always interesting. Even the squishy ones.


  • lahikmajoe

    Even Ding Dong Joe? He’ll be so pleased that you noticed.


  • Patrick

    I’m glad I read this. It made me feel good…and I think I discovered this blog in the last 4 months.Squish.
    I would have asked you for tax advice but I didn’t want that to sully our artistic relationship so I just left blank what I didn’t understand, signed it and shoved it in an envelope. Also to be honest, I didn’t effin care whether I was filling it out correctly or not. If I can’t undersatnd a stupid SE form than this country spent too much money on bombs and gas than educating it’s citizens on how to give them money. I’m an artist! Back to the theatre! Where I need to see you.


    • lucysfootball

      Yay! I’m always glad you’re here. Or anywhere. I can’t wait to see you. I’m so glad “The Real Thing” is coming up.

      The SE stuff is a pain in the butt. I had to do that for myself for a few years when I was freelancing and it was complicated. I had to ask one of the accountants at work for help. And then you have to pay SE tax! And it’s HUGE!


  • blogginglily

    I’m glad you’re not crying at work or about work. Seriously. . . life’s too short. When I go to work with coworkers and they start talking about work. . . I stop them and say. . . “Stop! talking about work at lunch is forbidden!” and if they don’t. . . they are dead to me and not invited back to lunch. You need your own personal time. Priorities, yo!


    • lucysfootball

      Any comment with “yo” in it wins. THIS WINS.

      I want to work with you. You’d be fun at work. My people are all tax zombies.


      • blogginglily

        as long as you don’t talk about work at lunch.

        Also, you can’t piss and moan about where we go to eat every week either. We used to cycle through everyone in their group. . . everyone got to pick and you went along for the ride, and if you didn’t like it, so what? maybe they didn’t like your pick. One of my friends kept skipping out because she didn’t like where everyone else picked so she’d find someone else to have lunch with until it was her pick. So I stopped calling her.

        One day she stopped me in the hall and said, “I haven’t seen you in a while, don’t you like me anymore?”

        “Dead to me. But I still like you.”


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