It's easy to say something like "I got ready and left for work" or even, "I woke up, ate, brushed my teeth, showered and left for work." But that's way over-simplified, isn't it? Every activity is made up of a bunch of smaller actions, and if you are intent on each one, it can be exhausting. Every activity or event feels overwhelming to me, whether it's doing laundry, or going to a party. Partly because of anxiety (well let's call it what it is: FEAR), and partly because of hyperfocused ADD. Here is what waking up, getting ready and leaving the house feels like to me:
Wake up to phone alarm. Find phone on side of bed. Get phone, look at alarm, turn phone to get it upright, swipe for snooze. Try to get 15 more minutes of rest. Hear snooze go off. Find phone, look at alarm, turn to get upright and swipe. Lay there for several minutes, dreading getting up and making sure not to go back to sleep. Sit up on bed. Get out of bed. Grab sweatpants and put on. See shoes and slip on. Pick glasses up from dresser and put on. Walk to door, put hand on door, turn knob and open door. Go out door, walk down hall to kitchen.
Turn on light. Figure out what to eat. Open fridge door, get bread and jam. Open cupboard door, get plate. Open silverware drawer, get knife. Dig inside plastic bread bag, take out slice of bread, put on plate. Pick up jar of jam, twist lid off, put lid on counter, pick up knife, dig in jar, get out jam and put glob of jam on bread. Repeat several times if needed. Put jar down, pick up lid and screw back on jar. Are you still reading this? Pick up bread and spread jam. Take a bite of bread, being careful to start at the edges, saving the sweet, gooey middle for last. Chew. Think about how you should have woken up earlier so you can relax a bit. Repeat eight or nine times until bread and jam are eaten. Smack lips.
Pick up jam jar, step back to fridge, put jam back, get bottle of water out, see if it still has color from the Mio flavor and when you filled it up with more water. If not, go to cupboard, get little bottle of Mio, flick open and squirt a bit into bottle of water, flick Mio shut and put back in cupboard. God forbid you are out of Mio and have to open your backup and throw the little piece of protective wrapping plastic in the trash, which is inside the cupboard under the sink.
Drink some water, screw lid back on, open fridge door, put water back on shelf. Go to cupboard, get box of Pop-Tarts. Open box, get cellophane-wrapped pack out and rip open. Dig Pop-Tart out because pack didn't open neatly. Wonder why they don't make better cellophane wrappers that don't open so sloppily. While holding Pop-Tart in one hand and trying not to break it, put wrapper with remaining tart back into box. Try to shut lid by inserting tab into slot. Keep trying. Wonder why they can't make better box tops where tab first won't fit into slot because it's slanting up and still perforated shut, then keeps slipping out. Put box back into cupboard. Eat tart over plate, being careful to bite around edges and save the sweet gooey center for last.
Pick up plate, take to sink, brush off crumbs, put on top of other dishes and run water on top. Think about how you should have done the dishes by now they are piling up; ask yourself why you are so lazy. Mentally blame parents and feel bad for it, plan to take more personal responsibility in the near(?) future and stop procrastinating. Look at clock. Oh $#!t gotta get going. This was the simplest breakfast possible; cereal would have been about the same with cereal and lactose-free milk instead of bread and jam. But if i tried to make eggs or something just forget it. And thank God i don't drink coffee; i am not trying to kick-start my poor heart, it will get there on its own time.
Run back to room, take off glasses, nightshirt, sweats, one sock, other sock, and underwear, throw all on pile of clothes in corner. Put on bathrobe and flip-flops. Go to bathroom, luckily the door is already open. Look at self in mirror, avoid eyes because what is IN there?, think all kinds of random things related to appearance and self-improvement. Turn on water, splash some on face, squirt some hand soap onto hand, smear on face, pick up razor, take off plastic cap, glide over face repeatedly until stubble appears gone. Put cap back on razor, put on shelf, run hands under water, rinse off face. Why is there still stubble under the right side of my chin AGAIN? Pick up razor take off top glide over missed area rinse razor put ca back put razor back. Feel chin again okay better.
Pick up floss, open floss, pull thread, slip under cutter and cut off a nice long piece; you're gonna need it. Slip floss between pairs of teeth dig out junk, repeat as necessary (22 times i think), rinsing floss when necessary (22 times?). Put floss in trash can, luckily it's not full yet, or not really full. Think about how gross flossing is. Pick up cup. Pick up toothbrush. Turn on hot water, rinse off cup and toothbrush to kill germs and wash off teeny weeny pieces of fecal odor that get there from when you do you-know-what in bathroom. Turn hot water off and cold back on. Rinse off cup and brush to cool them off. Put cup down. Pick up toothpaste, open cap, squeeze some toothpaste on brush, not too little not too much. Put cap back on and toothpaste back. Get peeved at toothbrush manufacturers for commercials showing people squeezing a whole row of toothpaste on the brush there is no way we need that much they are just trying to get us to use more toothpaste, but oh well that's what capitalism does to people. Note to self: commercials suck.
Put toothbrush in mouth, brush tops of each quadrant of teeth, brush circularly on outside of each quadrant including fronts, brush circularly inside each quadrant, repeat each step briefly just for good measure, brush tongue. Be glad you heard about this years ago because what if you never brushed your tongue your breath might be even worse. Rinse toothbrush off, hold toothbrush in one hand, pick up cup with the other, fill, put to lips, rinse and spit, repeat if necessary. Put cup and brush down, wipe residue off lips, rinse hands, get towel and wipe hands and outside of mouth.
Only Halfway There
Are you still reading this? PHEW we are only about half done, with the second half not even taking into account the drive or ride to work which is a whole 'nother level. And functional girls and/or whoever is dressing like one can just go ahead and scoff because dudes have it easy. Is that sexist? Let's put it this way, whoever puts on makeup i would need a whole 'nother section here. I've actually dressed up as an archetypical female several times on Hallowe'en; twice with a yarn wig, cheerleader outfit and red sneakers; and once with a blonde wig, makeup, "little black dress" (i was thinner...), stuffed bra, heels and purse. What a pain eating and drinking without smearing the lipstick! Plus walking in those things; ladies it's not worth it! ? I don't even have time in the morning to blow-dry my hair or use gel or anything, plus any hair stuff seems like it would get all over chairs, furniture and pillows!
So i think i will STOOOOOOOOPPPP here (you're welcome), partly because you probably don't really wanna hear about everything i will need to wash in the shower. I will just note Ray Romano's bit about how he needs a checklist to remember if he washed each thing, as well as oops i don't have time for that.
Then there is getting dressed and making sure whatever briefcase, purse or backpack you have to take is packed. I had to finally compose and print a list of everything i need or may need to bring, to check it every time i leave the house, so i don't forget anything. It includes: Wallet, keys and cellphone; belt and hat if needed; TAP card for bus/train, headphones, phone charger, glasses, jacket or extra shirt, lunch and utensils, lactose pills and Immodium, breath mints, and for band practice a list of instruments, pick and cords, stands, etc.
Not Just The Morning
Hopefully if you needed to do any ironing you have done it the night before, along with prepping and packing any lunch, meals or snacks. Going to work in the morning also includes effort the prior night to quit drinking (just kidding i'm done with that), get to bed on time and possibly plan what to wear so you don't have to do it when you're half asleep in the morning. Except for "morning people," but everyone knows that morning people suck. ? Although, they seem to be in charge. If you show up to work early, the powers that be say "wow what a hard working self-starter," but if you stay late, which is just as effective, they think "look at that lazy bum he couldn't get his work done in the time allotted."
Anyway by then i'm exhausted. If you're still awake after reading this i'm sure you get the picture. Actually it is thinking in advance about ("dreading") all that prep that will have to be done, no matter where i'm going, that makes me wanna just stay home in bed. Zzzzzzz....