Epic inertia

Epic inertia.

Epic inertia.

inertia \i-ˈnǝr-shǝ\ n. a property of matter whereby it remains at  rest or continues in uniform motion unless acted upon by some outside force

epic \ˈe-pik\ adj. extending beyond the usual or ordinary especially in size or scope

I’m not a physicist, so I have never much pondered the uniform motion aspect of inertia.  To me, inertia has always connotated the slothful inability to get moving.  Which is where I am today…on an epic level.  But why am I epically, slothfully immobile?  It’s because of the epic inertia of the holiday season.  There has been non-stop activity since before Thanksgiving.  Go, go, go, plan, plan, plan, shop, shop, shop.  And then on December 26 I stopped.  By delicious deliberate choice, I did absolutely nothing on December 26 but sit by the fire and read.

And now I can’t get up.

There was an attempt on the 27th which resulted in a nap.  And then, that evening, a vague ” I don’t feel well” which kept me lying in bed all day the 28th.  The 29th I sipped ginger ale and chicken soup and gently did laundry.  The 30th I woke up hungry and attempted raisin bread, which my body begrudgingly accepted.

My sister thinks it’s psychosomatic, that I’m reacting to continued holiday festivities.  I’m willing to hear her out because she herself has been demonstrating negative inertia on two tasks: cleaning her office and calling me to help plan Mom’s 80th birthday party.  That she  called three days before the party showed evidence of some epic procrastination.  In order to avoid calling me, she even attempted to organize her office, but that was so tedious that calling me seemed like the lesser of two evils.

Epic is the operative word here.  Like the little engine that could, the thought of getting started and chugging up that mountain is an agonizing thought.  I think I can, I think I can…no, I can’t.

I’m gonna blame it on Dad.  He’s not here to defend himself.  Seven years ago, my siblings threw a 50th anniversary party for our parents.  It was really nice in the midst of a year full of weddings and graduations and anniversaries.  And Dad pronounced it good.

“Epic!” he said through joyful tears.  “This is epic!”

In a normal family, “epic” would mean a once in a lifetime event.  In our highly competitive, anxiety ridden, over-achieving family, “epic” means “this is the new standard.”  This is why my sister-in-law is still recovering from her daughter’s September wedding.  It was epic.

This is also why my daughter, in a post-partum struggle, was insulted when her doctor told her she would  be a perfectly average mother.  “Average? Did he just call me average?”

Yeah.  Average.  It’s okay.  This Christmas I actually did less shopping than usual, relieved of the need to provide an epic Christmas for everyone.  Guess what?  Christmas was really nice.

I am capable of putting together a large party blind-folded with one hand behind my back and the other hand holding a cane.  Surely I can handle a few party-platters from Wegman’s. The outside force of people showing up at my house in two days begins to operate.  I slowly get off my duff (which is also reaching epic proportions) and gently start moving (because not all of my inertia is psychosomatic).  By Tuesday, forward motion should be propelling me with some positive inertia.  Who knows, maybe Wednesday will actually find me ready to be back at work.

Why do today what you can put off ’til tomorrow?

Space Bug, created by MomMom

“Why do today what you can put off ’til tomorrow?”  Those were the words of wisdom coming from SpongeBob this morning as we slurped coffee on yet another snow day. 

Yesterday I took my beloved car for an alignment–the wobble was becoming problematic.  I could procrastinate no longer and having President’s Day off was a perfect time to do it.  The alignment was no big deal; however, four new tires set me back a bit.  But oh, how happy I am with those new tires!

Space Snail with food sources Space Bug and Space Snake. Snail and snake created by Harper. (Snail comes equipped with traction control, in case you were wondering.)

When I bought my car, I ended up with the lah-dee-dah model because I wanted traction control and the anti-skid features.  To get those features I had to also accept leather seats with butt-warmers, a sunroof, and a nice stereo system–not that I’m complaining.  But the tires!  They gave a wonderfully smooth ride, but they were @#$% in snow.  When I replaced them I wanted something that would really grip the road but found out that lah-dee-dah models like my Camry XLE have to have the smooth ride “touring” tires.  I’m reasonably sure it was the smooth touring tires that slid me off Miller Lane a couple of winters ago to the tune of $15,000 to the insurance company. (So much for traction control and anti-skid!)

So, yesterday, I got the tires I was afraid to spend money on last time.  And just in time.  I had no idea that winter was planning to blast us so hard last night.  As I headed out to my grad class at 5pm, the sleet was already starting in the Hereford Zone, even though the weather warning was from 7pm to 7am with the heavy snow coming after midnight.  At 8pm the instructor called it a night so we could beat the weather.  (Cars downtown were already coated in ice.) The further north I drove the worse it got.  I-83 was snow covered.  I followed a salt truck to Mt. Carmel Road where salt trucks were lumbering into the SHA depot like an elephant parade at the circus.  Mt. Carmel was snow covered which prepared me to face untreated Miller Lane.  It was pouring snow and blowing sideways.  I put the car in low and crept down the why-isn’t-there-a-guardrail-here curve of disaster to the safety of home.

When I got home I wanted to kick my heels and yell “Yee-hah!” like Jesse in Toy Story.  In spite of the nasty weather, I felt pretty secure on the road.  I finally have the tires that I want for this car.

Ok, if I hadn’t procrastinated on getting the alignment fixed, I would not have needed to get new tires just yet, but I am really glad I had them last night. And now I have a snow day…I wonder what other procrastinations I can tackle.  I’ve already made my Space Bug.