Friday, April 12, 2013

Fashionably Late

Months ago, Scabs issued a challenge to capture our version of Insanity.  I read her post about it.  I read her challenge.
But it didn't click with me.  I couldn't pin-point my Insanity.

But two days ago, I stood over a sink of hot, soapy water and watched the sun set.

My husband and I are in the process of researching and preparing to buy a house.  One possibility came our way, and I couldn't.  I couldn't.  Could not go with it.  My husband wanted to know why, and I had to admit: there was no window over the sink, and I can't work with that. I live in the kitchen, bro.  My best crazy cowgirl poems are written while bread is baked and my mind wanders the open hills over my kitchen sink.
I gotta have my space.  I can live happily in a small house -so long as there's a big, fat window over the sink.

Did you know I earned $600 once?  It's a pretty big deal, actually.
In three months, I made $600 by babysitting, crocheting, making sock monkeys, and teaching piano lessons.  I wanted to whisk my husband away for his 30th birthday.  So I pushed myself to the absolute limit AND beyond to make that money.  At the time I was also playing piano part-time for the high school choirs.  And I was teaching preschool from home.
And I was working in the Young Women program in our ward.

And I loved it.  I loved DOING all of that because everywhere I turned, there was validation.  There were women who thought I did it all and who told me so.  They praised me.  They were so impressed.  They wished they were like me.  They loved my crafts, my aprons, my vintage hot pads, my homey sock monkeys...
I loved telling everyone ALL about it.  I'd sigh, "Oh, I've been up since 5 am... so much to do.  I've got this and this and THIS and after that I've got to change and head over to x then y and I can't leave out z..."
"Oh, you're so amazing," was always the reply.
"I don't know how you do it." They would say.

Until one day. 
I have about 8 aunts that are among the most amazing women in the world.  One of them is a great example of time management and emotional stability.
She came over to drop her son off for preschool.  I gave her my tired schpeel.
"I've been up since 5.  I got the kids out of bed, went to the school to play the piano and I made it home just in time... right after I'm done here I've got to finish up two craft orders and I have three piano lessons this afternoon."
And then she said something that changed my life a little.


Is it any coincidence that while I was doing it "all" my husband was in the THICK of his addiction?  Yeah... my rock bottom came just weeks after I earned that $600.

That one word has stuck with me for nearly three years now: WHY.
I finally have an answer.  It came to me over a beautiful Arizona sunset and sink full of hot, soapy water.

And then something clicked in my brain and I realized my Insanity. 
Readers, forgive me, for I have not read any other Insanity posts.  So if my Insanity resembles your Insanity, I'm not deliberately ripping you off... but I wouldn't be surprised if some of our Insanities were twinners, sister wives, soul sistah, Gossip girls...

In any case.  Here:


My Insanity is calm.
She sits in a clean house.  She paints her nails beige and her lips nude.  She baking bread for the neighbors.  Nothing from a box for my Insanity.  Everything in it’s proper place.  Everything labeled.  Everything trendy.  Her clipboard is always on hand.  She has the answers.  She needs no help.  Schedules, routines, control.


My Insanity is a pill.
She goes down easy.  Habits are like that.  I absorb her, she makes me brave.  I answer all the questions.  I serve all the people.  I dominate the conversation.  


My Insanity fills me with regret.
She records my shame on her clip board.  What I should have said.  What I should have done.  What I lack.  What I need.  Why I’m not enough.  Shame.  Fear. Rinse. Repeat.  She hold the control in the palm of her beautifully slender fingers.


My Insanity is Control.

My Sanity is loud.
She never sits.   She dances, lounges, bounces, walks, lies… She paints her nails mustard yellow.  They clash with her guitar frets.  Her lips are always plastered in glittered lip gloss, flavorful and delicious.  She bakes bread or she buys bread.  She eats bread.  Everything in a place, though seldom proper.  No labels to confine.  The closet sags with thrift store finds, Grandpa’s old family dairy bottles and great-grandmother’s doilies adorn her home.  She knows nothing.  She asks for help.  She offers help.  Live daily, let go, surrender.


My Sanity is a balm.
I apply her when discomfort arises, she rolls on smoothly. Healers are like that.  My soul absorbs her, she makes me confident.  I ask all the questions.  I serve a Greater Purpose.  The tension in my gut that builds during conversation slowly relaxes.


My Sanity fills me with serenity.
She records my unfiltered thoughts in a myriad of journals.  What I feel.  What I think.  What I fear.  What I wonder.  What I am.  Honesty, poetry, song lyrics, movie quotes.  Her farm girl fingers cramp up… She drops her favorite pen and allows her hands to rest.


My Sanity is Surrender. 


  1. This is so beautiful, Alicia. I love that your insanity looks like the "ideal" or "perfection," but you are starting to see that it isn't.

    Keep surrendering! And eating bread :) Love you! You are great!

  2. This is amazing! I read that challenge too and still haven't been able to identify "my" insanity. But, I've been thinking about it a lot. Finding it, and identifying it, gives us power over it. Great job!

  3. I love that you had an epiphany that allowed you to recognize your Insanity. I can feel mine, but I can't picture her yet. She's still too much a part of me to see her differences. Right now she still looks like me. I'm glad you kept blogging even though you didn't intend to this week. I find a lot of strength in your words. Thanks!!