An Octopus and His Socks

I don't have an octopus, so I figured this would do.
I don’t have an octopus, so I figured this would do.


“Jake put the fruit on the table. ‘For this afternoon,’ he said, ‘the motto has been: go out and find an octopus and put socks on it.’”

-From The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

This is what runs around my head and tries to dive out of my mouth each day when my husband comes home and asks how my day went. I am usually interrupted before I have a chance to be quite so eloquent, by my son, by the very same husband who just  asked the question, or by my own mouth, with whom I find I am in battle with more often than not. I have an ocean’s worth of words in my head, but a quirky filter that only lets through a certain amount, and is not so concerned with whether all of the words that come out make sense or not. I often ask whomever I am speaking to, “You know what I’m trying to say in English, right?”

It’s like sending a four-year-old to a salad bar. The child will come back with a plate of crackers and you have to wonder, with all of the delicacies before you, that’s what you came up with?

I should have no complaints. No real ones. But I found myself repeating several versions of the same sentiment this week. They are as follows: Really? Seriously? Are you kidding me? You can’t be serious!

I have a hard time leaving things unfinished. My two novels, which I think peek out of their file boxes to watch me while I sleep, might beg to differ. But I have a very hard time just walking away from things that need to be left alone. I have an even harder time asking for help. I imagine I can do just about anything, and I must admit I gain a certain amount of pride when someone cries, “I can’t believe you did that!” I especially long to impress my husband, whose endless energy and inability to get injured make a girl like me feel small and weak sometimes. Okay, lots of times.

So, I imagine I will impress him with some project that needs to be done. But here is what often happens, and how my week began.

For Christmas we received a most awesome piece of kitchen wizardry that is a radio and iPad/iPhone dock that mounts up under the kitchen cabinet. Brilliant. I use the iPad for everything, including recipes, so getting it up off of the kitchen counter is a good plan, and being able to charge it and listen to Spotify at the same time? Even better.

I decided Monday morning that I had stared at the box for too long. It was time to install this thing. Well. I had actually decided this Sunday, but, after rolling up my sleeves Rosie the Riveter style, and dragging everything out that I would need, the battery-powered screw driver was mostly, um, dead.

So, Monday. Ready,set, go. But this project went as most of my projects do. Two of the six screws stripped before it could be installed correctly, and the awkward angle I was holding my arms at, resting my elbows on the countertop, led to said elbows being rubbed raw. Who does this kind of thing happen to?! I skinned my elbows installing a stereo. Let’s just sit on that for a minute. And still, after three or four hours of trying, I had to concede and wait for my husband to come home in order for it to be finished. I. Hate. That.

The rest of Monday seemed to go that way. Everything I started I couldn’t finish for one reason or another, and it was a million little things until by the end of the day I just couldn’t wait to go to bed so that it would just be over. I can’t even remember most of them, so they must have been fairly insignificant. But I went to bed feeling defeated. I hate that, too.

I don’t remember Tuesday. I remember yoga pants and good intentions, but other than that…bluuuurrr.

Here’s where it gets fun. Wednesday mornings I go to Bible study at our church. It is one of the highlights of my week. I get to see friendly faces and talk and think about things other than my house, my family, and me. Ahhh. Something to break up the monotony, something to turn my week around. It will pick up after this, I think.

After Bible study I was standing at the welcome desk having a lovely conversation when I twisted my ankle.

Let me repeat the parts of that sentence that are most important. I was standing. I twisted my ankle. Not walking. Not attempting to stand up from a sitting position. I was not wearing heels. I was simply standing.  Suddenly, crack.

Again I must ask, Who does this?! I’m like a walking comedy sketch, although most of the time there isn’t someone else there to laugh with me. Someone asked me today what I had done to my ankle and I answered that I hurt it skydiving. But the true story is actually better than that, so I had to share. Don’t you ever doubt my rockstar status.

For the rest of the day Wednesday I iced and elevated it, hunkering down with Doctor Who in an attempt to bandage my blues.  Jumped right back into life Thursday and now it is more swollen than ever. Let this be a warning to you. You just be careful out there…standing.

Here’s where I need you to jump in. What do you do when you are down for no good reason, and being down is, well, getting you down?  


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