something’s gotta give

o-ver-whelm [oh-ver-hwelm, – welm] – verb (used with object)

1. to overcome completely in mind or feeling

2. to overpower or overcome, esp. with superior forces; destroy; crush

3. to cover or bury beneath a mass of something; as floodwaters, debris, or an avalanche; submerge

4. to load, heap, treat, or address with an overpowering or excessive amount of anything

5. me, every september without fail

Years ago, just after Katie was born, I had a physical trainer. Yes, times were a bit different then. He would meet me at the gym every weekday morning at 5am so that I could work out before work. Yes, FIVE ay em. It was the only free time I had.

One Saturday afternoon I had gone to the gym and Luau came to meet me there. He had seen me chatting with Jimmy and he casually asked, “What the heck was THAT?” Maybe not so casually, but Luau’s not one for jealousy. He was laughing as he asked.

I laughed with him as I said, “Honey, THAT is what motivates me to get up at 4 friggin 30 in the morning and haul my sorry arse to the gym to get in shape.”

Did I not mention that Jimmy looked like a Greek god? A very young, dashing, virile Greek god? He may have been as interesting as a box of rocks, but I’ll be damned if he wasn’t something to look at.

I stuck with it for nearly six months. Then one day, I broke. I just broke. I called Jimmy on his cell to tell him that I was going to have to take a break from the 5am training sessions. It was just too much.

“Jimmy,” I shouted into a bad connection. “It’s Jess. Listen, I’m sorry, bud, but my plate is just too damn full right now. I’ve been thinking about it, and something has to give. Right now, unfortunately, I think it’s you. I just can’t do it anymore.”

I waited for his response. I could tell that he was still there, but he wasn’t saying anything.


“Um, yeah. I’m here.”

“OK, so, you with me?”

And then I remembered. Jimmy was dating a girl named Jess. He was crazy about her. He would tell me all about her in between torturous sets of military presses. “Seriously, I think she might be the one,” he’d say as he piled on more weight.

Oh my God. I had just broken up with him. He thought he was losing his girlfriend.

“Um. Jimmy?”

“Yeah,” he said quietly.

“It’s Jess W. You know, your 5am.”

He chuckled uncomfortably. “Yeah, of course. Hey, that’s cool. Just give a call when you want to start up again.”

I could hear the relief in his voice. He still had his girlfriend AND he’d get to sleep in the next day. So yeah, life was good again in Jimmy Land.

The moral of the story – I’m not breaking up with you, I promise. But something’s gotta give. I’m beyond overwhelmed this week. I’m so far past overwhelmed that I can’t even see it in the rear view mirror.

So sleep in tomorrow, and I’ll let you know when I’m ready to reschedule.

23 thoughts on “something’s gotta give

  1. that’s what’s nice about blogs. They ebb & flow, just like we do. I feel the same way in September, like I’ve gotten knocked over by a huge wave, and I struggle to get my bearings. I wish it could happen in less time than the duration of a MONTH but hey, it is what it is. See you soon.

    XO R

    p.s. your post about “the words still come” is haunting me. It was so beautiful.

  2. Take care of you, Mamma. I think we all feel the pressure this time of year. Your writing should feel like a releif, not an obligation. So, go take care of you. We’ll still be here when you get back.

  3. I cut back on my blogging a bit starting last week, and lo and behold, the Earth kept turning, my friends still talk to me, and I didn’t disapparate into the ether. I don’t know what took me so long to make life easier for myself.

    Guess we’re all in the same whelmed state. Glad I’m not the only one.

  4. Whew, glad you’re not breaking up with us! Is this that “space” couples talk about when they “just need a little time?” 😉 Just kidding. I’m learning, the hard way, that we really DO need to take care of ourselves first if we even *think* we’re going to be able to help our children or cabin mates with *their* oxygen. xoxo

  5. OMG. Totally. And Jess, we know you. While you might not be writing your blog, we know you are writing in your head. Because that’s you. And coming off this hiatus are going to be some insanely mind blowing posts.

  6. hi Jess- Ive been an onlooker here for the past 2 months and just wanted to say hi 🙂 i have gone back to read every single one of your posts and you have really helped me in more than I could ever articulate. In many ways, you have helped me to become a better parent that is better able to live in the moment and appreciate my beautiful son for who he is, not in spite of who he is not. I feel like I am a better person just “knowing” you. ill anxiously await your return when you are all fresh and ready to take on the year ahead!

  7. What a funny story 😀

    Many years ago at a particularly difficult time in my life, a dear lady gave me a refrigerator magnet. It was a little mouse swinging on the end of a knotted rope. It said, “When things get rough, tie a knot and hang on.”

    That simple little magnet helped me through a lot of rough times. Sometimes all we can do is weather the storm. You know, hang on…get through…survive.

    Your September storm will pass. Just tie you a knot and hang on.

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