Things fall apart.

Some weeks, things just fall apart.

I don’t mean in the global sense, in the meaningful sense, in the sense of drastic life changes or tragedies or disasters. That would be actually worth it’s own blog post. But no, this is just me over here letting you know that I am seriously dropping the ball on a thousand tiny things this week, and the result?

Frozen pizza for dinner and pbj’s for lunch, every day.

And you know what? I’m not even sorry.

I blame it on a lot of things. Like this dissertation, one big looming deadline that is so far away and so vast, that my to do list some days just says “RESEARCH” which sends me spiraling down an Internet vortex that results in no usable information, but a whole wealth of totally random facts and readings. [Like this article, so I at least know where to go to spiral into the void, or watching this trailer ten times, or snort laughing at this year’s crop of duped children — SEE THIS IS HOW IT STARTS.]

Or I could blame it on the traffic, my true nemesis these days as I find myself having to do that which I have avoided the entire time we have lived in DC: drive the Beltway at rush hour at least once a week, often twice. On Monday, I spent 4 hours sitting in traffic, resulting in an entire botched afternoon of productivity, a missed run (because it is basically dark at lunch these days), a hunger induced and poorly planned grocery run, and one very intense altercation with a Banana Republic saleswoman when I finally made it to the mall to pick up James’ altered suit. Was the thirty minutes I wasted arguing with her worth it for the $10 that was returned to me? ABSOLUTELY. And not at all.

Or I could blame it on grading, my favorite productive distraction because it means I can sit back with my red pen and TV shows and pass many an hour… only to find that there is not even a dent in the mountain of remaining assignments.

But really I should just blame it on me, on my innate humanness that some times, some weeks, some days — just lets things fall apart a little. I have always been productive, excelled at time management, and capable of juggling everything. To-do lists are my opiate and I love a regimented life. But right not? I’m having to readjust what productivity looks like. Because I might spend a whole day reading a book, and productivity means deciding that is not where my research is headed. Because I might spend a whole day running errands for James in traffic which means nothing for my own productivity, but lots for his. Because I have not cooked a real meal in a over a week, and I refuse to hate on myself for that.

When things fall apart, I am determined not to fall apart with them. I’ll just stand here as they roll past, drinking from the plastic cup I’m using to avoid doing dishes and pretending that hummus on crackers constitutes as a vegetable, learning to hold on to fewer things. I will hold on to sanity, grace for myself and those I love, sleep, community that matters, and let so many other things fall.

I’m ok with that.

[Also, frozen pizza is maybe the most delicious thing ever. I’m not the slightest bit apologizing for the nutritional black-hole that we are living right now. I know I will regret it soon… but not today.]

[PS: This title is not in any way meant to imply that my struggles have the tiniest point of comparison with those of the book Things Fall Apart, where there are real struggles like colonial powers and repressive regimes and stuff. Just had to throw that out there because GRAD SCHOOL and all.]

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10 Responses to Things fall apart.

  1. Nancy says:

    Those weeks when the dishes pile up in the sink because night classes and early morning work the next day, the laundry gets washed but NEVER folded, the checkbook doesn’t get balanced for *cough* six months…I call it the #gradstudentlife
    I’ve heard it gets better after graduation…

  2. maggie hecht says:

    Wishing you some peaceful days. In the meantime, breathe deeply.

  3. abilk says:

    I’m so thankful you posted this. Holding on to fewer things like grace and sleep – YES! My weary body and mind needed this reminder after a week (and more to come!) of long work days, an eternal pile of dirty dishes (even though I haven’t been cooking – how DOES that happen?!), missed runs and missed down-time, and a growing, yet evasive to-do list. It’s strangely comforting to know that someone else can let things fall apart every once and a while too. Thanks, Hannah 🙂

  4. WomanLoved says:

    Everything has a season. Sometimes that season is survival… Like having three small children and hardly ever mopping the floor is getting through the laundry… It’s a never ending cycle of washing loads and piles of clean unfolded clothes waiting to be put away. Survival doesn’t go on forever, but it needs to be ridden out. I that when I consciously hand over my day (at the start, if poss, though not always) and lean into HIS grace, things flow much better, in spite of the craziness. Every day can be redeemed, and you are not condemned, thanks to the work of the cross. Oh and frozen pizza is awesome, and in all seriousness hummus is so good for you and so easy to make, just put a salad leaf on top of your cracker and you have balanced your meal!

  5. Girl, no shame in just clocking the hours for a week or two (or four) at a time. Keep your chin up, and keep that frozen pizza coming!

    xox

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