Better (Almost) Late Than Never.
I'm always early for everything.
My anxiety is such that the thought of being late and having to walk into a place where there is already something happening and having everyone do that turn and stare thing where they judge the asshole who can't get their shit together well enough to make it to the thing in time to not interrupt by using the creakiest door ever made.
And so, I'm early for things. Granted, having all these children has mellowed me out a bit on how exactly early, because, trust me, sitting in the car waiting an extra 5 minutes is just begging for someone to have a poop-splosion. #askmehowiknow
But for the most part, I live by the words given to me by an overzealous retail manager back in my college years:
If you're early, you're on time. If you're on time, you're late. And if you're late, you're wasting my fucking time, so you might as well not even be here and don't you dare ask for overtime, now go and refold all of the Performance Fleece.
Or however that conversation went.
All this to say, when it comes to getting a thing done where other people* are involved, I'm generally on point.
Until now. And I feel terrible about it. I should have started talking about this awesome thing MONTHS ago.
Back in January (you know, SIX WHOLE MONTHS AGO), I received a surprise in the mail. It was a travel book that I had on our Amazon Bus Wish List. At the time, I was on a downhill trajectory right into another depression cycle, and this kindness served as a bright spot that helped things not completely careen off the side of the cliff that is my mental stability.
I posted a thank you on Instagram and Facebook as well as sent a thank you to the anonymous gift giver through Amazon and, assuming it was from one of my 7 wonderfully supportive readers, I signed it with "Dana, The Measure of Us."
Well, my gift giver Googled, found the website, the thank you posts, and responded.
And that's how I met Robyn, a friendly Canadian. (Hi, Robyn!)
Turns out, she had no idea who I was (better step up 7 loyal readers...strangers are outdoing you) until getting my thank you note. She only found our Bus Wish List on Amazon because she likes the X-Files.
Robyn was trying to do a random act of kindness (find an item on a stranger's Amazon Wish List and make their day) and ended up with my random ass.
But what Robyn also did was introduce me to the world of GISH.
So what exactly is GISH? Well it's the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt and it's a wild week where teams around the world compete to do 200 tasks...some arty, some zany, some hilarious, some sweet, some serious, and many for amazing causes. Points are awarded. Good is done. Fun is had by all. There's a giant prize at the end that involves a vacation to an exotic location.
And then there are people like Robyn, who live the GISH life all year long - always on the lookout to do a random good deed, make an unexpected kindness happen, and to make the day to day an adventure.
I watched the GISH videos and sobbed at the joyfulness of it all. In that moment of me struggling to get through each day, this was like a beacon. I just had to make it until the summer.
And so I waited.
Registration wasn't open yet, so it seemed silly to start telling everyone about this awesome thing.
So I continued to wait.
Robyn was so thoughtful and started messaging me when clues started coming in about when registration would open.
I understood exactly zero of the clues, but that's OK! I would figure it out! Surely I wouldn't be the only n00b!
The new app came out and early challenges to help make teams were introduced. One of the features was to turn on location services in the app to see how many other GISHers there were in your area. One challenge was to meet with others at a coffee shop and make posters.
Annnnnd that's about where I hit solid bottom of my depression and the thought of leaving the house, let alone leaving the house in order to interact with strangers...it was just too much. I spiraled into a panic attack that day and felt like everything was horribly unfair. Why couldn't I have fun like everyone else? Why the fuck do I have to be so fucked in the head that I can't just exhale, meet some perfectly nice, probably not serial killer strangers at Starbucks and get on with winning a trip to someplace fabulous**?
But that's just not the way I was baked.
So back in May, I put the whole thing out of my head and focused on the little things that I needed to do in order to survive that particular round of depression. I just needed to wait for the waves to stop crashing down on me and I could get back on track and have some fun this summer.
I finally came out of my haze (about a day ago), and realized, oh shit, I still have to sign up for GISH!!! Also, hot damn, this house is a mess and how did I not notice the unibrow happening on my face? Fingers crossed there is a challenge that has to do with housekeeping and eyebrow shaping.
It's been a tough 6 months***, but we've all still got just about 24 hours to sign up for the hunt and turn things around.
(And thank you again to Robyn for the thoughtfulness in the first place...the world needs a whole lot more of this kind of love. I've been stalking random Amazon Wish Lists for months trying to find the perfect one to surprise and I'm pumped to follow in your adventurous footsteps. You've put Toronto on my "Must See in the Bus" list. <3)
* Getting things done where other people are involved is the key part here...because if it's something that's done for myself, just forget it. I'll procrastinate and spend hours Googling random questions like, "How many Care Bears are there?" (10 OG's, y'all) and "What's a random trivia question to put in my blog post because
I don't want to admit to the weird shit I Google I can't think of anything that I've Googled recently?"
** I hear they're going to New Zealand. Now that's pretty freaking fabulous.
*** I'm fine. Mostly. Getting there.