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Fail and Fury

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Today’s post is coming a day late because I had an unscheduled Fail Day this week. 

One thing you should know about me is that I have the next 10 years of my life completely scheduled out. In making plans I factor in major life events, climate change, my friends’ menstrual cycles, and statistical probabilities of random Acts of God. Some call it being Type A, I call it being prepared. 

Yet there is one thing that I continuously neglect to factor in as I overthink every detail of my life, and that is the fact that sometimes I get tired

And when I get tired, I get all the way tired. Nothing gets done — no shower, no meals, and sometimes I don’t even use the bathroom. I call these my Fail Days. 

Fail Days usually involve me laying in bed all day trying to convince myself that I’m resting, but really I’m either berating myself for being so lazy, or distraught by my inability to motivate myself. 

As someone who defines myself as a doer, these days are incredibly hard for me. As the day progresses and it becomes increasingly obvious that nothing will be crossed off my to-do list, my frustration mutates into an irrational and inexplicable rage

When I’m isolated it’s not a problem… But when you factor in a shared space with my husband, the slightest trigger can turn me feral in the blink of an eye.  

For example…

Not so long ago I had a Fail Day that just seemed to go on forever. At around 8pm I was finally hungry enough to get myself out of bed. I opened the bedroom door and the first thing I noticed was that MisterE had hung up the oven mits the wrong way. 

I froze. Ohhhhhh boy, was I triggered. I mean, what kind of self -respecting adult would hang oven mitts facing inward instead of outward? In the history of kitchens, had any kitchen ever functioned with inward facing oven mitts? 

On the right: a correctly placed oven mitt. On the left: utter chaos! What even is that?!

This was obviously an intentional act of malice. He knew that the mitts would be in my direct line of sight once I opened the door. He had been waiting all day for this set up. I mean… why else would anybody hang up oven mitts like that? I could feel my heart racing. 

Did I mention that I get irrational? 

“Don’t take the bait,” I told myself, already fully immersed in my imaginary narrative. “Rise above this.”

I took a deep breath and stepped out into the hallway. MisterE turned his head from the tv to nod hello and then he froze. The look in his eye said, “Uh-oh, she’s having a moment!” 

I sure am having a friggin’ moment, I thought. Who wouldn’t be having a moment while under direct attack like this? My breathing was getting shallow. I could feel the hairs standing on the back of my neck. I eyed the man who claimed to love me but had no respect for the aesthetic standards of my kitchen! 

I steadied myself and walked forward. Don’t touch the oven mits. Don’t touch the oven mits…

I repeated this to myself over and over as I very aggressively wiped a countertop that was already clean. 

“Hey, how are you doing?” MisterE asked in his gentle, soothe-the-dragon voice. 

“I’m fine!” I hissed, and slam dunked my now shredded paper-towel into the trash can. The trash was empty, so it was an incredibly unsatisfying slam dunk… which made me even angrier. 

Don’t take the bait, I reminded myself. Smile at him so he knows you’re really ok.

I twisted my mouth into what I thought was a convincing smile, but MisterE reared back so I imagine it was more of a snarl than anything. Oh great I thought, shutting my eyes, now he thinks I’m a deranged lunatic when he’s the one hanging oven mitts backwards.

I turned away from him, still trying to slow my heart rate, and stepped into the pantry. Carbs. Carbs always calm me down. It was one of those rare weeks when we had cookies in the house, and my eyes snapped to the spot where cookies should be. There were no cookies! 

I began to foam at the mouth. 

“COOKIES!!!!!” I screamed as I came crashing out of the pantry. My whole body was shaking. I hunched over the kitchen island, chest heaving, and grabbed its edges to steady myself. This was it: the proof I needed! MisterE didn’t love me. He had never loved me! This entire marriage was a charade and he was using cookies and oven mitts to finally end it all! 

Accurate representation of the moment I realized there were no cookies. Photo by Pixabay on

MisterE was on his feet, eyes locked on mine. He approached slowly, cautiously…a lion tamer approaching a panicked animal. I turned to face him. I was shifting my weight from foot to foot like a character in Mortal Kombat, ready to finish him. 

He slipped past me and into the pantry. I followed him with my eyes. A few seconds later he emerged with the cookies which he had inexplicably put on the shelf above the cookie shelf. ABOVE the cookie shelf! I was rabid! Was this real life?! 

I was just about to explode when MisterE waved the cookie box and placed it on the island beside me. While I was distracted by the motion of the box, he quickly wrapped his arms around me and pulled me into a hug. 

I instantly melted.

“You’re tired,” he whispered. “You’ve been working hard all week, I think you should get some more rest.”  I stayed in his embrace a little while longer before nodding in agreement. I ate a few cookies (okay, all the cookies), called in an order of Pad Thai, and went back to the bedroom to take the nap I had been fighting all day. 

That was it. Crisis averted. I just needed someone to tell me it was ok to rest. 

One thing we’ve learned over the years is that MisterE’s touch is my grounding wire. When he brushes past me in the kitchen, or high-fives my backside in the bathroom, it reminds me to refocus on the moment. 

The things I need to do tonight, tomorrow, and in 2024 will still be waiting for me when the time comes. I am not failing at life just because my Monday tasks need to be moved to Tuesday. I’m not failing myself because I’m tired and my body just needs me to stop. What I am is incurably human, and every now and then that means getting some rest. 

Hurricane has caught the scheduling bug… She “updates” our board daily. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, I’m afraid.

Now, don’t go feeling too sorry for MisterE. I don’t have dramatic fail days often, as I now know to schedule rest days. And maybe, just maybe he shouldn’t mess with a sister’s oven mitts… just in case. 

When was the last time you completely lost your cool, and what tricks do you use to bring yourself back to reality? Please, let me know in the comments! I’m always willing to try something new. 

Have fun! 


Hi, I'm Chioma Ikoku, a spirited explorer and a peace-loving homebody. I founded Casa Diem Life to help you combine the excitement of travel with the comfort of home, because I believe that adventure begins at home.

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