I've been writing a lot of posts into the Notes app on my iPhone, but I haven't posted any of them here. One is a Dear John letter to someone who really is named John, a very raw letter that is mostly about the rage, confusion and sadness that I can't seem to get over from a situation he had no control over. But he probably doesn't want to hear it. And most of the others are just bitching, venting, trivial little annoyances, First World Problems that I don't think anyone wants to hear about. The reality is my life is pretty damn good, and I forget that day to day, when the dog pukes in the kitchen, or I have a cold I can't shake even after two rounds of antibiotics, or my youngest son climbs a tree in the wilderness behind the neighbor's backyard and emerges covered in poison ivy.
Maybe if I'd been really good at still posting here all along, even the little things, instead of telling those stories to Twitter or Facebook, it wouldn't feel so fake to pull up typepad and try to put together a post. It wouldn't feel like so much effort to write something of substance. But it does.
2011 has been a banner year in my house, if by banner you mean truly weird and kind of schitzophrenic. We've had really big highs, really hard lows, and a range of emotional tugging that would send even the most stoic of personalities into therapy. And I, as you know, am not the most stable person you've ever met. And therapy isn't covered by insurance, don't EVEN get me started.
My job, which I adore, is only stressful in that the hours are inflexible, and adjusting to that has been harder than I thought. After 10 years of having Fridays off and the ability to float early for doctor appointments and long lunches, now I'm 8:15-4, and to arrange to be gone from work requires getting a substitute to cover me. If you know me at all you know that I generally find it much easier to do things myself than to explain it to someone else, and the thought of someone coming into my space and messing up what I've been working on sends this control freak into a tailspin. So I don't do it, unless I really have to. The measure of what causes me to miss work has been raised exponentially.
Perhaps that all would have been easier had my husband's job not taken him four states away Monday through Friday, leaving me mostly to single parent, and to beg and bother friends for carpools and favors that I really can't repay right now. But this is the hand we were dealt.
No, this is the hand we took, actually. As someone used to say, we bought our ticket, we knew what we were getting into. I try not to complain about that because I sent him off, knowing it was for the benefit of our little family overall. But we may have overestimated our stamina for it.
I'm reaching a point of meltdown, but I'm trying to keep my head down and just keep moving. It's like I'm running a marathon I was unprepared for, but I'm determined to finish. I don't know what shape I'll be in at the end.
Or maybe the problem is that there's no end in sight. If I could see the end, I could know that I could get there, pace myself correctly, dig deep only when I really have to. But I find myself digging deep just to get out bed in the morning, too many mornings.
I have friends I want to see, spend some time with over lunch or drinks or coffee, but there's always something else within my own house keeping me from taking that time for myself. I'd like to get to a yoga class, but there's too many soccer practices or trumpet lessons or frankly, I'm just too damn tired on the nights we have no activities to even stretch out into some yoga positions on my own bedroom floor, and I fall into bed, literally, every night. I've never been so tired.
I've gained ten pounds. I snack all the time. I feel like I need fuel to push through this. I've never been an emotional eater, I was always someone who stopped eating when stressed this heavily, and yet I can't keep my hands out of the kid's snacks in the pantry. And yet my body isn't moving enough burn the calories needed to keep up wtih the intake, because I'm so tired. It's a catch-22 I don't know how I fell into. Or how to get out. My metabolism came to a screeching halt a few years ago, and I knew it then but had the flexibility to make that a priority. Now, like I said, I'm just trying to push through. Apparently by puishing down 3000 calories a day.
Today and tomorrow I don't have to work, school is out. As a para instead of a fully certified teacher, I'm not required to be there - pretty much anytime the kids are off, I'm off. So I had some time to take a bath this morning, and go to Costco leisurely, and run some laundry without feeling like I was gonna fall over into the basket snoring. Halloween is Monday, Thanksgiving is a month away, and Christmas break just a few weeks after that.
I can do this. But maybe I need to let myself vent a little more, regardless of whether anyone cares to hear it.
Today in the car I heard these three songs, in this order, and then I felt better.
"Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down.."
"And I want to thank you, for giving me the best day of my life."
The song just makes me happy. Granted it reminds me of someone who's no longer here, someone who should be. Someone who gave in to the demons, who forgot what this song was all about.
"Never give in. Never, never, never, never -- in nothing, great or small, large or petty -- never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy." ~ Winston Churchill
I'm trying not to be my own enemy.