Wow.

13 Feb

I say that almost a million times a day.  

“Wow!  You’re so strong!”  

“Wow!  You’re really working hard on that!”

“Wow!  You peed all over the floor despite sitting on the potty!”

There’s apparently a right and a wrong way to praise kids, but I don’t think I could care about that even if I tried.  (I did try; I still don’t care.)  I have enough other things to worry about, which includes entirely made-up scenarios that require a lot of time and effort to freak out about.  

I don’t really have anything to say or write about.  Currently, I’m explaining what a pirouette is to Zoe and listening to Fanfare for the Common Man in recognition of the Winter Olympics.  Earlier, I made meatballs.  I’m just dripping with sarcasm but that also makes me sloggy and slow.  

I’m not really sure what this blog is all about.  But at least I wrote something today. 

Today, I feel bad.

7 Feb

Sometimes everything just seems so sad.  The world is just marred  and scarred and ugly.  Every time I yell at my kids because I can’t control myself; every time I wake up with that old friend draped over my back bringing me further down; every time I realize how selfish and self-centered I am:  this is the place I live.  This is where I wake up and eat breakfast and wish for things to be different but can’t seem to change.  This:  is life sometimes; is overwhelming; is only temporary.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll wake up and the heaviness will be gone and my ability to hold my tongue and breathe quiet, tranquil breaths will come back and the fire-breathing dragon will be hibernating again.  Maybe tomorrow will seem bright and new instead of blinding and cruel.  Maybe everything will be okay again for a little while tomorrow.

Tomorrow feels like a brick in my throat.  Jumbled words in my brain trying to make their pitiful way out feel like punishment.  It’s times when my mind is so clouded like this that I realize how much I prize my intelligence and ability to think and form words and pictures and understand things.  I can’t right now.  And I don’t know when I’ll be able to again.

 

This is it, isn’t it?  This is life with little kids.  With little kids and ongoing depression.  Isn’t it?  This is a heaviness that is friendly in its familiarity but is suffocating nonetheless.

 

And I write these things down and just… what is this?  It is so melodramatic.  It is so bourgeois.  It is so very real.  This is why I hate myself sometimes; can’t I just calm down?  If I tried hard enough?  I must be doing something wrong?  I must be doing something wrong.

 

I know it’s crazy, but sometimes I’m glad to be depressed.  Maybe because it’s the only thing I feel like I’m good at.  Maybe because it’s so worn in for me already.  It’s different.  It’s… not fun.  Or funny.  But people who are interesting throughout history have been depressed and did cool stuff. 

Then– obviously– other times, depression is like cotton balls shoved deep in my mouth; like desiccants poured down my throat, in my eyes.  It is stifling and stiff and sore.  It is hard to move or think.  It is foggy and cloudy and misty and bad.  It is bad.  It feels so bad to feel like this.

 

I want this post to have a point, and it just doesn’t.  There are just real problems in the world, and this isn’t one of them.

What makes you a blogger?

22 Jan

I’d really like to write more.  But what is the point?  There are probably about (and this is just a ballpark) one billion bloggers.  And, out of those, approximately 990 million of those bloggers are moms of some kind and that’s what they write about.  And within that figure are a bunch of subgenres to the Mommy Blog:  crunchy, angry, funny, draw-y, feminist-y, Christian-y, Atheist-y, yoga-y.

But what am I?  What is my niche?  I’m a mom, but I don’t have any parenting advice.  I would never use the word “crunchy” without being ironic.  I’m pretty angry, but that doesn’t seem like something to write about all the time.  (Why did I make angry a subcategory to begin with?  Who in the heck is an Angry Mommy Blogger?)  I’m funny, but I don’t know that I find much funny about my life all the time.  And so forth and so on…

So, I guess what it comes down to is this:  I don’t feel like my voice has much to offer in hurricane of blogs already swirling around on the web.  (Also, web?  Who says that anymore?  Me, apparently.)  And my usual plan when I start feeling like my worth in an area is negligible, is to just quit and not even try.  But I want to figure myself out.  I want to embrace my Myers-Briggs type (ISFP, you know, if you’re into that kind of thing) and integrate that information into my understanding of myself.  I want to learn to play my ukulele, and work on the art project in my mind, and exercise, and read so many books.

And part of learning about myself is writing.  And so I guess I’ll just keep doing it.  Why not?  There’re a billion others doing the same thing, so I guess one more won’t hurt.

 

Snowed In

7 Jan

There’s nothing like adult snow days.  You almost never get them after high school, and they’re even rarer as an adult out of college.  They’re like the snowflakes that make them up:  magical, unique, and fragile.

But you don’t get snow days when you have kids.  I’m trying to imagine what that would be like to have a snow day with kids…  I think it would basically go like this:

You wake up, everything in the whole state is cancelled due to mountains of snow and subarctic temps, and you’re kids just go, “Oh, okay, well, we’ll just take care of ourselves today.  I mean, crying is cancelled today, too, right?”  And you’re all like, “yes, yes it is.”  So, the kids make their meals, and put themselves down for naps, and don’t make messes they can’t clean up on their own, and– most important of all– change their own/each other’s diapers.  This is the magic of the Snow Day.  It should even make your kids forget to be kids.

Yeah.  I’m maybe a little delirious.  Maybe even snow blinded.  I might even have damaged ear drums from the copious amounts of screaming that have happened in the last 48 hours.  So. Much. Screams.

 

Hoping everyone is safe, warm, and has ear plugs and beer (or whatever you need in your particular situation). 

But, seriously, we wouldn’t have left the house in all probability even if we could have.  

This is the New Year.

1 Jan

I always think the New Year will feel like something magical.  Like I’m an etch-a-sketch with lines all over me from the previous year; and then the New Year comes and shakes me clean.  That’s what I want.  I want everything to be gone and for the “new” in New Year to be transformative.

But you have to make it meaningful if you want it to hold any power.  Especially when you stay home with your kids all the time (or always do the same thing nearly every, single day of the year with very few exceptions); the days all run into each other and slide into weeks and then months and suddenly a year has passed and what even happened?  This is my experience, anyway.  So the beginning of another year is just another day.  Unless I make myself see it as anything else.

What does a new year mean?  Usually people take it as a chance to start over, get a fresh start, yadda yadda.  Basically, it’s meaningless.  Right?  I mean, I start over every day.  I have to.  Because, unless I just had a (EXTREMELY RARE) stellar day, the next day’s always my chance to start over.  I’m always starting over.  And over.  And over, and over, and over.  Until the day all my kids move out and I sleep for 1 million days straight and wake up to grandkids who I spoil rotten and feed ice cream every chance I get (I’m looking at you, Mimi).  And then I start over again, there, too.

So, maybe I’ll come up with some “goals” to “achieve” this year.  They’d be pretty boring.  I’m pretty boring right now in life.  I’m such a Debbie Downer; my goals are like, “get out of bed at least most days, probably; but if you don’t, that’s okay, too.”  No, I have some things I want to work on this year.  My biggest hope is to grow as a parent and person.

Is that too vague?  I mostly want to stop screaming at my kids.  I want to work on controlling myself when I lose my temper.  I want to continue to find out what I’m interested in and pursue those things.  I want to find quiet times to reflect and pray and just be silent with my thoughts.  I want to be alive and happy about it.  I want to keep trying.

So, here’s to the New Year; even if it isn’t any different.

Dear Blog

8 Dec

I’ve been putting off writing anything for a while now.  And after hearing a few things from a couple different people over the last little while, I’ve decided to barf out something positive (possibly even up-lifting, but I promise nothing) for once on my little bloggity-blog.

Well, let’s see… what would I consider a “positive” in my life right now?

  • reading/joining a book club
  • my marriage
  • when my kids are sweet (I know, please stop judging that)
  • supplements that help me feel like I’m not depressed for the first time in a decade (sorry, that’s kind of heavy, but still a plus)
  • learning to code
  • envisioning an “art” to make
  • cuddling babies
  • writing lists that make little to no sense
  • oh, wait!  the group of friends I try to get together with and pray with
  • and!  reading C.S. Lewis’ Till We Have Faces which has both bettered and ruined me.  I know.  I’m so dramatic.

So, there.  I have a great life!  I actually think I’m happy?  But I’m not sure.  I’m probably happy.  Yeah.  Weird.

 

What if you’re just sensitive?

7 Oct

I’m not sure what I’m going to say, but, like usual, that isn’t going to stop me from writing and letting the whole world watch me stumble through something half-thought out.

 

I’ve always been a crier.  Well, at least since puberty.  So maybe I could blame it on hormones or the (near constant) depression that I used to deal with.  But, the older I get, the more insecurities I shed, the longer I’ve been in counseling the more I realize I might just be this way.

Oh, what a horrible realization that has been.  THIS WAY.  Who in the world wants to be the crying girl?  No one.  No one wants to be the girl who gets her feelings hurt easily or cries at commercials or is saddened easily by just living.  I’ve gotten better at the first thing (somewhat); I finally learned how to not take things personally and so not be hurt by every little thing that ever happens to or around me.  (Pro Tip:  Just say, “I’m not taking this personally” over and over until that is your actual reaction to things.  I’m not kidding– that is all I did and somehow, perhaps magically, it works.)

But the other day my 4 year old did in fact make me cry.  Why, you ask?  Oh… in the literal sense, she just refused to put on her clothes when I asked.  But it was just another example of my perceived failings as a mother:  my child is constantly naked, unwilling to dress herself although she is capable, and disobedient.  What could I do?  Usually I lose my temper; this time I just lost the feeling of having much dignity.  

I think crying symbolizes weakness, unfortunately.  I think every day I walk a little farther from that lie, but it’s something I hold pretty deeply in my heart.  I know that I’ve only ever seen my mom cry 3 or so times in my life.  I know everyone gets pretty awkward pretty fast when you cry in front of them.  I know I hear things about women in the workplace and how you should never let anyone see you cry.

And, yet, I still cry a lot.  I cry because Life is simply too hard to not.  Because there is an unbearable heaviness in my chest sometimes that makes getting out of bed that much harder.  Because my kids don’t listen, and I have no idea what I’m doing.  Because I got married to a man who wasn’t sure about me.  (Side note:  he is sure about me now, so I don’t cry about that so much anymore.)  Because “who am I and what do I believe” is a question I am constantly thinking about or ignoring and seems to matter so much but has no answer (and might not ever).

And sometimes I cry because someone says a piece of criticism to me.  Even kindly put, I’ll still cry.  And I think this is seen as me not handling the critique well… but I don’t really know how to take it any other way, I guess.  I think this particular flavor of tears has to do with chronic feelings of unworthiness (working on it!) and fear that when people find out that I’m “bad” (whatever that means), they’ll be done with me.

But I also cry because I gave birth to a perfectly healthy baby boy after hours and hours of labor and threat of C-section and should dysplasia and he is beautiful and crying and alive.  And because I love my husband so much for the first time that it actually feels like something in my body when I think of him.  And that God loves me in real ways every once in a while that washes away all thoughts of disbelief and fear of rejection.

So, whatever.  I cry.  Big deal.  Maybe one day I’ll believe tears aren’t so bad… but that’s probably not today, is it?