Tomorrow is my birthday. As a present to myself I have allowed a certain “slack” for the last couple of weeks. I’m still adjusting to the routine change that happened over the fall break with Thanksgiving. I don’t mean this to sound like a Dear John, but Dear John:
My thoughts are scattered and translucent. I haven’t been very good with making things work lately. The month of November all but killed me. I am still recovering and picking up pieces finding new footing. The dark has settled in and I try to remember that the shortest day of the year is a mere 9 days away and then we start to turn again and face the sun.
I went on and one to my newly arrived to the Northwest friends about what it takes to make it through the winters here. But I didn’t happen to notice the boards of my soapbox were cracking beneath me, as I stood there so smug. I feel like as an adult now, nothing can phase me, but yet I find myself blindsided by predicament still often enough.
I’m still scrambling to the top of my heap of a life and trying to get a handle on things. Get my vices organized.
Ah change. I like to be in control of it and I honestly do not feel like I’m in that seat right now. My brain waves have changed, is there some astrological event? I need an explanation; if I can’t control it, dammit, I will understand it.
There is just one more week of school before winter break and our routine will still be in flux. I am really hoping that January and the New Year bring about some fixes. My mood is fine, its just everything around me is shifting. I feel like such a bystander.
Coming upon this week's holiday, my daughter created the ubiquitous "I am thankful for..." school assignment. I'm all for having someone else instill a high moral code and sense of patriotism in my child. I'm the first to admit I am an armchair parent. (Although it usually looks more like shouting orders from behind my laptop at the kitchen table while my feral progeny chase danger around the circular layout that is my house.)
Anyway, as I just admitted to being a lazy parent, I have also been a lazy blogger lately as well. (But I am one very active and productive facebooker.) After being chastised by some other bloggers for whom I hold the utmost respect, I decided to throw a little something together.
I had my oldest daughter's, Ivy, parent teacher conference today which lasted all of 15 minutes because she is just doing really well and there wasn't much to say other than she is great. But this week in school, Ivy came home with that annual "I am thankful for..." assignment I mentioned. Her tiny scrawl provoked my throat to constrict and yanked tiny tears from my eyes.
Before I get to that, let me preface. We have very good family friends with whom we have celebrated Thanksgiving for the last five, maybe even 6 years. Their son, Sam, was Ivy's first best friend. He was the first friend she chose for herself and the feeling was mutual. Peas and carrots, those two for the primary years before they began Kindergarten at different schools. They don't see each other very often during the year, but we reserve Thanksgiving for them always.
Here is what Ivy wrote:
"I am thankful for..."
playing with me. You ar are
a good friemnd. I love play
ing with you. I am so thank
ful because all the stuff
I have wreitten is true.
As a friend I Love you. Since
I am a good friend I am so
thankfull. I can't wait
until thanksgiving. I hope
that sameday we will play
again. I just hope so much
we will be together some
I spent about an hour and a half on the phone with my sister this morning. Thank the fates for my older sister cause it worked out in my favor; being the younger in the relationship gives me the benefit of her experiences. She called me specifically so I could bitch and moan at her. And with that opportunity, I forfeited 2/3 of my morning while the wee ones galloped off to glue multi-hued paper together, sign along to the Itsy Bitsy Spider and bash graying rainbow dough into someone else’s tabletop. But I feel better for it.
In fact, I have been whining for the last two weeks to the detriment of several of my closest friendships, I am sure. I am slowly recovering from my funk and working out the details. Shaping my ship so out with it I can be.
One needs to protest one’s life to one’s friends. It's the hallmark of every female relationship I have / have had. As I have poured my heart over the phone and to any hapless soul willing to make eye contact above my scowl the past week, I have worked out the trouble I feel in and figure my way out. So now I’m done feeling sorry for myself and am back to just getting through the day. Usually when I start feeling that weary depression seeping at the edges of my life, I think of the mothers in the Sudan. What those women go through every day to get to the end and how in comparison, I have very little to complain about. But I let down my guard a couple of weeks ago and let all that pity affect my attitude. I think I started to feel indignant when I mentioned what had me down to some folks and didn’t hear the response I wanted. I like my girlfriends to bob their heads along with my tirade and “amen, Sister” to my litany of complaints. But there were a few… someone who took the other side or offered the perspective I already know… who did not care to indulge me.
The catalyst for strife in relationship arguments usually transpires when one party gripes and the other commits the offense of actually trying to solve the problem. Men often make this mistake with the women in their lives. We do not want answers, we do not want your suggestions; we want the satisfaction of being in the most pitiful one-upmanship position. Dammit, when I have something to bitch about, I want you to listen and agree with me entirely. (Unless I am paying you $80 an hour, in which case suggestions are helpful and certainly welcomed.)
It does not appease me to hear how hard it must be for my poor husband to be gone 18 of the 30 days this month. I want you to stroke my poor soul and mummer soothing coos at me. I don’t want to hear how much of a sacrifice it is for HIM, you are to “tsk” and shake you head in my defense. I don’t care that I am lucky that he even has a job… oh wait. Yes I am. After reading about how Citibank laid off 10 percent of their employees over this morning’s coffee, I am glad my husband has a job. In fact, it was his job as he stayed out of town over the weekend, to fire many people in his employ - just before the holidays. So now that I have sung my blues, I can dry my eyes and look for that sharp silver edge in the clouds. I can think again about the mothers in Darfur and be thankful that my life is as easy as it is.
I’m in a funk. I don’t know if it's the full moon, knowing the wet that seeps from the skies has only begun and will last until June, or the fact that the father of my children has been gone since before we decided a new president. Maybe I’m just tired. Maybe I don’t have anything on the horizon to plan and keep me preoccupied. Maybe.
I haven’t had a funk like this in a long time and I’m having a hard time pulling myself out of whatever this is. I finally mustered the energy to clean. It helps me organize my thoughts and an uncluttered surrounding gives me that much less anxiety to sort the clutter in my brain. The clutter: it is backed up – congealed like the gelatinous goo still spewing like the viral mucous glue we all suffered through last week.
I’ve worked through the transition and we are settled into our new routine, but I am still unsettled. The worst was a few days ago but issuing a parade of lament to several friends seems to have eased some of the troubled thoughts. I still don’t feel the energy I usually have. The motivation is lost. Still this funk.