I’ve been gone for a while, eh? You noticed, didn’t you? And you missed me. I know you must have missed me, because I would miss me. Seriously. Look at my face! You know what I’ve been busy with? Really boring stuff. So boring in fact, that I had like, no material. And I still don’t! But I could feel you missing me, so guess what I’m going to do? I’m going to write a really boring post about really boring crap.
So, I’d like to begin by saying that I have been learning a lot about myself over the last few years, what with the children, school for the children, the mingling of grownups at the school for the children, writing this blog and my usual code red level of self assessment. It’s all internal observation over here! And a lot of the time, I don’t like what I see. Not just the questionable things I am learning about myself, but measures that I place on them. It’s as if I expect my life to be super fabulous and unusual, and myself to be perfect in every instance, utterly unfazed by any chaos or difficulties. To be totally honest, I am realizing that I thought I was done growing.
And it isn’t just me specifically, it’s my life. The grand total of all that is my life. I find myself shocked at the predictability of it, and how typical we are as a family, and I as a mother. I was so lackadaisical about becoming a wife and a mother. I was even lackadaisical about staying home with the kids! Sweet SIPNEL! I was even lackadaisical about childbirth! So, imagine my surprise when not one of those things turned out to be simple! It’s even become a sort of refrain: “Why can’t ONE SINGLE THING be easy?” I say it, then I think about the starving children all over the world begging for food and I feel like shit.
Today I had to scoop the cat poop, because my life is a freaking laugh a minute over here, and while I was scooping it I actually thought to myself, “Wow, this new cat litter has amazing clumping abilities!” That is an actual thought that went through my head. I think I actually gasped at the total simplemindedness of the thought, but then I had to allow myself to consider the truth: this is my life. I excel at things like loading the dishwasher and folding sheets. And when, recently, I began the arduous task of thinking about things that I am good at as I ponder a career change, the list that I came up with involved things like, “great at multitasking, excellent at time projection, laundry . . .” and it is troubling me.
There are days that I begin to feel as if I am slowly turning into dust, and one day, when the totality of how much I have given over to my kids, my house, my husband, my friends, my commitments, and my job overtakes me, I will just blow away and have nothing of myself left. Dramatic? Maybe, but I really do feel that way sometimes. I want to be a mother, a wife, a friend, etc. I chose those things, and I want them, but at times I can see that at some point I’m going to need to go in search of myself again. I can barely keep up with the mundane part of my life, so there isn’t room for the fantastic, and in order not to drown in laundry and dishes, I have to keep it all going. I am never not obligated to someone or something and it has become so overwhelming, that I can’t really enjoy any of it. It’s just all TOO MUCH.
I’m pretty sure that this is how the phrase “I need a Spa Day” came about.
And the growing! Good God! The growing! I am seeing things about myself that have always been there, but now, because I am a mom, are highlighted with a freaking strobe light! They are really hard things to admit to myself because while I am realizing them, I am also seeing that I have always been this way and always had these quirks. They make up who I am, even if they are embarrassing or difficult to be around. For example, I am incredibly impatient, and lose my temper over things that are all about me having control. I’m not the worst control freak on the planet, but I am definitely on the spectrum. And I get it—as moms, we truly feel that if we don’t control the little things, our entire lives will spin out of control. I also get that we aren’t in control in the first place. It’s like we’re all tethered to the back of a speedboat, and we’re desperately trying to hold on. I get it, but I am still, unconsciously, trying to control the people and things around me. It ain’t pretty, but it’s the truth.
The really hard stuff is coming up more recently because, as I will soon blog about, I need to do some really serious thinking about my professional future. This requires me to be pretty honest with myself about my limits, my strengths, and the basic reality of my situation. I can see a million obstacles with great clarity (I’m a pessimist! Add it to the list!), and I can see absolutely no clear path to any other career. (Low self esteem! Add it to the list!) My sensory integration issues (the largest revelation so far, which may require its very own post) make certain things impossible to consider, and the physical issues that are pushing me out of massage are making other things impossible to consider. Adding to it all is the fact that I am a mother.
I mean, really. I’m a mother. Sometimes that just hits me like a ton of bricks. So it isn’t all tripping the light fantastic over here, and I may be overwhelmed, confused, bored, and having an identity crisis, but the simple fact is I am a mother. That’s pretty cool, right? I mean, really, I grew babies inside of my freaking body! Way cool. And then, once they were sliced out of me, I fed them with my boob! Way freaking cool. And even for all my realized flaws, they love me. In fact, they love me more than anyone—simply, purely and without judgment. And in the end, that’s enough.