Saturday, November 5, 2011
During our last phone call we were talking about me being overwhelmed by life. She said something that she’s said to me before and is one of my favorite things to hear. She said, “Parenting (in general, parenting many young children, and parenting a child from ‘hard places’) is as hard as you think it is.” And I love because so many times people put it out there and I find myself thinking that if I was “better” and if I was parenting “better” then it would be easier. And the fact that I think this gig is hard is evidence that I’m doing it wrong and then Guilt and Shame enter from Stage Left and take over the drama. So I love her because she tells me that is wrong, she tells me that parenting feels hard because it IS hard. Love that.
But, as we were talking about my state of overwhelmed-ness she reminded me that I’m not necessarily being overwhelmed by the BIG PICTURE, but by the billions of details of life. Truth. It’s more like slowly sinking in quicksand and less like falling off a cliff. The benefit to this is that you can/I can deal with those little details easier than the big picture. It’s called problem-solving. I’m in a logistical nightmare of having three kids between the ages of almost 3-almost 5.
So today, during naptime when I was looking around my house (argh!) and thinking about life (argh!) and everything that I need/want/think I should be doing (argh! argh! argh!) I started to feel totally overwhelmed. But I remember our conversation and I vowed to settle myself down. Problem-solve. I needed to problem-solve.
I sat down (in the midst of a huge mess) with a cup of hot cocoa and I made a list of all the things that are stressing me out and taking up (precious) space in my brain. And yes, I’m going to share that list with you.
Full disclosure here…I’m writing this post when I should probably be problem-solving my list for solutions, but I feel better just having written them down so I’m blogging now.
1. National Novel Writing Month: I feel guilt for participating and I feel guilty when I’m not participating
3. My husband’s relationship with Boohoo and my relationship with Boohoo
4. Sibling fighting
5. Kids not obeying
6. A general atmosphere of meanness that’s infested this house
7. The kitchen is always a wreck
8. The bathrooms needed cleaned
9. Pickle is not staying in his bed at night
10. The minivan is gross
11. Money for Christmas, paying the bills, the tax credit, saving for a house, I have a bill I need to pay, college loans
12. Our “School Center” is a wreck
13. Toys aren’t being put away
14. I’m no longer losing weight
15. My heel still hurts
16. I have a blanket order I have to finish
17. Traveling to see family during December
18. Not getting enough time alone with my husband
19. Pickle’s potty-training has derailed completely
20. Boris needs to go to the vet
21. Piles of clutter
22. Peanut is having tantrums/bad attitude
23. Boohoo’s attachment problems
24. Pickle’s baddness!
25. Kids’ clothes need to be sorted
26. The trash needs to be taken to the dumpster
27. The garage is a death-trap
28. The hall closet barely closes
29. The bathroom door upstairs needs a doorknob and blinds
30. Stains on the carpet need to be scrubbed
31. I hate our bedspread
32. The shower curtain is growing mold
33. I haven’t bough fair-trade coffee yet
34. I’m not getting my Quiet Time
35. Projects I’m not working on: Happy Birthday Banner, Albums for the kids, and this ABC sheet thing
36. I can’t print anything because our printer has neither ink nor the software we need to hook it up to our new laptops
37. I keep forgetting to give the kids’ vitamins
38. I want to go places/do things
39. I have decorations from my Gram’s house and from Ethiopia
So, that’s the list. Like I said, I haven’t DONE anything about those things and some of them I just need to get over, but I feel better for having made the list.
Anything you need to detox today?
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
- I was really hungry by dinnertime. We had fish sticks for dinner. I now feel slightly sick.
- We got a new kitten. Did I tell you? His name is Boris. He rocks and is healthy. Can I get an “amen”?
- I started a new exercise dvd set. I’ve been doing thirty minutes three times a week (to re-acclimate myself to exercise) and I’m digging it through vast amounts of muscle pain.
- I’m planning a post for Saturday (if NaNoWriMo) cooperates all about poop. Stay tuned.
- I might be taking my kids to the Capitol, which yes, seems like a colossal mistake.
- Adoption Tax Return…still haven’t gotten that.
- Have you seen the “Glamour Shots” commercial for the holidays? I don’t think that’s getting the Baby Jesus Stamp of Approval .
- I heard about the Kardashian divorce on CNN. I didn’t know she had been married. I don’t know anything about her. However, I object to her divorce being news. I can think of about oh…anything else…that is more newsworthy.
- I’m suffering from House Envy still and Cost of Living in Metropolis Outrage and Can We Make It Outside of the Military Wondering
- We had a flipping wonderful Halloween. It felt so “normal”. There’s a brief video compendium courtesy of my husband on the Zehlahlum Family FB page.
- I never got around to making a “good” list of goals for this year of my life. I guess I’m just taking this year off from…accomplishing things….
- Did I ever mention that someone tried to steer us away from the city we want to live in because there were too many “middle class black people” there. There was a little bit more to the comment than that, but that’s a fair summary.
- Our babysitter mailed us a coupon for five free hours of babysitting. I start to drool every time I think about cashing in.
- I tried to read “Wicked”. Apparently I’m the only person in the world who doesn’t love it. I don’t have the spare brain power to follow the socio-political climate of Oz. Sorry.
- We’re still church hunting, which I hate. We were going to a very diverse church (that a blog reader told me about!), but we got turned away from their childcare because it was full. That’s a no-go for us. I know there’s a renewed movement to have kids in the service the whole time. I’m not a member of that movement. Three preschoolers = I need to be able to count on Sunday School for them or I might as well stay home.
- And I’m off to raid a Halloween pumpkin full of candy…you’re welcome that I’m stopping this post.
Monday, October 31, 2011
I know most of you are focused on today and the festivities and the sugar highs and the costumes, but I have another focus. I’m focusing on the future.
Tomorrow, National Novel Writing Month begins (NaNoWriMo to it’s friends). And yes, now I’m going to do something very boring and write about writing. It’s not the first time that I’ve done so. If you want to know how many novels I’ve written (and not published) and what other book I wrote (and not published) you can read “Booking It”. If you want to read about my youthful humiliation and my last (unfulfilled) urge to write a novel you can check out “About Writing”…which may be one of the least original post titles ever.
A few months ago I was certain that I was not going to be participating in NaNoWriMo this year because for the love of Pete, writing a novel takes a lot of emotional energy my emotional energy spigot gets opened in the morning and by the time my kids are in bed my
flask keg tank is empty. I’m not even joking. I had to quit watching “Parenthood” because I was too drained for their drama…too drained to sit on my couch and watch someone else’s pretend drama…. That’s a lot of drained! So yeah, writing my own novel seemed as feasible as, oh, flicking my daughter in the forehead and healing our attachment problems.
So did I write this whole post to tell you about what I’m not doing tomorrow? Nope. Did I heal my daughter or discover a fount of emotional energy that I didn’t have a few months ago? Nope. Did I arrange for a month of childcare so I could I achieve a few personal goals? Nope, but I think that’s a great idea if you could swing it! Did I arrange to suck the brain of my friend Brooke who actually puts forth the effort that it takes to write a novel? Nope, but I totally would have if I’d have thought about it earlier!
I’m participating in NaNoWriMo this year, but I am going to stay off the official site so I don’t get sucked in because I don’t need another way to spend my time not writing.
Why am I doing this?
I have no idea. I just have to. I’ve let it go too long. It’s going to be an uphill battle not just in terms of a busy life, but because I’ve let myself fall out of the routine of writing regularly. My skills, my brains, my will-power muscle are all puny.
This month will be more about finding my determination and developing habit than it will be about flowing prose or intricate plot. This novel will be just for me. It will be unpolished, messy, and filled with filler (totally expected during NaNo). It will be about getting the words out, getting the story down, doing what I love even when I hate it.