I have a friend who always remarks that I'm "unflappable," that nothing seems to get me too riled up, and I think, for the most part, I would agree with that description. This summer's constant firestorm, however, put my ability to hold it together to the test repeatedly. For two months now, we've been battling one thing after the other, barely making ends meet, working our freaking asses off, and I have flapped on many occasions. I'm finding the need to have a mini-breakdown come up about once a week—just a full-on cry-it-out affair. It's so cathartic. Nothing seems as insurmountable after a good long cry.
All that said, I also feel so grateful for whatever innate ability I seem to possess for not stressing and freaking out over the little things, or even the big ones for that matter. As much as I appreciated my crying spells this summer, I don't think I would still be sane if I couldn't remain unflappable in the moment. It's obviously coming out in other ways though...
Last night I hosted my little knitting group, and everyone doted on me and expressed their concern despite the fact that I hadn't even unloaded on them about the extent of the mess surrounding me. It made me realize that I'm not "myself" right now and I don't need to say anything for people to notice.
For one thing, I look terrible. I have this unexplained rash on my face, some sort of Rosacea, that I have succumbed to treating with an antibiotic ointment despite my better judgement. I've never had anything like it before. I haven't changed anything in my diet or general surroundings. It's probably stress, right? It started about two months ago, and at first my plan of attack was to ignore it. Then I was too busy to deal with it. Then I just didn't look in the mirror for a couple weeks. Now, it's really getting to me. So much so that I'm willing to rub this gunk on my face twice a day. I just want the rash to go away!
I suppose another dead give away was the mess in my living room. Last week I started a rather messy work project on my living room floor during knitting night, and when everyone arrived last night it was exactly as I'd left it the week before. If you've ever been to my house, you would know how bizarre it is for me to leave a mess anywhere for long. I'm tidy, let's leave it at that. I just haven't had the time or energy to deal with it.
I feel tired. I look tired. I am tired. And yet, the last thing I want to do when Ella goes to bed is forsake my "me" time. I want to cut loose and escape. I want to get caught up in books and movies and chat with friends about their mundane problems and exciting lives. The last thing I want to do is go to bed just so I can get up and start the hard part all over again.
How can I balance sanity, motherhood, working full time, money stress, physical health and being a good wife? It just doesn't seem do-able. And by good wife, I just mean supporting the man I married, my friend, the father of my child. He needs a lot of support right now... It all comes down to feeling disappointed in myself for not being able to do everything as well as I want to and trying to just get over it already. I don't know who or what instilled in me this sensibility that the things I choose to do had better be done perfectly, but I wish it weren't quite so forceful. It just makes the feeling of failure that much more profound.
I remember being told that I could have everything, do anything and be as successful as I try to be. I wish someone had told me that all three of those things aren't quite simpatico.
I know I need to use this outlet again. So much has happened since I last felt serious about blogging that I couldn't possibly update or get back on track, but I do miss this source of reflection and I know I'll kick myself in 5 years if I don't get back at it. Let's see if I can stick to it!