This is not about plants. I just wanted to use the word suck in the title. What sucks? There is so much to do. So. Much. To do. I have not shaved my legs, but I overdid my eyebrows. Middle ground is somewhere in there, colonized by dust mites and maybe visible through the bald spot right in the middle of my right eyebrow. Maybe.
I’m sitting in the back yard. It’s sunny. I held my expectation that my son nap, and after a woeful and physical toddler-versus-dictator battle, he succumbed to sweet sleep. I’m holding his hands a lot lately, again, because hitting is the current jagged developmental edge. I hope he sails smoothly through, to the next little swirl in life, and soon.
My daughter has climbed into the birch tree and fashioned a fort up there. I buy sheets at goodwill and use them for art drop cloths, summer picnic blankets, and general anti-mess paraphernalia. She’s got all of them tied up there; so proud and happy in her little haven. She’ll be up there until dinner, when she will cry as we disassemble it, and be angry with me.
I could leave it up, but it will be covered in bird droppings, pollen, and sap shortly. Then grumpy mommy will be up in that tree, tearing down a load of laundry and clenching my jaw. I wish her fairy friends could help us with a magic-fueled middle ground here, too.
I started the day looking at all the things that need to get done. It’s nice outside. They can not be handed off to anyone else. I will have to do one at a time. They will take forever. Some will be entirely messed up because of password issues, or website maintenance, and other little electronic surprises.
And I knew, with certainty, and based on experience: I will be holed up, inside, on the computer, all day. I will get tighter, and more frustrated, and more uncomfortable, until my kids think I’m a jerkweed and my husband speculates what supplement I stopped taking.
Instead, I’m outside, writing, and my child thinks I’m a jerkweed because she has to put her fort away at the end of the day. We rock climbed today. I have to go to the store. I might take a bath and shave my legs. But mostly, I will do one damned thing from that pile and go to bed early. This is what success feels like for me.
So many times I’ve gone the other route – and wasted so many hours of my life trying to get it all done so I can relax. It’s seldom worked, but mostly, it’s sucked. So many days feeling angry that the sun is down, my family was outside playing, and I was inside dealing with all the little stupid processes that are required of us now – and their glitches.
Life is getting harder, tighter, and more overwhelming. We have more anxiety now than we’ve ever had. There are more ways to check out, and they are trickier – like the emperor’s new clothes. They appear as if they are something, but they are insubstantial, a distraction from our lives. I am shedding these as much as I am able.
I won’t apologize for taking down the treehouse fairy fort tonight, nor for forcing the issue of a nap. I will throw something together for dinner and then be on the computer taking care of some time-sensitive issue I may or may not be successful in completing. I will repeat, several times, “Mommy’s not available right now.” I will wish it looked a little different, a little more gentle and nurturing, a little more like the blogs say it should be, but it doesn’t. This is what our lives look like.
This is what my life looks like, and I have to trust there is just the right amount of gentleness, because I am giving my family all that I’ve got.