I cried this morning. HUGE crocodile tears of exhaustion and emotion. It’s one of the first times I’ve just let it all out since September…so unlike me to hold things in…but when those floodgates opened, they just wouldn’t stop.
As always, I felt better after a good cry (like Holly Hunter in the movie Broadcast News). Maybe I should do it more often. It might scare those around me who seem to think I have it all together (HA HA HA), but I’m all about honesty. Where would we be if we all tried to act perfect and buttoned up?
I tried that approach when I was a new mom. Tried to have the perfect house, the well-dressed baby, the concealer under my eyes, a fashionable diaper bag, and a finger on the pulse of what was “in” and what was “out”.
I’d frequently avoid having people over…worried my house was too small or too cluttered or too messy or too outdated or not pulled together for company. I missed so many opportunities to just hang out and connect.
I wasn’t a shut-in…I’d go to other folks’ houses or meet at the library or mommy-and-me playgroups, but even there, I’d be checking everything out, wondering how to make myself better.
It was exhausting.
These days, I don’t wear makeup. I don’t wear the latest fashion…I dress for comfort. I have
some many circles under my eyes; a shower is something I consider “optional unless necessary.” The battery in my front doorbell needs replacement, probably because friends and neighbors know they can drop by if they need something. I’ll still apologize for my messy, cluttered house, but the guests are welcome.
I’m writing for a living. I’m happy. I’m ecstatic, actually. I’m finding my way through this new journey. Slowly, slowly, slowly I’m coming up for air and finding ways to ask for help getting everything done that needs to happen. I’ve declined projects and delegated some responsibilities that others can do–far more efficiently than me. It feels good to set some boundaries…and yet I’m still amazed at how overwhelming the little things in life can be.
For instance, let me break down Wednesday:
Dropped kids at school at 9:05.
Went home and peeked at daughter’s rabbit who’s recovering from a hysterectomy (we’re told it will increase her lifespan). She’s wearing a collar that prevents her from chewing her stitches. After making sure the collar wasn’t strangling her, I administered her 3 prescriptions (two antibiotics and one bunny painkiller…who knew?), then drove to Wisconsin to visit my grandfather who is currently in Hospice Care. He is my last living grandparent. I cannot bring myself to write about him right now, but he means everything to me.
Following a brief visit with him in his nursing home, I drove back to Illinois and schlepped my daughter and her friend to their theater rehearsal. The chaos and nervous energy was overwhelming and exilarating while it lasted. Watched a run through of the show and saw how nervous and proud my daughter was to be up on the stage with professional actors. During the performance, I checked my smartphone and received an email about “girl problems” from a fellow parent; my heart ripped in half. Looked at my daughter up on that stage, knowing I’d need to drag her back into reality to ask about why her friend’s feelings might have been hurt. Such a roller coaster I didn’t feel like riding.
The rehearsal ended at 10:45 p.m…drove another child actor home, then asked my daughter about the girl issue at school. Tears flowed (hers down her cheeks, mine in my heart, realizing once again that life is messy, unpredictable, painful and challenging). Reassured daughter that a thoughtful apology and a promise to change some behavior might help the situation…and that much of life is choosing the right way to correct our mistakes.
Helped my daughter administer “round two” of bunny antibiotics and painkillers (wondered what the street value would be for these items and if they’re ever abused by their pet owners), tucked daughter into bed, and went to kitchen computer to write two articles for the following day’s Patch.com Around Town column. Hit the pillow after 2:00am and started the process over again this morning.
THUS the tears. And the shadows under eyes. And the slight irritability. I’m trying to keep it all in check, but I have to say, it felt SO GOOD to have a good cry. I laugh out loud thinking of how busy life is these days, and how I used to work full time in advertising, wondering what those “stay-at-home moms” actually DID with their time.