No one ever said it would be easy. But good grief I didn’t think it’d be so hard.
Just life. The grown-up part of it. Now. Being post-30, with children, attempting to continue to make your own path.
Decisions. So many decisions.
I’m sitting at my “desk” (the kitchen table, because I moved my actual desk out of our home office and it’s now sitting in our living room/kitchen because I can’t make up my mind to sell it online or donate it or shove it into storage because I’m nostalgic about it, because I’m nostalgic about everything), with my elbows resting on a pile of forms I’m supposed to fill out to do this fundraiser thing for my daughter’s preschool. I had no idea this kind of stuff started in preschool. I need to decide what to do. Do I just fill out the form and fall in line and go ask for donations and do the whole bit? Do I just write a check out of pocket for $25 and call it a day? Do I forgo the entire program because I can’t stand even the thought of a fundraiser for anything? Am I just grumpy?
Every decision I have to make seems to be predicated upon something so much larger. Philosophy, social norms and mores, personal values and beliefs, the Greater Good, the Bigger Picture, our family budget, the weather, dopamine levels.
And I’m tired. I’m so tired I could cry. I’m so tired that I physically can’t cry. That’s the real thing I never realized about being a parent. How absolutely numbingly tiring it can get. Not every day, not all the time, but pretty much every day and all the time. Loving someone so completely is, in itself, emotionally intense. It is both fulfilling and draining at once. My cup runneth over and spilleth all over the damn place. And I haven’t time to clean up the mess. But I know I’m just going through that difficult phase of having a 3 1/2 year old and an almost 9-month-old, trying to function as both a good mama and a whole and complete human. And currently everyone is sick with the flu. It’s just a tough February.
I don’t think I’ve ever so looked forward to spring.
Recently I started reading again. Like, actually reading words that are printed on paper. It’s beyond wonderful. I almost finished Anthony Bourdain’s A Cook’s Tour (read late at night, the only time a mother can properly read). I would have totally finished it (Bourdain is one of my very few highly beloved writers), except that all those gory food descriptions started to wear on me, so I had to switch gears. (Allow me to defend his writing briefly— it is the best kind of gory food descriptions, but I am the exact opposite of an “adventurous eater”, so I’m not very well-suited to travel food writing. I strictly read it for the travel-y bits and his glorious talent to construct a sentence.) I picked up Eat, Pray, Love, yet again. It’s been a number of years since last I read it, but it stays, always, comfortingly, upon my bookshelf. I need it right now. It’s as cozy to read as an Alpaca blanket is to snuggle up in. That’s all I need or want right now. Something to wrap around my shoulders, so I can quietly rest beside my warm husband on the sofa at night, after the little ones are finally, finally, finally asleep, and just take a long deep breath, and read.
And then wake up in the sunlit morning to a warm, squishy baby looking at me with doe-eyes, smiling with her little bunny teeth, and I’m all melted butter inside. Like the sunrise after a long night of darkness, Clarity is always right behind a curtain of grey confusion. And for me, clarity is a true kind of happiness.
“Art” at top by me. And my Sharpie.