Wednesday, August 27, 2008

40 kinds of sadness


I start feeling sad about a week and a half before my son leaves for college out of state so when the time comes to say goodbye, I'm mostly ok. I count the days down in my head and they always go by too quickly. Even though I do lots of complaining about having all the kids home and in my hair, and on my nerves, there's something comforting in knowing that everyone is under this one roof--that I know where to find everyone at any given time. When he leaves, it's like a little of the color drains from my life and I'm always looking to fill it back up but that's impossible without him here, and so my world is a little less colorful.

I waste lots of time wishing that I could find something great to do with my life when I know the greatest thing I'll ever do is be a mother to my children. It's easy to forget the importance of that work when you are knee deep in the drudgery of life. Motherhood sometimes feels like it is less valued because there is no measure of success for all the million ways it takes to raise a human being. The job is round the clock giving and loving to the best of your ability. The payoff is proudly watching a life move away from you while you try not to scream come back.

So much of why I am good is a result of having my children. I think without them, I'd be this chaotic, directionless mess, which is not something I want to admit because I like to project the illusion that I'm as together as the next guy who is projecting illusions of togetherness. But really? It's their lives in my life that make me whole, that help me to be good.

I hate goodbyes but I go along with them because there's not anything I can do to stop everyone from getting on with their lives. I can't insist that everyone stay with me forever so that I can complain that they're not leaving fast enough, which is what I end up doing. I contradict myself a hundred times a day without even trying.

It's the waiting for him to leave that gets me the most. I tear up everywhere--in the laundry room, walking around in Kroger's, driving in my car. It's like I'm trying to squeeze all the sadness out before he goes and remarkably, this routine works for me. When crunch time comes, I am always reluctantly ready.

I like thinking that a part of me goes wherever my children go so that we don't ever feel alone. He leaves tomorrow. Already I cannot wait for him to come back.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Hey, I gotta run...

So. I'm starting to get a little perturbed with friends who call here and talk my ear off then want to beat a quick exit if I talk about myself for a moment. Ditto for the friends who call then while they are in the middle of talking to me, indicate they are getting another phone call they need to take and say, "I don't mean to cut you off but I really need to take this call," then basically cut me off and end the call.

This is why I don't like telephones--the rude factor creeps in almost all the time. There's never any reciprocation and part of the reason there's no reciprocation is that I do not grab my phone every time I want to vent. Talking to other people never helps me get through things--ever. I work things out in my head on my own or I write them out here but I do not force anyone to come here to read or give me feedback because that's not how I do things. I do not think other people hold the answers I need to get through this life. I think I hold the answers--I mean, I KNOW I hold the answers, although I do not know if I will ever be smart enough to find them within me. I keep trying, though, because I am stubborn and determined.

But I get tired of being the shoulder to cry on, the chipper cheerleader who searches her brain for positive things to say only to be cut off in the middle of doing what I know they are calling me to do for them in the first place. It feels like a slap in the face or a punch in the gut. It feels like a door being slammed in my face.

If I ruled the world, I would make a rule that if you call me, you do not get to end the call (unless there's an emergency)--that the end of the call should be left up to me especially if you interrupt my day, and I take the time to listen to you.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My slice of life quotes - Time travel

She said, "If you could be young again, I think we'd be the best of friends because I'd make you laugh," and I told her she was right because I've often thought the same thing myself but that I'd be the one making HER laugh because everyone knows between the two of us that I'm the funny one~~and in that moment I thought that life could not be more complete or perfect or fulfilling.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end ~Seneca

"We are shaped and fashioned by what we love." — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

After having a migraine for about 24 hours, I'm finally feeling better. It's hard to explain how it feels--it's like I go from feeling as though a board of daggers is being driven relentlessly into my skull, to this clearheaded nothingness and I'm so happy not to be in pain anymore. I start mopping floors, I'm dusting like a crazy person, I'm moving around and I'm so happy to be free of the daggers. I try not to think too hard about being happy it's over because I'm afraid the strain on my brain will bring on another migraine. LMAO.

So I've been absent and quiet but I've continued reading all my favorites. Sometimes I just think it's better to step away from always being negative which I feel I've been lately. I can seriously come up with at least one rant a day without even trying (like today I tried to order pizza from my favorite place and the phone rang and rang but no one picked up. I immediately called back and got a busy signal. For the next 15 minutes, the line was busy so I thought perhaps it wasn't open for some reason. I was out and about and went by the place and saw the big neon sign flashing OPEN, so I got out of my car, went in and went up to the counter and placed my order. I told the woman taking my order that I tried calling my order in but that the line was constantly busy. At that very moment, I happened to look down at her phone and guess what? The phone was off the hook! She quickly said to me (as she HUNG up the phone) that she had been having a conversation with someone, but that was a bunch of bull because when I walked in, she wasn't ON the phone, she was sitting there watching ONE LIFE TO LIVE! I know!!!), but I think that gets old for everyone, including me.

My youngest went back to school this week and so it's been quiet here during the day. I didn't get my usual sadness with the beginning of another school year because I've learned that endings aren't always bad and don't always mean THE END. I know my daughter is going to do great things with her life and so I'm just going to enjoy watching the show. She really is the biggest character I've ever encountered in my entire life. I wish you could know her.

My husband and I took the 5 hour trek up to where my son's car had broken down on his way home for the summer because it was finally repaired and brought it home. It's amazing how having that one extra car has alleviated a lot of stress in the household. It only took most of the summer, but I've already forgotten that in my joy at finally having it back.

I do have moments away from this blog when I think that I will never come back to writing here but something always brings me back. What brought me back today was reading a blog elsewhere and getting to the end of the post and being touched by the power of words, and remembering that's what I love best about writing--that feeling of being moved by someone else and coming back here to try to do that myself.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I don't blame you for being you, but you can't blame me for hating it

"I suppose that since most of our hurts come through relationships so will our healing, and I know that grace rarely makes sense for those looking in from the outside."~William R. Young, The Shack

I was feeling disappointed by my children today and so I did what I do when I'm feeling down and went to Borders to get some new books. I told myself that if I can't feel peace in my real life, then the next best thing would be to get some books so that I had a place to escape. There are times I want to scream and never stop screaming, but instead, I try to talk myself out of it by telling myself that this must be what life has in store for me. I find comfort telling myself this because it feels less like a punishment and more like a life lesson that I'm meant to learn. I know that I'm more fortunate than most, but that doesn't stop me from having moments when I just feel trapped down a deep, dark hole while the world goes on all around me. I'm on the bottom waving like crazy and still, no one sees me.

My son has been home from college since mid May. He had a job in the state where he attends college and I wanted him to stay there this summer to continue to earn as much money as possible to help pay for his tuition, etc. He stayed in an apartment this past year and the lease was not up until this August so I knew we would have to pay for an apartment he would not be living in and I felt the best thing was for him to just stay there and work and maybe come visit for a couple of weeks.

Well, he wanted to come home for the summer and I do not blame him one bit for that, however, when you are attending a college out of state the cost is astronomical and I felt that he needed to contribute as much help as possible. But my husband told him he could come home as long as he got a job. So even though I knew I was right and knew he should have stayed up there where he HAD a job already, he came home. Don't you think I want to quit my life for a few months and get away every now and then? Because I do. But reality asks that I stay here and not walk away from my responsibilities just because I'm sick of the scenery, so I stay.

He went back to the little job he's had for the past several years where they do not give him many hours. It was discussed and agreed upon that he would find another job to supplement the little one but that never happened. A big show of going around and filling out applications (after I had a little blowup where I told him to go out and not come back until he had another job) was made with NO second job ever materializing. I've tried to be patient but I've run out of patience. I was talking to him today about it AGAIN and he tells me that the little job he has suits him just fine because he's been able to continue working out and refining his hockey skills! He then told me that he's not worried about not having enough money and that I needed to stop "whining" to him about it. This is the reply of a person who knows he can call his father at the drop of the hat and tell him that he's out of money and know that I will then be asked to deposit money into his account. Against my will, I'm his personal money tree.

Sigh. Here's my big problem. Whenever I take this discussion up with my husband, he will initially agree with me that our son is not really holding up his side of the bargain, but then he will slip into the conversation that at least our son is playing hockey better than he ever has before. Well, I'm sorry but this doesn't impress me. I mean, if he was going to become a professional, that would be one thing, but chances are slim to none that will happen. Also, he's decided his major is going to be Geography. Huh? WTF can you do with a major like that? So we're spending enormous amounts of money for him to basically skate and get a useless diploma. I cannot tell you how much this bothers me, how totally ridiculous I think this whole thing is. But I cannot say this to anyone here because when I do, I get told that I'm trying to begrudge him this opportunity, or that I'm not being "supportive." Neither is true but try telling that to them.

And the best part? He really wants to be a cop or a fireman so after all this he will then have to go and get training for either one of those professions so that's MORE time he'll be dependent on us for everything. My husband doesn't seem to think this is a problem but I think it's a HUGE problem. I have no one to talk to about it because apparently my job is to just go along. But I feel resentful and the feeling doesn't go away.

Moving along. Our oldest daughter moved home to focus on finally finishing up college. She's been going to college off and on for SIX YEARS. Her major changes with the wind. She's been to three different colleges, and I think that part of the time she was living away from home, she was NOT attending college but lied about it. I finally told her that I did not care what happened in the past but that I needed to see grades and transcripts from the time she WAS in school so that she can sort her life out and get moving in the right direction. She has been claiming for the past year that she wants to be an x-ray technician but then we were speaking to her the other day and my husband asked about it and she goes, "well, I don't know if I really want to do that anymore." WTF? I know it's difficult to know what to do with your life, but PLEASE give me a break and make some sort of decision THIS DECADE. She's incredibly smart. She can speak 3 different languages fluently but doesn't stick with anything long enough to get anywhere. So my husband tells her that he will pay for HER tuition in the fall as long as we have proof that she is going full time. HUH? I nearly flipped my lid on that one because SHE'S BEEN GOING TO SCHOOL FOR 6 YEARS AND I DON'T THINK WE SHOULD BE REWARDING HER FOR BEING A FLAKE/LIAR.

Then I hear him tell her he'd pay for her to get a personal trainer. Um....WTFFFFFFFFFF? When I heard THAT, I had to bust into that conversation and tell him that I did not think so---that all summer long I've been wanting to join a gym because I'm getting tired of running out in the heat every day but that I didn't even bring up the subject because we don't have an extra car for me to use at my disposal. There is no fucking way that I am going to allow him to pay for a personal trainer for her while I sit home vacuuming and baking cookies and doing laundry a million times a day to keep towels in the linen closet. Not when she's 24 1/2 years old and has been working full time all summer. But this is the sort of insanity that I deal with here. I keep looking around thinking it might be some sort of joke, but it's not. If common sense came up and smacked my family members in the face, I swear to you that none of them would know what hit them.

In another year, my youngest will be in college and I will then have THREE children in college, two of which should be graduated by now but who are instead taking their own sweet time living in a fantasy land with the full support of their father. I'm the mean mom who wants my children to get off their asses and grow up. I'm the the whiner, the nagger. I used to fear them all leaving me but that fear has now been replaced by the fear that they will NEVER leave. I can only mention this to my husband every once in a while because he loves having everyone around. He looks at me with an appalled expression as if it's unnatural for a mother NOT to want to wait on their kids 24/7 for the rest of their lives. He seems to forget I've been doing this since I was 23 and am TIRED of it. I have to remind him, and I'm sick of him never thinking of me first, of never asking me what I might want for myself other than this. I know that his greatest desire is for me to quietly just go along with whatever decisions get made and not question anything. My childhood was spent doing that and then I unknowingly picked a life that continued the pattern. Congratulations for being consistent, your prize is masking tape that can be used to seal your mouth shut so you're not tempted to voice a contrary opinion.

So I get in the car and I drive to Borders. I pick out books because I don't drink or do drugs and I need a place to escape to when I feel I'm going crazy. I give myself pep talks, too. I tell myself that there are reasons for life unfolding the way it is and that I've got to hang in there. I tell myself I'm needed here and that's it's wonderful to feel needed, and who wouldn't want to be needed and loved the way I am. But it's this constant battle to be positive when nothing is how I want it to be. I take each day and tell myself I can do anything for a day. In the back of my mind I am unwaveringly hopeful that there is a plan for me other than this "going along" life.

I'm pretty much counting on it.