Monday, January 22, 2018

A whole lot of things all at once but mostly the quiet juggley inside your head kind

Oh, and I like to do a little protesting as well
I've been doing a self-paced online parenting class, and watching parenting videos, and reading parenting articles. (Honestly, I'm trying to be a better parent than I've been. A really good, loving parent, who doesn't lose her shit.)

And I'm in a six-week online writing group focused on using time effectively, and how to create writing space in a busy day, and fashion a writing life for yourself. (Here sometimes I'm like, do you actually need to write your story? Maybe you should stop and  just live your fucking life. Although I'm not quite sure what that means, as I don't know how not to write.)

I parent daily, hourly, minutely (hey--I just realized! minute+ly! minutely!), with varying degrees of skill and success. And I try to write almost daily, although I haven't been writing here.

Both of the activities I mentioned meet in Facebook groups.

Actually, I'm in another Facebook group, a workout one, where we post daily status updates on our workouts. Or our boobs. Peri-menopause symptoms. New jobs, injuries, disappointments. Life. But my friend Wendy started it originally as a workout progress group.

You know, I think my blog used to be kind of my own personal life progress group. I used to write here daily. But I also used to feel like interesting things used to happen to me daily.

Now I feel like there isn't enough compelling stuff to write about, and I worry that everything funny or interesting that was ever going to happen to me has already happened. That's a grim thought, isn't it?

But I do also wonder if the issue is more that so much life happens all the time, and I don't necessarily have time or energy to tease out the interesting bits.

Oh, because have I told you that it doesn't matter how long I sleep, I never wake up refreshed? This has been going on for years now.

About two months ago Nick left me to sleep until I stopped sleeping. Which was noon. I'd slept for about 13 hours.

So in December I went to a functional medicine doctor, which is the term for an MD who looks beyond Western medicine and incorporates herbs, acupuncture, etc into her treatment plan.

This doctor took my blood, had me do a test where I had to fill a tube of saliva at specific times during a day, freeze them, and ship them off to a lap. I also had to give five days of stool samples. I'd done this plenty in my youth, but this whole process has gotten a lot more particular and hygienic since then. You mail those little suckers off as well.

In any case, I did all this and as it turns out there are a variety of biological reasons that I have absolutely no energy and haven't since I got pregnant with Jordan. Seriously, she asked when the last time I remember not being tired was, and my best guess was nine years ago.

It's always nice to have someone tell you that how you're feeling is valid, you know? It's even nicer when that person follows it with, "And I can help you feel better."

It felt like when I first seeing a therapist. I was in such a low place that just knowing that someone was going to help me gave me this overwhelming feeling of relief.

So now I keep asking Nick if I seem any different than I did last week. Last night when I asked he said yes, and then when I asked how he said, "Actually, I just said yes to encourage you. I don't think you're any different."

But I actually think my brain is less cloudy when I wake up in the morning.

For a long time, I'd wake up and I'd shake my head in the same way I shake my phone when it's moving slowly even though I do understand this is a pointless gesture. I know it won't help, but when my phone screen is spinning, I shake it side to side to hurry it up.

I often feel that same impatience with myself, honestly.

It takes me a while to get my bearings, and feels like surfacing from a very deep water swim. I can see the light and the air, it just takes effort and time to get to the surface and be in the present.

It has only been a week but I do think this is improving. I don't think it's my imagination, though I am totally suggestible. If you tell me that some wine has hints of tobacco and forest leaves, I will definitely taste them. I suppose this is why I could be semi-hypnotized all those years ago.

Anyway, I wouldn't say this essay has a point except to say that like everyone, I am juggling all these pieces but most of them are internal.

So it's not like I'm some important CEO and my helicopter picks me up at 7:00 am and I have a day packed with meetings and important decisions and whatever. I mean, we all know this.

Mainly I have all these small, quiet issues and projects that need my attention. I mean, I am one of my ongoing projects at this point. And then I also have these large and growing, loud things I like to call my children who need more of my attention.

And I'm trying to be present, and interested, and praise them for their effort and not for just being smart. And to give them special time. And to connect with them by walking to the room and looking in their eyes at their level and putting my hand on their shoulder, thus upping the likelihood of cooperation.

And when I do this and my daughter, who is five, rolls her eyes and says, "I don't want to. I'm not going to," it makes my head completely fucking melt.

Last night I yelled, and I yelled loudly.

I still feel bad about this. This is not the parent I want to be.

What I suppose I am saying is that I am not fully the person I want to be, but I am trying. I am working at it one little bit at a time.

And so far I haven't posted, "I did my 15 minutes of writing!" in the parenting class, and I haven't told the writing group that I yelled at my kid. (I also haven't told my workout group that I haven't worked out, and it just may not happen today.)

It's Monday, and I'm doing my best. I like to believe we all are, though that thought has been sorely tested of late.


  1. Oh Lisa, this took me back. I did a LOT of yelling as a parent of youngsters. Hated myself for it. But, I would even say out loud "I am asking nicely, please dont make me yell and lose my shit" But it never worked. I see that in my marriage tho too. I have to finally lose my mind and even get to the point of saying the big D word. Then things change. Why is it that we blame ourselves when clearly the other party is not being nice, cooperative or kind? Also, India reminds me of my oldest grand girl. We all had to read up on dealing with a defiant child. It was eye opening and helpful most of the time. Now at six she is so much better but oh those first five years gave me lots of reasons to drink. I commend you on your on going commitment to learn and be better. I hope you never stop writing. xoxo Lynn

    1. My dear Lynn, I so appreciate you sharing all your experience here with me. I love knowing I am not alone in all this. Thank you for the encouragement. Big hugs and much love.

  2. A) I too worked on the kid thing. Now my son sometimes thinks my stern mommy voice is yelling and I laugh and threaten to remind him what yelling sounds like. He declines.
    B) Am jealous of your online writing support group. I'm working at a place where writers do 7 month residencies and frankly I am so jealous I can't even take it sometimes.
    C) Well this part just made my heart sing. I am so happy that you found help and guidance and validation and I can totally see a difference. You go girl. xo

    1. Susan! I have started on your book and am loving it! I mean, YOU WROTE A BOOK! Congratulations!

      I would be super duper jealous working at a place where writers come for residencies. This group asks for 15 minutes a day, 4x/week.

      Big hugs to you.


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