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Two more goals… and an update.

December 9, 2010
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As a mother, sometimes I feel like I just can’t go on.  It’s fleeting, you know, like it just pops into my head for a second, a kind of overwhelmed desperation.  The oven is beeping and the baby is crying and there’s about four hampers full of clean clothes blocking the path, and there’s work to be done and work to be done and just so much work to be done. It’s true, most of the time I can just sorta sweep reality under the rug and enjoy the moment, but then there are those times.

This is hard.  I’m not complaining, but raising a family is not easy, and it’s not for the weak of spirit.  I know I’m not alone in thinking this, but am I alone in feeling queasy and faintly guilty admitting it?  I mean, so many people around me are doing this, are things just harder for me somehow?  Why?

Grammy said something today, nothing major, but as we were going out the door, I said something that reminded her and she said “Oh, I remember those times.  I remember my mother would come over and do my dishes and I would swear I’d never get behind again, but then, she was there again, doing my dishes.”  Maybe Grammy and I are alike, just so overwhelmed, sometimes, by the basics of living, just not fitting in at all.  But then, I think it’s the feeling bad about it part that sets us apart, not the dirty dishes part.  What has my grandmother done to my brain?

Grammy was really really poor.  Her dad used to bring her groceries and pretend he “just bought too much.”  And her husband worked all the time and she had four little kids and she worked all the time and she scraped and struggled and scrounged.  She talks about that stuff fondly sometimes, off handedly, but she’s usually not remembering the happy.  Things weren’t fair, nothing was easy, nothing was nice.  She forgets to remember, sometimes, what it was like to have a couple of chubby babies with runny noses, rolling and lollying about and being so darn cute.  But she doesn’t really, forget, I mean.  Because something about me reminds her, which is what has brought us together, you know, when it comes to relating to one another.

And my grammy made so many mistakes and went crazy in so many ways and is just so complicated but, and this is the thing, she did it.  She has four grown children and so many tumbling memories, spilling, piling, just asking me to collect them, apply them, wring the wisdom out of them.

It’s another winter goal and it’s this: my goal is to let go of whatever negative feelings I have about my family and just learn from them.  Learn from their mistakes and learn from their successes.

This is a big one because there are many grudges in my family, many battles to be won.  Sometimes, some of my family approaches life as some sort of contest.  Collect the most information to use against the enemy.  Be right, be wounded. I’m not sue why this happens, but I feel myself doing it, too, when I’m around them sometimes, and that is simply not healthy.  My goal is to be the person I really am, the way I am with Richie and the kids, with everyone.  I think I could really use help and advice, and I’m going to open myself to let that in.

***

I failed, again, at meat, again.  It really wasn’t that bad; actually it tasted ok and was cooked about right, but there was something unappetizing about it, which, of course, is not good when it comes to food.

I just don’t trust myself, I really don’t.  A whole chicken just freaks me out.  It is entirely possible that I am really really not meant to eat meat because I find it repulsive when raw, and only sometimes appetizing when cooked.  Of course those sometimes are to-die-for amazing and mouth-watering, but I have yet to cook meat myself that I would describe as “delicious.”  Passable, yes.  Delicious, no.  My thanksgiving turkey was ok, but I’m looking for perfection here, people.

So, my next task is this: I am reading about meat as though it is my job.  In fact, it is my job.  For the next two weeks, besides my actual job and this other job I’m doing and the kids and the house, my job is reading dreaming thinking MEAT.  I am determined to succeed, darnit, and I will.  Oh yes, I will.  When I next report back on meat, with full bibliography, of course, I will have cooked a hot juicy Beef Wellington, and you will be impressed.

**

It’s been great saving jars from stuff and planning uses for them.  Already, plastic’s usefulness in our house has dwindled.  I’m also having great luck at purging items, although I’ve also been collecting just as much new stuff (with so many friends sharing clothes for the kids and craft and art supplies, etc…) so the house is still so full, but it’s full of love too, and there’s plenty of room for everything.  Aww.

The hard part is relaxing, slowing down, not worrying.  I’m still working, so I’m sure that everything will calm down after we return from our Christmas trip, but I’m not sure how long it will take me to totally shift gears.  Realistically, I cannot do this forever, or for long.  I’ll have to discover a way to work pretty soon.  So, I want to get the most out of these weeks- or months?  There’s a lot of centering to do in that time.

A part of my goal list I haven’t mentioned is the daily walk because, it’s something that, when I’m working, is already part of my day.  But, in the harsh part of winter, when we could just read and play games and chop vegetables all day, and we have colds and everyone is at home?  It will be harder to be motivated, I know.  But, I need to make sure I continue to be at least as active as I am and so, I have to stop writing this now to make it on my daily walk before to do to do to do to do!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 11, 2010 6:51 PM

    Hi there- good news!!! You’re normal (ie. the norm amongst women living with other humans and/or animals). Goals are snares and delusions- I’m sure smug types promote them to make the rest of us feel inadequate. Stay alive, keep moving forward and don’t kill anyone. There- that’s it- the only goals allowed!
    You sound as though you cope with a lot already and you are still alive. My advice is to just do one ESSENTIAL thing at a time- essential = life- or love-preserving. All those things you can’t get done or you aspire to with no time to devote should have been done by someone else, who hasn’t been helpful enough! Last night I was making dinner- my task was pasta sauce, Spotrick’s was to fill the big saucepan and boil the pasta. I made the pasta sauce and posted on Facebook that there wasn’t any pasta ready!! It soon got done!
    I find that although I am an older woman now and take a lot more in my stride (no kids, ever; 3 cats and one partner in residence; no job; no income) that I am STILL asking and wishing for my male partner to do more to make life happen. He is STILL being a lounge lizard- he just isn’t treated as warmly as he would be if he had contributed more to our household over the last 25 years!
    So, unless you have a malleable partner and kids who will see reason and fairness and help out with routine stuff without being reminded or complaining, life is like this. Work on them if there’s hope! Otherwise drop your standards- scrap the fancy goals and have some fun- you won’t get near as many wrinkles! Have a nice little treat every week- not every 15 minutes (they’re fattening!!) and look forward to THAT- not to having all the laundry folded. No one ever died by not having their laundry folded, but they do if they get no fun.

  2. December 12, 2010 4:04 PM

    I don’t know, I really like goals. They keep me motivated every day, and make me feel good about waking up. Sometimes I’m hard on myself if I don’t achieve my goals, but usually I just adapt my goals. I do get pretty down on myself when my house is a mess, but I think that’s just my reaction about how my origin family reacts to me; my husband and kids are always endlessly impressed with my efforts, and that I love.

    As for men not pulling their weight around the house, it’s true, at least in my little world, but my wonderful husband has so many great qualities that I don’t mind picking up his socks most of the time (I mean, most of the time, I don’t mind).

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