Back From the Cyber-Limbo

Hi, lovelies!!!

I’m really excited to be writing this, even though it’s going to be a silly, tiny post. I just have to write something.

If you’ve tried to visit my blog any time in the last few-to-several months, you know that it has been SUSPENDED.

(And if you haven’t tried to visit my blog and had no idea it has been suspended… no hard feelings. If I didn’t write this blog, I don’t think I would have noticed its absence.)

Here is a beautiful photo (by Cole Keister) to legitimize this post and to illustrate how it felt to be blog-less… like I’d fallen from my tree and was floating suspended and untethered on a mysterious body of water with only decomposition to look forward to.

how I feel when my blog is suspended
You feel me, right?

Yes, I MAY be exaggerating. And maudlin to the point of ridiculousness. It is true that in May and June I did have access to my blog and managed to post… not a thing. But I like to think I would have produced something in the last four months, had the option been available. There were SO MANY things I wanted to write about – which, frankly, is always true, and I neglect to write because of time constraints. Blah.

But you know how it is – you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone. After a whole summer of feeling deprived (even though I have definitely gone a whole summer before without posting, knowing it’s crazy that I’m supposed to have all this time and still don’t manage), I had a talk with my wonderful husband about writing and why it so rarely makes it to the top of my list, despite the fact that I am only 70% of full-time (by choice) and have 3 out of 5 mornings per week not teaching.

I said, “There’s always lots to do on my mornings off. The work of living our lives is never done. How can I prioritize something frivolous like blogging?” (Except that I was less pithy in real life.)

He said, “You’ve earned this.”

“What?” said I. “How have I earned this? The laundry is not done…”

Here’s what he said, like the A-1 husband he is: “You did the work. You worked hard early on to ensure that you had a well-paying profession that would enable you to afford to work part-time, and you deserve to at least spend one of those mornings writing.”

Thanks to my own hang-ups, I have been feeling guilty about blogging AND about not-blogging this whole time… and now my BFF has made me feel the way not even Elizabeth Gilbert could make me feel (even though she tried): entitled to engage in this creative outlet.

YAY!

For the record, regarding the technicalities: I don’t even know what went wrong exactly, having been protected from those horrors from the man who runs my server (aka my dad)… I just know that we’re not impressed with HostPapa.

Alors, voilà. Here I am, posting something. There is a huge gap in my blog history that I’m rather self-conscious about – and I’ve decided, as mayor of this li’l town, to reserve myself the right to back-post when I finish a post that I began months ago (either on this blog, or in a separate document when it was suspended but I had to write something), so that I feel better about my timeline. Who knows what I might do or write??

I also reserve the right to take forever and/or write not that much. As usual, I am preparing for a Remembrance Day assembly and progress reports at the same time, and I’m also taking an AQ course. But there are so many things aching to be written… so I hope some will make their way out sometime soon.

Thanks for reading, lovelies! And thanks to my dad for rescuing me from Cyber-Limbo. And thanks to Skye for being really dedicated to my scone recipe.

Lots of love and gratitude,

Dilovely

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Stress Is Just How We Roll These Days

Doesn’t it seem like stress has been trending for too long? Like it’s a bit ridiculous that feeling hassled is not reserved for crunch times – that instead it’s just a way of life?

kid-drawing-happy-sad
This picture AB drew really captures how I’ve been feeling.

Last week a colleague, who also happens to be my friend and neighbour, asked me, “Do you ever feel like you’re just barely scraping by?”

Fervently, I replied, “Ohmigosh, of course. ALL THE TIME.”

This friend of mine is one of the nicest people you can imagine, smart and hardworking and very compassionate. I’ve never seen her seem anything but serene, even when we’re talking about stress.

We were discussing the ever-tricky work/life balance. She told me about a recent incident in which she’d felt unreliable because she couldn’t remember whether or not she’d completed a particular task. This is something I can definitely relate to. The not-so-shining moments of things falling through cracks because… there’s JUST TOO MUCH.

It was, I think, surprising and comforting to both of us that we feel the same about this. I guess we’re both good at seeming fine when we’re not actually that fine.

The truth was, the previous week had been one in which my undulating perspective was rather more vertiginous than usual. My 39th birthday was on the Thursday, followed by Mother’s Day on the Sunday. My birthday was great – I felt loved and celebrated and worthy.

Things fell abruptly into focus for me on Mother’s Day. It was a lovely morning, with pancakes made by my Hubbibi and sweet little cards from my kids. In spite of this, a few hours later I was grouchy and yelly with those same kids. The little darlings had not taken the bait when I told them my dearest Mother’s Day wish was for them to clean their room and/or the playroom. In fact, both kids have arrived at a stage where they feel entitled to A) not do what I ask, like AT ALL, and B) give me attitude about it.  And I just felt bitter.

We did clean up, but I basically had to threaten them. Great mothering right there. (And great childing too.)

The day got better later on, and everything was fine. It’s just that it happens more than I’d like that I get grumpy and raise my voice – and I hate that. I feel myself using guilt as leverage, and I hate that too. But why don’t they see how much work it is to parent them? Why don’t they want to help out? DON’T THEY LOVE ME??

That’s when I start to fret. Are my kids just lazy and selfish? Is it permanent? And if they are, isn’t it muchly my fault, as their mother?

Sean says I worry too much, and I’m sure he’s right. He generally doesn’t worry – but I have no idea how such non-worrying is accomplished. Case in point…

Examples of Things I Worry About

  • My kids are spoiled beyond all help
  • My house will never be clean or even properly tidy for more than 17 minutes
  • I’m not a good mom
  • I’m not a properly nice person anymore either – I’ve just got people fooled
  • Teaching is not my true calling
  • My “undulating perspective” is actually something wrong with my brain
  • My energy oscillation is actually some weird disease
  • The frequent headaches I get are actually cancer
  • E’s melodrama is actually depression
  • AB will grow up to be a Mean Girl
  • My husband will die young and I’ll be a single mom
  • My mind is disorganized because of all the thoughts that want to much to be written down but can’t be because NO TIME
  • Work/life balance is a pipe dream. Period.

I swear I’ve never been a pessimist or a hypochondriac. I never used to stress out about little things, and it used to take a lot more for me to lose my temper. If I remember correctly, I did not used to be bitchy.

*Sigh.*

When I think about it at this moment, with the kids asleep in bed (no doubt looking like gorgeous innocent cherubs), I can convince myself that it’s probably not that they’re inherently or permanently lazy/selfish/evil. It’s probably just that they’re four and almost-eight, and they’re figuring out what they can get away with.

And maybe I’m not done for, either. I often have those moments where I look at my healthy children, my brick of a husband, my incredibly comfortable bed, my pretty house, my friendly neighbourhood filled with trees… And I’m completely dazzled by my good fortune. I can hardly believe I get to live this life.

As long as I keep coming back to some semblance of equanimity once in a while, I’m sure I’ll be fine. And get some fracking sleep, for crying out loud. (Or for not crying out loud. One would hope.)

Tomorrow I leave for OELC for a week. Experience tells me it will be one of the busiest and most exciting weeks of my year. It does include stress – but it’s all temporary, and all focused in one place. It’s a place to get centred and come back tired but refreshed. And by then it’s June! So EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE PEACHY.

That’s the plan.

***


 

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