It’s a little after midnight, and I really should be in bed. If a 24-hour virus hadn’t made bed a necessity, my 8 a.m. dentist appointment tomorrow certainly should… but I can’t pull myself off the couch just yet. It’s been a hard couple of days. On Monday, Sophie snuggled up to me on the rocking chair and sweetly threw up 15 gallons of curdled milk. I came down with it yesterday around lunch, then Natalie at bed time last night, then Dan this morning, and I would just about trade my soul for a sick day right now. Just one day to settle into my skin without dishes piling up or little tears to wipe. Paid leave to hibernate under the covers and figure out who the heck I am again.
I feel as though my reserves of mothering strength have worn down over the last few weeks through rainy days and too many bouts of sickness, but mommies can’t be pansies. No, every bit of strength goes by instinct to the girls, which means other things suffer—marriage, health (ha!) career aspirations (ha2!). Nothing is terrible right now… just a little frayed. Too tired to exercise, too tired to write, too tired to fully engage my mind with my husband’s, too tired to shut down the computer and go to bed already.
When I was in school, autumn never lagged like this. A little by late November, sure, but there were always still tidy typed deadlines and bursts of knowledge to keep my mind churning along. Without that pressure, without someone dictating most of my time to me, I feel grossly incapable. I come up with aspirations for myself, then divide them by two little daughters, then subtract housecleaning duties, then lower them by several degrees of self-esteem… and still I can never seem to reach. It sure looks a lot like failure around here.
This isn’t exactly how I wanted this year to end. I guess I supposed that 2008 was going to be the year I would get my ducks in a row… but here I am, and one of those ducks is lost somewhere under the couch, and one is partying in Bali, and one drowned just four hours ago under a deluge of preschool vomit, and six are wearing cool glasses in NYC getting published without me, and one tiny one is pecking around in the fridge for something resembling food. The ducks, they’re decidedly NOT in a row, and I’m not sure how okay I am with that. I can’t get to officially living my life until they are, right?
Probably not. I’ve always like John Lennon’s quote, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans,” though I kind of hate it when it applies to me. I enjoy my plans working from time to time… but I’m pretty sure that nothing—plans or life or ducks-getting-in-a-row—is going to happen tonight. Perhaps I should get myself tucked responsibly into bed to get some of that sleep I keep complaining about not having, eh?
P.S. – If you like getting surprises in your mailbox, the holiday goodie from my last entry still stands!