dropping a veil

Sometimes I make myself laugh. Like when I realize that my earnestness is missing the mark, when it’s not really earnestness but more like a veil between me and, well, me.

This happened yesterday, when I realized that for all my prattling on about vulnerability, I was doing a piss poor job of actually living it. Ha. I read Eden’s latest post, and it just hit me all over again – philosophizing is not the same as being or revealing or living.

I know. What a shock, right?

So I’ve been struggling lately. And from what I read in blogland, quite a few of my sisters out there are struggling, too. I would tend to blame the winter, but it has struck our lovely Eden, too, she of drought and heat waves and snakes at the door.

Toddlerhood. Uh, yeah. I was definitely guilty of thinking before the lad was born that my child would never whine, or annoy the everliving shit out of me, or eat while walking around, or grunt with increasing emphasis while chanting “ge-ge, ge-ge” and pointing at something that I never can seem to identify despite Herculean efforts. Although I knew I was wrong in thinking this, even at the time, it’s still somewhat of a shock to find all of this coming true. All at once. In the dead of winter that prevents much in the way of leaving the house. When I am feeling horribly inadequate about my housekeeping skills, my inability to finish even one damned thing, about the fact that everything seems to be a scramble these days.

Like Pam, I keep thinking that there must be a trick to this, that if I can just discover it, things will fall elegantly into place like the first level in Tetris and my life will be a beacon of order and calm and creativity and pure unadulterated awesomeness.

Heh.

The fact that I am living out a bourgeois cliche does not make it any easier. If anything, it only encourages that old part of me that believes that I can rationalize my way out of anything. So my mind is working, working, working. Making lists, coming up with solutions (which only takes for granted that a problem exists…ah, mind, you sneaky little thing!), trying to plan.

I try to remind myself daily of the words of a dear friend who recently remarked on how much my living room has changed in the past year. She just sighed with pleasure as she surveyed the piles of unfolded diapers (quite possibly a damp one, too, tucked in among the wreckage, resting on its way to the pail) and board books and empty mugs and told me how glad she was to see my house looking like a child lived here.

Yup. Breathe. Me, too. I’m so glad a child lives here. And some of the problems are not really problems.

But seeing that is really the heart of the struggle, isn’t it? Getting to the spaciousness, navigating out of the weeds, out into the open water where things just come and go with ease.

**********

There is more to say, but this post feels done for now, and I’m on the first of what I hope will be a new tradition of Sunday afternoon sabbath-taking. Just me and my iPad in a coffee shop. So I’m going to get a refill of hot water and go read some blogs. Smooches to you all, my lovelies.

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12 Responses to dropping a veil

  1. a says:

    If you think the whining and annoying behavior are bad now…

    This is the time when you have the most control, and it gradually leaves little by little. Sure, you might get more time to clean the living room, but you get less say over what your little guy does during the day. I think most women go through this phase of feeling like everything is getting away from them…

  2. coffeegrl says:

    Oh my. I had a conversation with my sister just about a year ago about discipline and how I couldn’t imagine spanking my daughter. “How can I teach her not to hit others if I hit her?” I said. And while a part of me still believes that -really does – it’s all I can do not to grab her and shake her these days (and I confess I have grabbed her and used words and a tone of voice with her that I really think were uncalled for). She hits her cousin at least once a day, generally several times. I get that a lot of it is disputes over territory and property (she’s not used to having to live with another child her age 24/7 for several weeks – nor is he). But I hate to see her trying to hurt him, acting out in such frustration. I get that the move here was hard, but on a daily basis I find myself struggling to take just one more deep breath and to remember what it is that I want for her. I dig deep to find another ounce of patience and accept that this is our reality. Not what I ever imagined, but it IS. And it’s a phase. It’s always a phase. But. It’s hard to get through day after day like this. Living it is freaking hard.

  3. Vee says:

    Oh I hear you, I was feeling confident a couple of months ago and then everything changed ie tantrums! Argh. So true, living is hard, I still stick to the one day at time motto. Glad you are taking some time out. Have a cuppa for me too.

  4. Dean (duck) says:

    I hate winter, it’s the worst, and I really shouldn’t complain, Toronto has such mild weather, no Montreal deep freeze or Newfoundland 20 plus feet of snow… I call it the February blahs, and hot yoga on the weekend helps.
    Somedays I make up the bed, but not often, the twins keep me busy, they started crawling at 7 months and it’s been madness ever since(they are determined to walk). Blah.
    Duck.

  5. Deathstar says:

    It’s kind of cool to think of you in your coffee shop with your Ipad – and me holed at a Starbucks across the bridge with my laptop, my fingers flying across the keyboard and reading blogs. It’s a guilty pleasure, really. Like Pam says, I just can’t seem to quit ‘ya.

  6. Deathstar says:

    Oh, and by the way, I hate toddlerhood. You can’t reason with a toddler. Or tire them out without exhausting yourself. Or make them take a nap when you seriously need a break. Or stop screaming and incessant whining without giving in to some forbidden object. Yet I love the cheeky grins, the newfound skills, and the random hugs.

  7. xraevision says:

    I’ve stopped minding the mess because I too am glad that a child finally lives in my house. Still, day by day and sometimes minute to minute. I often remind myself that I do not have to be in control of everything, that I need to live in the moment, that I can choose to surrender. Kids are tricky, just as you figure them out, they change. My son is my greatest teacher, and I’m learning how to play, despite my intense resistance.

    I am happy to think of you writing in a coffee shop on Sunday afternoons.

  8. edenland says:

    Ok. I have been saving your blog to read for a week now … and you know what? I have dreamt about you three nights in a row. It’s like, your Soul is saying hi to mine, making sure I am ok. Thank you so much.

    … And I keep dreaming of Canada, too. One day I will come visit you, perhaps with a boy or two in tow. To, you know, THOROUGHLY destroy your living room.

    And, I didn’t know you were living a bourgeois cliche! Now I love you even more …. and I’m not entirely sure which particular bourgeois cliche you mean.

  9. edenland says:

    Ok. I have been saving your blog to read for a week now … and you know what? I have dreamt about you three nights in a row. It’s like, your Soul is saying hi to mine, making sure I am ok. Thank you so much.

    … And I keep dreaming of Canada, too. One day I will come visit you, perhaps with a boy or two in tow. To, you know, THOROUGHLY destroy your living room.

    And, I didn’t know you were living a bourgeois cliche! Now I love you even more …. and I’m not entirely sure which particular bourgeois cliche you mean. I just love anything and everything you do.

    If I could describe you in one quote –

    “An unexamined life is not worth living.”

    I *love* how you examine your life. XOXOXOX

  10. Lolo says:

    I’ve had several wake up moments, where I realize I’ve been stressed out waiting for that “moment” where everything falls into place, where I have it all figured out. Then I remember that no one ever has it all figured out, that we are all just trying to get by and making the most of what is in front of us.
    Excellent reminder to breathe, recentre and figure out what I need right now in this moment.

  11. Carlita says:

    Such a mixture of emotions all this blog hopping has brought about! It’s truly comforting to find myself in the company of so many wonderful women……until it dawns on me that there are all these wonderful women in the same boat as me. I mean, what hope do I, a lazy underachiever, have if they are stumbling?

    It seems to be a stoichiometric problem. So many needs to be fulfilled, so little time and energy to dedicate to them. I tend to go back often to the concept of a “village” as the only real solution…..until it occurs to me that in most functioning villages I would probably have been way too busy looking after other people’s children to have had time to pursue a PhD or much else for that matter. I’ll admit it, I’m stumped.

    Congratulations on carving out a space of your own and a regular one at that. I think that is part of the secret to surviving this…that, and making the kind of meaningful connections that abound here.

  12. LisainSK says:

    Hey Anna! So nice to hear from you! Sounds like things are busy busy! Its all just a phase, right?! Take care!

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