Monday, January 04, 2010

Happy New Year, honestly

Ah, the holidays are finally over. I'm not one to rue the passing of time, at least not these days. I rather enjoy it, often even savor it, especially when it gets us past such pesky periods as the seasonal joy manufactured by a consumer culture that desecrates all that is sacred. No need to adjust your perception. I've been a bit grinchy this year and have been looking forward to getting back to our usual routine.

Today we nestled back in. Monday is library day and drive by the fire department day and stalk the trash man day - you know, all the things that just delight 3 year old boys and barely one-year-old little girls tolerate. It may sound boring to some, but these days I enjoy routine more than chaos. I suppose there's something between those two extremes. However, living between those extremes is a goal but not yet a strong point for me.

There was a time, though, when I unknowingly preferred chaos to normalcy. It was about a year after I stopped drinking when I realized this. See, I had just started a new job, was dating a wonderful man who is now my husband and was sharing a lovely house with a friend. Happy with two out of three, I promptly decided that the job was just all wrong. It had to be. I'd been there all of two months and I could just feel it. (Incidentally, I stayed there for three years, now consider it one of the best jobs I'd ever had and wish I'd appreciated it more at the time. Shows what I know.) I began to doubt my entire career path and life and just wanted everything to be different and better RIGHT AWAY. I applied for every job that I was remotely qualified for. I even looked into getting my teaching certification and going into the classroom. And to further exacerbate my flight from living in the moment, I had just set up a 401K and the financial adviser wanted me to give a rough estimate of how long my savings needed to last me in retirement. In other words, I was being asked to estimate just when I thought I might die. Everything was wonderful, yet I was miserable and certain that something was wrong, even if I couldn't put my finger on it.

Someone suggested to me then that perhaps my unfamiliarity with normalcy was causing my uneasiness. "It's called serenity, honey. You'll get used to it," she said.

"Um, when exactly?" I wanted to know.

The answer? Right about the time you hit 10 years of sobriety.

The irony here is that the chaos of a household with two small children is my normal, my sanctuary, my place in the world where I feel like I'm doing the most good at this moment. I am content with what my life has become even on my worst days - those days when I feel utterly powerless over when and for how long my children sleep, whether they eat what I serve or anything else, how much of that food and drink winds up on the floor (GRRR) or where one of them decides to, um, deposit his bodily waste (which more and more of late has been in parent-approved waste receptacles). I don't always accept these matters as gracefully as I imagine other mothers do, but at least these days I'm not wishing to be somewhere else, doing something else. Unless we're talking about sleep ... because I'm always fantasizing about more sleep. I want to be some sort of hibernating animal in my next life.

I do apologize for the long lapse in posting here, probably my longest in quite some time. I could blame the holidays or say that, between my pregnancy and the two children, I spend most of my time in either the kitchen or the bathroom. The kitchen and the bathroom thing is actually closer to the truth ... seriously!

And it's certainly not due to a lack of subject matter. Believe me, it's been, um, interesting here. (I'll fill you in later.) It's due to a lack of subject matter that I think will portray me and my household in the most positive light possible while entertaining, enlightening and inspiring you, my dear readers (all 10 of you anyway).

That last admission was brought to you by my one and only, sort of, kind of New Year's resolution: BE MORE HONEST ABOUT MY FEELINGS. That means you may be hearing from me here on those days when I'm wondering why God thinks I'm capable of raising these children or when I truly believe God is mocking me for all those years I wished in vain to conceive these children or when I wish my children would leave me alone for just five friggin' minutes so I can pee in peace or brush my teeth or get the contact lens unstuck from my eyelid or when I'm considering selling them to gypsies in exchange for just a few more hours of sleep.

And the companion to that resolve, I'm sure, will be to not hurt anyone else's feelings or scare the hell out of innocent bystanders while I'm at it.

No comments: