Thursday, July 10, 2014

gray day

This is my third day home from Florida and the 16th day since school let out for the summer.  I honestly have very little grasp on the reality of what it felt like the go to work everyday, but at the same time, I'm feeling frazzled with our calendar of play dates and travel and commitments.  I'm emotionally exhausted and my kids are acting weird.  

We have a good little schedule: we wake up and our mornings are a bit lazy.  Sometime around 8 things get frantic and we start rushing around, tossing sunscreen at each other, trying to find clothes.  There was this idea that we would spend every morning going for a family walk, and it's only happened one time so far.  We have morning errands to run, or play dates, or meet ups. We're usually in a hectic, exasperated rush and just bottlenecking out the door and spilling on the porch and trying to hush our snapping as we load up the van and Ben might get a few seconds silence before he has to head to work.  I'm always telling him, "I'm sorry.  I'm so sorry."  These few hours used to be his chance to write out the bills and apply for loans and work on his personal projects and now they are full of negotiating and time outs and battles over pooping on the potty and begging for more Netflix.  "I wanted to get out of here and give you a break."  He looks at me and says, "You don't get a break."  He's wrong, a little.  I do get a break.  Whatever makes my soul tired, a lack of naps is not included.  Both boys have slept at the same time after lunch every day this summer.  If our day trip is particularly long, they sleep in the car.  There are moments of quiet and moments of peace.  

Still, I keep reaching this point where the noise is too loud.  My noise, from deep inside.  I don't know if it's texting and Facebook or the lack of work or spreading ourselves too thin.  It's a bone-deep undercurrent of worry about preschool (should I have waited another year?) and potty training (why does his cry sound sad and not impatient when I make him try?) and Elliott's milestones compared to Milo's milestones compared to my friends' kids.  I worry about sustaining weight loss, keeping in touch with my family, getting freelance work, being a better friend, being a better wife.  I fret about the thank you notes I didn't send out at Easter.  I remember the way I was so cruel to a friend in 6th grade, because she got some new clothes and I was jealous.  These are all legitimate thoughts, nothing fabricated; these are the things that would keep me up, if thoughts kept me up.  Instead, they run in the background, like a whisper, all the time.  Like how applications are running, hidden, on your phone until you double click the home button and slide them all away.

Whatever it takes to shake this slump is probably something small.  I might need a little less screen time or a daily to do list to dump my guts onto paper, slash out the "silly" things, and bring some order.  I might need to go out for ice cream more often- it's almost been two weeks.  A good book could snap me out of it, or even a classic movie-and-blanket-spread-on-the-floor session with the boys.  Any of this stuff could reroute me.  Writing this out, as always, was a giant first step.

Summer vacation is a gift, and so is getting to go to work.  Play dates are precious, and quiet time needs to be guarded carefully.  Chores keep life moving, and ignoring them (from time to time) makes life worth living.   I've wondered why I even bother acknowledging moods, when they change so quickly, but giving something a name is the first step in trying to understand it.  Today I'm gray.

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