It’s hard to think straight right now. What I want to write and what comes out are two different things, as my brain whirrs indiscriminately. One minute I’m focused and on task, the next I can’t think of what to do next. Fried; my wiring is fried. Too much stimulation, too much to think about. To much to do! It’s been like this for weeks and now I just can’t move out of the rut I have slipped into over the past couple of days. Somehow, seeing China and Denmark get on that plane and leave just fried the wiring. So much anticipation leading up to it, and a big crash when it happened. Sh^t!

However, this is hardly the time to crash. We leave for a three week trip in barely three days. I need to pack for severak different experiences: visit with family back East, including a dressy affair; trekking in the Andes to Machu Pichu (rugged, limited items); and then on to the Amazon. In between the two, we’ll be at nicer hotels in Lima and Cusco, so there’s another environment to prepare for: city site seeing. The clothes for the first part will not work in S. America, so we’ll ship those home, but I’m stumped over how to pack sparingly for two weeks with such diverse destinations. My piles grow, then shrink as I think I want this t-shirt and then throw back that pair of shorts. How much is too much? There won’t be many opportunities to do laundry, so we need to really think this through. Smart Guy keeps reminding me: “We can wash it in the sink.” And that, just pushes my wiring past the brink. Sh^t!

<– Drowning in a sea of pink slips and lists!

Trying to get all of the must do’s organized before we leave: must write notes for the dog/house sitter; must make sure all of Little Man’s assignments are in and he’s cleared at school; must figure out alternate foods for the trip, in case we can’t find what we need on a given day; must mail gifts to China and Denmark; must mail baby gifts to three new parents (and not include a snarky note about the messes their wee ones will make in a few years); need to figure out the clothing for the various legs; need to make sure all loose ends are tied up at home, before we leave; need to make appointments to dentist, physicals, stuff that gets done in the summer; need to charter a sailboat to spread Mom’s ashes; say goodbye to a friend that’s moving before we return; make plans for the summer after we get back, so everyone isn’t sitting here playing video games the rest of summer; figure out what to do about the book when I get back, so I can jump right in; check off as many of these pink slips as possible, even as they seemingly multiply by the hour; stay calm as kids settle back in and personalities clash (much easier said than done!); thisisonemotherofarunon sentenceandprettymuchhowmygbrainlooksrightnowfromtheinside!Scrambled,frazzled, fried.Sh^t!

I’m struggling to maintain clarity as my kids come home and assert their independence and as I try to maintain a fraction of the routine that I depend on and have carved out in their absence. Daily arguments seem to come down to control and each of us asserting our own needs, and I don’t do well with it. The problem with raising kids who think for themselves is that they think for themselves; and then they feel inclined to debate every single issue that they have a different idea about. Please don’t leave your shoes there. “Why does it matter?” I prefer they’re not in the living room. “Why are shoes in the living room a problem?” The debates are endless. And I find myself wondering what ever happened to “Because I said so?” Suddenly it doesn’t seem so irrational. I’ll give my mother that point, finally. The earth seems to be shifting beneath my feet as two kids left and two returned. The differences are enormous. My desire to connect and forge new relationships, adult relationships is thwarted by my equally strong need to not surrender my own needs to theirs. They don’t really live here anymore; it’s my house. Selfish? Sh^t!

I NEED the house to be neater than it’s been for the last week. I need the solitude I have when kids are at school and I can spend my day how I want. I like things where I keep them and not pulled out, left out, messed up, left for me to look at and try to ignore. The return of melted cheese on my sink each day is enough to push me over. Yellowstone calls. Instead, we’re boarding a plane in 2.5 days and spending three full weeks together. I’m excited and terrified all at once. I’m not that mom who is just overjoyed to have us all together again and off on an adventure. I’m trying to quiet that part of me and surrender to the experience; let it unfold and not expect anything in particular. I’m trying to stop using the nifty pulse-ox reader we bought for the trip (to monitor my asthma at altitude), because my heart rate is too hight, each time I check it… checking it is not helping. Sh^t!                         (96 is too low, 88 is too high–>)

When I go to climb the stairs, where I’m training for Machu Pichu (I don’t train for things, this is outside my norm too!) I try to quiet my head as I make my way up each of the 98 steps up, and the 98 down, I try to let this all go and surrender. I try to just listen to my gasping breathing and the birds in the woods around me. I try to envision the mountains on the trail to Machu Pichu, the guides and the horses, the amazing things we’ll see… I try to calm my mind and let some of this other stuff go. Yet when I walk back in the house and laundry is sitting on the floor, papers piled, cheese or eggs in the sink, the dogs imploring me to take them out to play, I lose some of my resolve and begin to doubt my ability to do all of this as well as I want to. I consistently fall short of my own expectations… Even my expectation that I could just let it go and ignore things. Sh^t!

So, I’m going to try and just accept that I may feel this way until I’m totally out of this environment. I’m going to try and not fall into old habits and let things go when their said to me and I feel my feelings get bruised. We’re entitled to your labor, but not the fruits of your labor. Doesn’t matter how much I wish things to improve and all of us to work better with each other, we still slip on old patterns and I’ve got to learn to breath through it and not stumble. I need to sleep… for long hours, uninterrupted by deadlines and lists. I will start by taking some deep breaths and try not to say sh^t for a few days. That’s a place to start.

Do you struggle with the transition from school year to summer? Are you overwhelmed by the end of the school year and things in front of you, or are you excited for summer and easing into it?  **Please take a moment and support this blog. Share your thoughts in the comment section at the bottom of this post (hit the title to open the link), and join in the conversation. Or post your comments on the Tales from the Motherland FB page.  If you appreciate this post, click on the title and then hit the Like at the bottom of the post.  And if you’re really a fan, consider subscribing. It’s easy and painless. Your information is private; I see only the log on you use. Once you hit the subscribe link to the right of the post, you will get email updates each time I post a new story… No spam, no junk mail… nothing but my deep appreciation.

About Dawn Quyle Landau

Mother, Writer, treasure hunter, aging red head, and sushi lover. This is my view on life, "Straight up, with a twist––" because life is too short to be subtle! Featured blogger for Huffington Post, and followed on Twitter by LeBron James– for reasons beyond my comprehension.
This entry was posted in Awareness, Beautiful places, Blog, Blogging, Daily Observations, Honest observations on many things, Life, Musings, My world, Parenting, Summer, Teens, travel, Women's issues, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Sh^t!

  1. Brian says:

    Nice piece, feel your pain, take a few polaroids during the trip…take few of you packing too!


    • Will do! Take photos is something that comes effortlessly for me, so there are always plenty! I’ll be glad to have my camera in my hands again… once I get over the altitude and hiking! 🙂 Thanks for checking in Brian.


  2. jmgoyder says:

    I can so relate!


    • I think a lot of us are overwhelmed this time of year. I just live in my own bubble and think it’s all about me! :-p Thanks for checking out my blog, and for leaving some feedback jmgyoder. Hope you’ll stop by again.


  3. It’s always insane before a vacation- it will all work out, have a fabulous time!


  4. veronicad1 says:

    I think I’m going to be there Wednesday or Thursday this week. Sh^t! I know once you’re gone, it will be wonderful–it’s just the getting there and the recovery after that is so much work, right! In a couple days, you can sleep and breathe easily! P.S. Thanks for the yard worker!


    • I know it’s all relative, but lying in Hawaii sounds much more restful right now, than a family reunion and then a trek in the Andes! This morning I woke up and thought, oh I bet I’ll have a headache waking up at 19,000 feet! What I really need is my house all to myself and nothing to do… not gonna happen. So, I’ll pray that no creepy crawlies make their way into my room in the Amazon, and that we see all the amazing things that those two places have to offer! That part is very exciting. Glad he’s working for you, I can’t get the dishes in the dishwasher from him! :-p Thanks for checking in friend.


  5. Lyn Smith says:

    There is an amazing thing about motherhood that helps us all get through this. It is that ten years from now when you look back at the beautiful pictures of your adventure ,that all you will think of is the wonderful trip you had and how great it was to get away as a family. Enjoy Dawn travel safely .


    • Thanks Lyn! I know I’ll enjoy it when I’m there and no doubt after, but that’s if I don’t have a heart attack first! :-p I’m trying to slow down and keep some focus… but it’s not easy right now. Thanks for reading the post Lyn and sharing a thought. I hope you’ll check out some others. 🙂


  6. Chingoo says:

    Ooh, I feel your pain, and it IS real pain. With two teens at home feeling that they have completed their work now that school is over, they get into their own groove of summer. Funny, because I look forward to having them home for the summer all year long..loving the fact that we don’t have to stress about homework, deadlines or getting up at 5:15am. After all these years as a parent, you think I would learn that with the summer comes stresses I can’t control. We too have the forgotten dishes and empty chip bags in the basement (surrounding the xbox thing) breakfast and lunch dishes in the sink that the “elves” will take care of. Gone are the summers when I can pack up kids and just bug out. They have their own lives and horrifically, their own opinions. I am running my life around theirs…oooh yeah..SH@T is in almost every sentence. Hmmm. Shall I wake them before or after lunch today?


    • Yep, that pretty much sums it up! I keep telling myself to just ignore the messes and the fact that I’m losing control by the minute, but I am just not good at that! I too wait all year to see them, thinking that we’ve all changed and will be new people, but we slide right back into our patterns… and it makes me crazy! Crazy woman! I appreciate the validation Chingoo; thanks for sharing! 🙂


  7. I am having a little bit of difficulty with the transition; mostly when I want “me time” in my house, with everyone gone. Not happening until September. My sensational, ADHD kid will not participate in any summer activities like sports or camp or anything that gets him out of my hair for the day. However, we will be going away in about 10 days for 2 1/2 weeks. It will be nice because I will drop any and all expectations to get anything done or be able to do something like meditate.

    Forget about the baby presents until you get back (unless you order them online and have them delivered). And have an awesome time! Back east, it’s been a heatwave (as I’m sure you’re aware), so be prepared to sweat! God only knows why we do stupid things like go visit family in TN in July, when the weather here in WA is so nice then.


    • The baby gifts got sent, and the other things on the list too… which means I leave with a clean slate and return to no extra lists. It will be hard enough to catch up after three weeks away! I hope you can do the same.

      I always had to search a little harder to find the right things for my little guy, but there was always something… just took a little more to find it. Last summer fly fishing, and others it was a variety of mini camps. Always frustrating to pull it all together! Can’t imagine TN in July and agree, hate to leave WA! Thanks for the feedback Mariner. 🙂



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s