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!
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.
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