I'm trying to blog my way out of a hole today.
We are exactly five hours into summer vacation. We had a great Father's Day weekend at the beach - perfect weather, swimming, sand castles, family.
Today isn't going so well. Here is where I am supposed to take a deep breath, recalibrate my perspective and accept life on life's terms.
I've tried all the usual tricks, and nothing is working. I'm in a black, dour mood, and I can't shake it.
Sometimes when I write about them, things right-size themselves. I see things spelled out on the page, and it wrenches me into a better perspective. So here I am, typing away. Lucky you.
Nothing is seriously wrong. Usually, when a series of inconveniences and setbacks come my way, I can take a couple of steps back and realize it could be so much worse. And it could be. A lot worse. For whatever reason that doesn't seem to hold any water today.
My car is dead - the battery has been acting up, and we managed to get a jump start on the tidal flats yesterday, just as the sea was lapping at my front tires. It died again that evening, and again this morning. So now it's in the shop, and I'm home for a couple of days with no car.
Finn is sick - he has been spiking fevers for a few days. Something is going around - kids at his school had it, and others assure me it's a virus that passes in 2-5 days. Nothing to do but treat the symptoms, and wait. He's tired, crabby, and Finn and Greta have been fighting almost non-stop all day. Greta isn't used to the slow pace, and has asked me no fewer than fifteen times if we're going to do anything fun today.
The house is messy - not over-the-top messy, but messy enough to peck at the corners of my brain, scratching at that spot that likes to tell me how useless I am at housework. Because the kids are home full-time now, as I work my way through the piles, new piles are popping up all over the place. They "helped" me clean for a while. I had to clean up from their helping. Finn dumped shampoo all of the pantry, because he thought it was soap. "I was just cleaning, Momma! Aren't you happy?"
Greta is resisting going to the playspace at the local Y, where I go to work out. She graduated from the younger kids' room, but feels out of place in the bigger kids' room. I'm antsy for a workout - I feel sluggish, tired and more than a little cranky if I don't exercise. I'll find a way to get her there, eventually, but it's not a battle worth tackling when Finn is sick and can't go anyway.
But what bothers me the most? That voice, that stupid Effer Voice that gets louder when I'm annoyed, run-down, cranky. The alcoholic devil in my head that tells me how much I suck, fans the flames of my annoyance. The one that whispers in my ear, tells me to look for that trap-door away from my reality. The one that says to me that a drink or a fistful of chips would taste so very good.
On days like today, I have to work harder at beating back that Effer Voice, and that is the most discouraging thing of all. I can do it, but I'm not happy about it. Not one bit.
I feel like I did yesterday, when the car wouldn't start and the ocean was mere minutes away from engulfing my car in water. I was frantically turning the key, trying to get moving, get the hell away from there, to no avail.
I can't do it alone. A nice woman enjoying the beach with her kid jump started my car yesterday, just in time. Like yesterday, I need the help of other people to pull me back from the brink. Left to my own resources, I'll just keep turning that key over and over, thinking I'm in control of the situation and not realizing I'm not until the ocean is up to my waist.
So I'm talking to people. I'm blogging about it. I'm reaching out to all of you for your empathy and humor. You haven't let me down yet.
And it helped. I got out of myself for a bit, typing this. I re-read it just now, before hitting publish, and my problems seemed a whole lot smaller. Cars can be fixed, kids recover from colds. I will find a way to get back to the gym. Sometimes, just speaking my truth is enough.
A bad mood is just a bad mood. A drink or a fistful of chips wouldn't help a thing.
That Effer Voice is no match for One Crafty Mother like me. Damn straight.