It seems like it’s been a rough year. There were definite highs and some low lows. Crap getting thrown all over the bloody place. I’m worn out and ready to be hopeful. A couple of years ago I trusted my instincts and went back to school and it probably couldn’t have been better for me. This year I trusted my instincts and sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t at all. Now I’m trying to trust them again, and it’s hard.
I need to focus and simplify. That’s my goal. And to take better care of me. There are a lot of things I can’t control and a very few that I can. So that is where my strength will lie.
I can’t control who other countries elect as their leader, but I can control how much sleep I get and how much water I drink. I can control my spending and my food intake and the amount of time I spend exercising at the lovely gym I pay for monthly.
I spend so much time telling my daughter that she needs to try to control her brain, to shift her focus, to move away from the dark into the light, but shouldn’t I also be getting that message?
I’m tried of trying to get better, I’d like to just be better.
So that’s what I’m going to try to do from now on. Be in the moment, taking care of the most important things. Knowing that making the hard decision now will make things easier later. Taking care of smaller things so that they all roll into something bigger.
I started decluttering the house a big yesterday. I started with the mantle, picking off things that aren’t needed and putting them in a box, dusting as I went. I cleaned out my toques and scarves and shoes in the front closet. I cleaned off my bookshelf and said goodbye to those titles who have been waiting for me to get to them for too long. Before the week is out I’ll clean out my dresser. Yesterday I bought new socks and got rid of two pairs that haven’t been what I needed. I’ll say goodbye to clothes that I think I should wear but that I really don’t feel comfortable in, and I’ll pass them on to someone else who might.
I’ll tidy my office next week, and make it ready for me to sit and create – writing, drawing, watercolours. Whatever I feel like doing. The walls are full of inspiration, the shelves full of books to read and notebooks to fill. I love my office.
I started knitting again over the holidays – a thing I enjoy doing that I had stopped for no real reason except there were other things to do. I made two hats, started a blanket, and planned to take some classes that will keep me going in the new year.
I will exercise because I know that it is good for me, I know that it makes me feel better in the end. Because it will help me sleep better, which is something I desperately need. I will do both and eat better because I have a 6-almost-7 year old I have to keep up with, because I need more energy to take care of myself, because I need to be able to walk across New York City this spring and do a 10K in the fall. Because this body needs to carry me through the hard times.
Because the end of 2017 is only going to be better than 2016 if I bloody well make it.
I was scrolling through Facebook today and one of my friends had sent good wishes and happiness. That anyone reading it would be happy.
And I burst into tears.
Because for the past month or two it has been very difficult to be happy, or even see happiness in my future.
The past month, certainly, feels like it’s been raining shit down on me and my family and I’ve found myself wondering if this is what being an adult is – surely there is some part that is easy or good, at least not a struggle. I can’t keep up with the easy things enough to give myself the breathing room to get through the hard.
All made harder by the holidays. All made harder by being away from home. All made harder by losing pieces of my childhood. All made harder by all the hard things.
I’ve been left wondering where the world is going and none of it seems good. I find myself over-reacting to the smallest of things – knowing that it’s happening. Knowing that tears are coming that I can’t stop.
Looking for the small moments that will remind me that there is some sunshine. That the weather can change. I can be the person I have been before. Reminding myself that sometimes there is good, and maybe it will stick around for a while. That sometimes the bad shows you something about yourself you never knew before.
We’re away from home this Christmas. First time in several years. There was some talk of celebrating somewhere else last year, but after we lost my dad I wasn’t sure I could handle it.
This year my Gramps is doing poorly, my mom doesn’t want to celebrate much of anything at all. Here we are with my husband’s family.
My intention was to spend this holiday pondering. Coming to terms. Moving forward. Carrying on. Figure out what comes next. Where do I fit in the world.
Turns out that’s pretty tough in a house full of people. Especially stealing your husband away from his whole family that he rarely gets to see.
The kid has been throw off her game, which is tough for all of us. It affects her moods, make her emotional and hyperactive. It puts me on edge, adding a level of stress I was not anticipating.
I had, in fact, not anticipated the amount of stress I would feel in general this Christmas. The way that I would feel so much removed from events. Off kilter. It all makes trying to figure out how to feel good again rather difficult.
Sitting in the airport in Calgary. We got up at 4:30 this morning to catch a flight to get here for a four hour layover. Not my best planning.
Because of the early flight we stayed out by the airport last night and I had quite a bit of trouble falling asleep. Now, I often have trouble falling asleep the night before a trip. The first time I flew in my life (save a trip to BC as a baby) I didn’t sleep at all the night before.
I also don’t sleep well when I’m sick, which I am, because vacation. Having to get up to blow your nose and coughing every time you lie down doesn’t lend itself to a restful sleep.
So there I was, in a strange bed, lying awake, thinking about getting up at the buttcrack of stupid, thinking about how I was not sleeping and I should be. And thinking about how 2016 hasn’t really ended the way I had hoped it would for me.
I have gone through a lot this year, seemingly never ending challenges sometimes. I have struggled emotionally. There has been change. There have been accomplishments – I can’t forget those, though I often do. But here at year end, I’m disappointed with where I’m seated.
(Not specifically this gate at the Calgary airport, though, it’s beautifully sunny here and you can see the Rockies).
I held in this anticipation of what came next when I finished my degree, as though I was going to take off like a rocket and do great things. But I’m not.
I thought I was going to have time to cook and exercise and take care of myself and my home and my family but, in fact, I’ve had less. I haven’t been cooking, exercise is hard to fit in, the house is a mess and my daughter is feeding off my stress. She knows I’m down.
I also had the crazy idea that maybe, just maybe, I’d be healthy enough by the end of this year to get off some of my medication. Instead I’m taking more – I’ve had to add iron pills to the mix.
I don’t know what I thought this would be, but I know that this isn’t it.
One day a few weeks ago I was commuting in to work. The drive can take anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour depending on traffic and weather. I was sitting in the car and thinking to myself and suddenly I thought ‘Is this what life is?’
It’s crushing. To think that you’re moving up and find yourself stuck, wondering, feeling your confidence breaking all over again, and wondering if I was in a good place at all this year.
I know I was. I know it. But I can’t remember.
At least I still get to wake up to them.
When I go through depression – often when I go through the worst parts of my depression – there is an extra voice in my head. She tells me all the worst things about myself. She tells me the things I least need to hear in the moment.
She tells me ‘they are better off without you,’ and ‘there’s no way you’ll survive this.’
He’s the other voice.
He believes in me – whenever, wherever. It’s almost frustrating. But also touching somehow. And occasionally annoying. Sometimes it’s easier just to feel terrible about myself.
But that voice has sustained me through the month of November and now half way through December. It’s been a hard freaking month. Like balls flying all over, no catching any of them. Many questions, no answers.
How I would love to ask a question and get a clear, simple answer when I ask a question, instead of more questions back. Or to be able to figure something out on my own and come to an answer without feeling fear that I’m wrong.
I am so tired of being wrong.
But there’s a danger in letting Joe be right all the time…
We had our company Christmas party the other day and one of my colleagues asked if she could put lipstick on me. I let her, and she told me I looked beautiful. Maybe I did, I tend not to see myself that way.
I tend not to wear makeup. I never really learned how to put it on properly. In high school I was always so self-conscious anyway that I was terrified of the scares I would get if I put on too much eye shadow or the wrong shade of blush.
Now I’m older. I’m also very aware of being fat. And I sweat a lot. And I have an image of fat, sweaty me looking like a fat sweaty mess with makeup running down my face. Looking like a slob that some people already assume that I am because of my weight.
I’ve spend most of my life overweight. Every year lately I’ve been getting fatter. It’s hard to change. Even when you change it’s hard to change your perception of yourself. But lately when people around me comment ‘oh I look so fat in that picture, don’t post that,’ I feel it a little more as a condemnation of what I’ve always been.
I always look fat in pictures, because I am.
Last week I bought us tickets to see Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway. We’re going to New York in May to see Hamilton, and I want to get a couple more shows in if I can. This is a trip I’ve been waiting for. I heard the first single from the original cast recording on the radio (Sirius XM Broadway, Channel 72, Love). It’s called Waving Through A Window and I loved it instantly. I have now purchased the song and listened to it many, many times. There is a line in the song that goes: “Will I ever be more than I’ve always been?”
It hit me right in the guts.
I mean, I guess I am already more than I was. Empirically speaking I am. I’ve had a life, I’ve done a lot. But will I ever feel like more that what I was in high school when I went mostly unnoticed? Will I ever be more than I was after my first job out of college or my first job out of university or right now when I feel like I’m never going to get things quite right?
Will I ever make a sound?
Much like I seem to spend time every day thinking about writing and wanted to write and doing nothing, I also seem to be spending time every day thinking about crying and feeling the need to cry and not.
Usually I would turn on Steel Magnolias and let the tears flow, but recently I’ve just spent time sitting on the edge of my bed in the quiet, thinking about feeling like crying.
It feels as though I’m waiting for something to spill over, for the dam to burst.
It feels like a bubbling up of something. The calm before the storm.
The countdown to a much needed holiday is on. Time for deep breaths, tears and smiles. And wondering what the hell else this year can throw at us.
The past week or more I have intended to write every day. I have taken a notebook with me, I have logged in to my blog. I have had every intention of writing. And then I didn’t.
Things have been stressful lately. A struggle. Every day has been a struggle.
I am not sleeping well. I am, in fact, so stressed that my right trapezius muscle is so tight that my doctor could see the tightness as soon as I turned around. But it’s also been too hectic to book a massage. The receptionist kept saying “Tuesday?” after telling me they were booked on Monday, and “Tuesday?” after telling me they were booked on Wednesday.
I can’t do Tuesday.
(I actually remember after that phone call that I couldn’t do Wednesday either, but I’ve also been forgetting things).
I think part of the reason I’m exhausted and stressed is because I have been so busy and also in pain and I haven’t gone to the gym in a week. Also the sun hasn’t appeared in what seems like forever, and today was on -2 but it felt a lot colder. Deep dark winter cold.
I’ve had some successes, I’ve had some interesting conversations, I’ve had some troubles and made some mistakes. But every night I have come home and not written anything, despite meaning to every day.