Monday, January 04, 2010

So Complicated Even I Don't Understand Myself

It's 1:00am, I have to be up in five hours, and I can't sleep.  Watching TV didn't work,  mindless trolling around Facebook didn't work. Laying in the dark listening to the quiet house certainly didn't work.  I have some new books I could read, but the one on hypochondria would just get me more anxious, the one on parenting  more frustrated.

Thinking, thinking thinking. Why do you have to go and think all the time girl!? Why can't it ever just be simple for me?  Eat, drink, sleep, eat, drink, sleep, eat, drink, sleep.

This was a REALLY great holiday break in the sense that:

1.) Jon was home for eleven days! This was a real treat, and nothing makes life easier and happier than a little company. Well, company from Jon.

2.) We accomplished one of our goals, five and a half years in the making! The basement, it now has a finished playroom. (See post below)  I also have this lovely office that I'm sitting in right now as we speak! It's such a nice feeling to have a space of my own.

3.) There was a lot less social pressure, household pressure, parenting pressure and volunteering pressure for two weeks. By the time school break started, I felt like I was about to crack. Sometimes I hide it well, and other times not. Interweb, I have myself in a muddle. I have too much on my plate and I'm not sure how to dig out. I think this is what my lack of sleep in about. Which, I'm sure I'll go more into later. But yes, this vacation was great because 75% of my pressure was reprieved for a bit. I could breath.

4.) I had help with Noah. The beautiful hearted, amazing and profound co-founder and matriarch of Noah's school, was recently published in a book. She, being over ninety years old now, and a pioneer in American gifted education, has written and contributed to many a published print. Her latest though, is on INTENSITY in the gifted. Oh yes, INTENSITY. That main characteristic of my particular child, present from the very moment he entered this world.  INTENSITY, he wakes up intense, spends the day intense, and falls asleep...intense.  It doesn't mean that he is always misbehaving, although believe me, five has been way worse that four so far. It just means that "EASY GOING" has never been in his vocabulary, he wouldn't understand it if he saw it. So mornings and school drop-offs and school pick-ups and afternoons and evenings are stressful and tense and emotional and emotions are emotional and everything is black or white or starkly good or bad and INTENSE.   Sigh.....So having Jon home to help with Noah, I was incredibly thankful for. 

5.) I got some friend time in. Real, quality, friend time. The kind where I'm feeling my real age, where I'm 32, not 52, where it's just us, or us and the friends, not us, the kid and the friend's kids. I love my friends, they energize me. Before we had Noah, Jon and I didn't have any friends with children. In fact almost none of our friends were married. They were off living these neat existences, in grad school, traveling the world. Many still are. Sometimes I feel right where I belong, but often, I feel old and tired beyond my years.  In January 2004 I was young and full of life and excitement and positivity and in awe with the great expanse of a future in front of me. Then, POOF! In just a few month's time I was married, found out that Noah was on his way, left a fun flat in town that we loved, to buy a little house, put grad school on hold and became exhausted. I went from what I imagined myself as, to an instantly made suburban housewife with a kid.  The grass is always greener, the grass is always greener. That's what I've told myself for years. And, I think it is, I just have to remember that.

Ah this picture makes me so sad. It's hard to look at. That's me, the real me, the old me. I'll never see her again. I remember that snow storm, I was SO excited to see the white fluffy blanket on the ground. I thought it was beautiful and poetic. I was thankful because newly back from living in San Francisco, I was was very homesick for the changing seasons.
This is me, I was in my little studio, in our neato flat. I was making barrettes and pins out of felt and glitter and flowers. There was a holiday antique, gift and  craft show going on that I was part of . It was such a happy time. We were getting ready for our wedding in February, and I was excitedly trying to find a good grad school program.
A few days later, after the last day of the craft show, Jon and our friends Caroline and Paul, and I, went out to dinner at Sangria. It is there that I would first start coming down with the flu. I had it pretty badly, but didn't freak out. Unlike now. I would. You know, freak out.

And just because he's wearing a turtleneck sweater, here is ilya in our neato flat. God, we loved that place. It had all of this great wood, and a formal dining room. And it was a five minute walk to two movie theaters and restaurants and bars and books stores and people. Young people.

My guess is, just like me, there are many people still up at 1:45am, as it is now. Many people who are dreading their first day back to work, or the first day of school. Or they just feel that big let down when Christmas is over. There's lots of things to stay up and worry about. I'm sure that I'm not alone.

What I am up worrying about is how can people be happy when so many horrible things *could* happen. Oh my gosh, have you read the news lately? The world is kind of sad, and kind of mean and kind of out of control.
 And I'm up dreading tomorrow because I just know, I just know that the stress is going to slowly creep up once more. And I'm going to feel exhausted inside once again. Overwhelmed and exhausted. There is something so incredibly embarrassing to admit that one can barely handle one's life. Especially such a lucky life as mine. Holding it all together with gum!
I'm fearing it all. The morning intensity with Noah, and the rush to get all of the errands done, the house work done, the volunteer work done, the emails done, the phone calls done before I leave at 2:30 or so to pick him up. My God, I even stress over school pick-up! Having to smile and be social even when I don't feel like it. My kid, the inevitable fight over something when he sees me. The pressure to give him attention, but make dinner at the same time, when I can't cook very well. What does it matter I think , my child doesn't really eat food anyway.  And poor Jon, I'm sure he would be happier with a wife that cooked him more meat. My dinners, they never really get eaten up, and all of that planning and running around and juggling cooking and parenting, not for much. 

And my Dad is coming to town and he wants to meet at the mall AGAIN. And I frickin' hate the mall. ARGH! And also, I'm supposed to like playdates but I don't really. I also hate the phone. Interweb, I hate the phone. I am an introvert that smiles and never shuts up, so nobody would ever have known my secret introversion, and perhaps that's most of this muddle that I'm in. Maybe.

Or maybe that it's the fact that I haven't taken my Ritalin for ten years, and that it's hard enough to juggle a full, busy life without ADD.  For me though, if I focus on one thing at a time, I can always get it done. If I slow down and think, and plan, I can be incredibly reliable, always on time, if not early! I am famous for being early! And, I never forget a thing. I took a class in college. It was life skills and time management for the ADDers. It REALLY helped. And I would say, if I had less on my plate these days, I would be much happier, as I could focus one task at a time. Rather than on 52 tasks at a time. 

Maybe what all of this is about, the lack of sleep, the worry, it's just simply that at the present moment, my life is a little like living in the middle of a ping-pong game. I constantly have things flying at me. It won't always be this INTENSE, but for right now, it is real enough for me and I'm just very tired and stressed out. 
Here is a great site that I read , ZEN HABITS.  I really need to take to heart the suggestions and  start now, for 2010! *

It's 2:00am, and I thought that typing would make me tired, but it hasn't really worked. Why do they say journal to get your feelings out? I don't think, in this case, it helped.

I wish you could see my cat right now. He's lying here and he's so cute.

None of my family wants to learn how to ski or snowboard. :(
I really miss it. Snowboarding was my love. So, I decided today just to go alone sometimes, because why not, right?

Today I also decided that I would like to learn how to play Debussy's Arabesque #1 on the piano. I don't play the piano, not really. But, if I can find one around here, I will learn to play Arabesque #1 for you. 

Earlier, in preparation for the coming week, anticipating major stressing out, I ironed five full outfits for Noah, and five full outfits for me!
I also stocked the refrigerator with five as complete as I could, lunches for Noah. Because just like I need yet ANOTHER thing to remember, his school is encouraging trash-free lunches. So, I have to fill a million little Tupperware cups full of things like yogurt and applesauce and fruit and veg.

The GIANT calendar, the one that I bought magnetic strips for, to hold it to our fridge. The one that I need to keep track of all of the places we need to be and the things we need to do. It just feel off the refrigerator with a thud. I have no idea why, but I should go investigate. I supposes that is a very ironic situation to end on. I'm sorry for all of this late night ranting. I think it's better to talk to you Internet, than to my cats, because that would be just crazy!

Good Night.

* On second thought, maybe it was the big coffee that I had at 8:00pm.


Kendra Lynn said...

Oh man. I know how you feel, sweet Lauren. And just so you know...I don't think you've changed much since college. Nahhhh. You are still the same sweet, creative, loving Lauren that I've known for quite a looong time now. :) And you look younger than 32. (Thank God, so do I!) We all have nights (and days) like yours, so don't feel alone. The only difference is that I don't get out of bed and type out my musings. Nope. I lie in bed and think, and think, and think...bad habit, I know.

So, I was and I should meet up some morning when you are not too busy volunteering or making phone calls :) and go hang out somewhere non-mallish.
What do you think? Let me know.

I love you.


lws said...

Don't feel bad - I am ashamed that I can't really handle my life and I'm not even as busy as most people! The worst part is that lately I've kind of stopped trying to keep it all going ... I still make to-do lists, but then I ignore them. Papers pile up and I only do the most urgently needed tasks.

I say when it comes to snowboarding, or anything else that brings you pleasure, you should definitely just go alone sometimes.

PS - I hate both the phone and malls, too. Glad I'm not the only one. :-)

Judy said...

LOL - maybe I'm reading this entire post completely wrong, but Lauren, you totally crack me up!

I love you!

Lauren said...

Thank you for the all the positivity Kendra and Judy! I'm feeling much more settled as the week has gone into full things and the big to do's are getting done.

Lws- who are you, I love you!!! Thank you for your input. I like the To Do lists that don't get used. Awesome. I need just let go of things sometimes.
Phones and malls....eeeewwww! ;)

Thank so much guys, you really make me smile, I appreciate your contributions very much!!!