I have been so scattered in the last few weeks. We’ve had one crisis after another and yet I still managed to enjoy myself quite a bit doing things like making my own laundry detergent. Remember Pete? That baby snake is still in my thoughts. Last night I was convinced that I had something terribly wrong inside my body, that something was eating away at me without me knowing and that it was going to kill me. This is not an uncommon thing in my head. I spend a lot of time telling myself why this isn’t likely. The more people I know fighting cancer and other serious health issues the harder it is to make myself believe it. I’ve been meaning to respond to an article on The Huffington Post about enjoying every single minute of your child’s life. The article was great because finally another mom besides me is saying it’s okay to not enjoy every single minute. What a fucking enormous load of crap pressure to put on yourself! I remember hearing that a lot too and it was a constant irritant. But I’m not going to go on at great length about it because as you can see, I’m still quite scattered. I will say this:
Enjoy the great, the good, and the decent moments of parenting and feel free to not enjoy the parts that tear your heart to shreds, exhaust you, annoy you, and stress you out. You are not obligated to listen to anyone else’s edicts on what motherhood should feel like to you. We all have different parenting experiences and if yours feels like every minute is precious then that’s great (and I hate you), but some of us struggle more than others and it doesn’t mean you love your kid any less if you don’t enjoy every minute of it. So do what works for you but don’t put pressure on others they don’t need. It’s also okay for your kid to know you don’t love every minute of parenting because it’s good for them to see that it can be challenging. It’s certainly more honest than pretending you never wish you could erase the last few hours of tantrums. Bottom line: if you love your child that’s what your child will remember about your parenting the most.
Also: It doesn’t really go by fast at all. It only goes by fast when you look backwards rather than forwards. Be in the present, whatever it’s like, and you’ll get everything worthy out of your life and your child’s.
Here’s something weird – my sweet friend Kelly sent me some money with which to splurge because she knows how tight it’s been around here and so this weekend I bought two blocks of cheese (one jack and one cheddar) and beer. My two favorite things in the consumable world. I have to say that once I had it around again I realize that it’s not as important to me as I thought. I’m pretty okay with it being an occasional treat rather than something we always have in the fridge. It isn’t really that I feel physically better, but I do feel like not feeling like I NEED to have cheese is kind of nice. I’ve been eating tofu and toast for lunch many days, sometimes with collards, sometimes without (depending on what we have) and in the past I would have obviously had it with cheese, but I didn’t miss it much. Plus, I love tofu. I just felt a little freer. Ditto the beer.
The sucky thing is that after almost three weeks of eating about 75% less dairy and 50% less volume of alcohol, I did not lose a single pound. I’m not crying in my lemon water or anything. It just would have been nice to see additional rewards.
I’ve been having a great deal of trouble developing my character outline for Baby Girl Six. A lot of staring at the blank screen. I can’t start writing it until I know who she is and that was difficult. Apparently I really do need this exercise of writing on demand and doing it more quickly because apparently I find it almost impossible to write about what other people are most interested in. You say “Baby Girl Six!” and I say “All I can think about is Jane from the Winter Room. So shut up.” I’m going to have to let go of perfection, to start with. Writing a serialized novel and trying to offer up a chapter a month is going to make plot challenges and character black holes much more visible to readers because even though I’m trying to come up with a workable outline to go from, it will not be possible to go back and change what I already have because people will have already read it. This is an exercise in soap opera writing. I’m sure the writers plan plots out months in advance but because they put episodes up every day they can’t go back and change things just because they came up with a much better idea for a story arc for this character or that one. What’s behind you is done. There’s only moving forward. That’s how blog posts are too but with blog posts no one really expects a clean arc or literature quality writing.
So last night I was finally getting into the book I’m reading that was boring me to tears. I still don’t love it but I’m finally invested enough to (I think) read the whole thing. What I really need is a brand new author who has tons of books that have the same voice and type of story that I can dive into. I’ve now read all but one Anne Stevenson books. I want more just like that. Anyway, I couldn’t get sleepy but really wanted to be. So I turned off the light at 1am and promptly fell into a bunch of thoughts about Baby Girl Six and why a 20 year old would just be leaving home for the first time. (She was going to be 18 but I just can’t write a main character under 20 years old. Won’t do it.) I got ideas. My head was finally moving forward with some key information and thoughts that will allow me to begin this novel. That’s some useful insomnia. I didn’t get up to write notes though because I was pretending my head wasn’t finally full of ideas and pretending I couldn’t hear Philip snoring, and pretending that I wasn’t still worried that my body is riddled with cancer.
So I’m going to go write some of those notes now. Then I’m going to order some herbal supplies so I can get cracking on making more lotion, lip balm, salves, and shampoo. Then I’m going to wrestle some blackberries.
Hopefully will be a more focused person soon.