Mind Holiday

For most of my life, I have sat down and read a chapter or two of a book every day. Now I can’t remember the last time I picked up a book that wasn’t for the kids. Life got so full of responsibility and obligation that reading for pleasure suddenly seemed like an unproductive use of my time.

Sometimes, I’d walk past my bookshelf and my fingers would wander over the spines of my favourite worlds. I’d be hit with a pang of twofold guilt; the guilt of neglecting Fitz-Chivalry and his Fool, and the guilt of more important responsibilities that loomed over me while I selfishly contemplated reading.  When did I stop allowing myself to have free time? When did I let mother’s guilt become so all encompassing? I often find myself saying, “I need a holiday from my mind.” But that’s exactly what reading is. It’s brilliant.

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A few of my favourite things.

I had a moment in my kitchen today, when I looked around and didn’t know what I was there for.  The laundry was done. Dishes? Done. Beds were made, rooms were tidy, so what was I meant to be doing? A little voice inside me squeaked, “Read a book!” I heard it, it was quiet, but I heard it. I drowned it out with a louder voice that boomed, “DO SOME BAKING! START DINNER NOW! COOK EXTRA FOR THE FREEZER!” So now we have chocolate slice, cinnamon buns and three days worth of dinners. Which is great, but I could have made myself a cup and tea, put my feet up and read a book. How delicious does that sound?!

I’ve decided I’m going to make time to read. I even went to the library and chose three books. It wasn’t until I got home that I realised I’d fucked up. All three books were chosen because they relate to something I want to achieve. I was suppose to get lost in a world of fiction, instead I came away with “Rewire Your Overanxious Brain”, “The Power of Negative Emotion” and “The $50 Weekly Shop”.  Not exactly light reading, but it’s a start.

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People Should Not Be Inflated!

Today I had my ‘tubes tied’ or rather clamped. My understanding of the procedure is this: they shove a line in your hand, then pump a wonderous magical potion through it to relax you. I now have a fantasy of laying on the floor under the influence of this magic potion for the rest of my life. Next, they stab you with a straw, inflate you like a balloon with carbon dioxide. Then stab you with a camera stick, shove a couple of clamps down the straw, whack those on your fallopian tubes, out come the stick and straw then they glue your stab-holes shut. Turns out the stabbing is not the worst part, the inflating is. You see, when you deflate, not all of the CO2 comes out, and it becomes trapped against your diaphragm, organs and nerves. This makes breathing difficult and causes sharp pains through your abdomen and shoulders. The pain that comes and goes is enough to nearly make me pass out.

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These embroidered lady-parts add a touch of classic country style to any kitchen or living room.

Official advice is to lie flat to help the gas move away from the diaphragm, but for me, laying down has the opposite effect. I attempted to go to bed, but the pain intensified too much to bear. Mr. Flatmate will be relieved, as he wasn’t too keen on sleeping next to me because surgical wounds are “gross”. Mine are particularly gross because they’re purple. I tried to explain that it’s the surgical glue that is purple, but it just wouldn’t sink in.  The river of empathy within him runs extremely shallow. I slept next to him when his face was a smashed up gore-fest, but two little laparoscopic incisions and I’m demoted to plague-corpse status.

So here I am, again, up in the middle of the night, eating codeine like candy and wishing they’d sent me home with the oxycodone that they were giving me in the ward. Good shit, that is. I’m tempted to go and sleep in my car because the seats in there are ideal, but Mum is staying the night and I don’t want her to wake up and think I’ve lost my mind and gone walkabout in the night. Still, no biggie if I don’t get any sleep, the kids are at Ex’s house for the weekend; if I’m a drooling zombie tomorrow, that’s ok.

 

Fake it ’til Something in Your Head Ruptures

I don’t know why I do these things to myself. During the good times I think I forget how fucked up I am and certain things seem like good ideas. I’ve taken a extra job cleaning motel units. I’m suppose to be studying. I’ve picked up a small third job doing a little online admin. I have let a slightly insane friend with benefits become a slightly insane boarder with benefits (mmmm, benefits…). I’m learning Spanish. I’m trying to keep up with my beading and tutorial writing (which is impossible in such a noisy household). On top of all of this I’m still trying to function as a mother.

It’s really little wonder that I can be occasionally found sitting on the floor of a cold shower rocking back and forth while muttering to myself about questionable life choices.

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This guy gets it.

 

I think I’m doing okay though, at least externally. My children are alive and well even if I am yelling at them too much lately. My pets are healthy and I believe that I’ve gotten control of the flea situation. I can’t afford to be a drug addict, but my bills are paid and there’s food on the table. My house isn’t nearly as clean as I would like, but it’s not a complete hovel. I haven’t yet eviserated anyone or stuck my head in the oven. Overall, I’m faking functionality quite well, and that’s the main thing, right?

Relaxing in the Inferno

I keep telling people I don’t like Summer but today I realised that that is not quite accurate. I love Summer. What I don’t like is having to do stuff during Summer. Summer Days are made of ice-blocks, laying down, reading books, napping and some sitting. Those other days when it is scorching hot and I have to do stuff (such as working, cleaning, shopping, parenting) those are not Summer Days, those are Inferno Glimpses. During Inferno Glimpses, I am sweaty, irritable and probably whiny. I’ll say “Fuck it’s hot,” approximately 500 times and consider shaving my head.

Blessedly, today was a Summer Day, and it was glorious. Not a cloud in the sky, not a job to be done. Well, I did do some housework or I would have burst a blood vessel, but mostly I ignored things that could be put off until tomorrow. I read, I watched children playing, I took my school work out in to the sun and feel asleep on it. I even managed to get a slight tan on my legs which haven’t seen the sun for several years. I know tanning isn’t the greatest idea, especially in New Zealand, but my legs really were looking frighteningly corpse-like, and some melatonin is needed to hide the many bruises that I’m accumulating from work and general clumsiness.

Another thing that I love about Summer Days, is dinner preparation. I whip up a couple of salads in the morning, chuck them in the fridge and that’s most of the work done for a few days. Cook a handful of drumsticks in the evening and you’re done.

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A beautiful Summer garden. It’s enough to make you want to tear your sinuses from your skull.

 

The down side of course, is Summer allergies. They’re not affecting me too badly so far this year, just a bit of an itchy nose, but my poor son… He’s sneezing, itching his skin and eyes, and his nose is pouring. Phenergan doesn’t seem to be doing an awful lot to help him and it’s making him miserable.  Today he was having his own Inferno Glimpse and I saw a  scary little of myself in his temperament.  If tomorrow is just as brutal, it might be time for a doctor visit for something a little more heavy duty. Like a deep-sea diving suit.

The Thing

In many ways, this has been the best year of my life. I’ve become independent after the end of a 12 year relationship. I bought my own home with the help of some amazingly helpful and kind people. I’ve ensured that my children are happy and emotionally secure in their relationships with both parents. I’ve reconnected with my own needs and desires. I have begun to socialise again… a bit… baby steps. I have seen the best and worst in people. I have learned that I’m just fine the way I am.

Sometimes I’m scared. Overwhelmed. I feel like I’m losing grip. I’m juggling chainsaws and I’ve always been pretty clumsy. That’s okay. I’ve juggled chainsaws before and cut myself stem to stern, but I’m still here. The world didn’t end, and it’s not going to end it I fuck it all up now.

Not that I’m in the habit of fucking everything up, but sometimes shit happens. And it sure seems the be happening a lot lately. Without going in to specifics which could cause me a world of trouble, lets just say,  I said a thing.

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Much like myself, the Gummi family never saw the danger that was closing in on them. Photo credit: Giulia Van Pelt

The thing was agreed upon until the thing happened, then it was no longer agreed upon, but it was too late. I was then accused of not saying the thing at all and just doing the thing without permission.

I’m all like, “what the fuck, dude, I totally said the thing!”

The other is all like “Nope, you never said the thing and now you’re going to be punished for doing the thing.”

I’m thinking,”are you fucking serious? I totally said the thing, people heard me say the thing, the thing was written down, you knew about the thing, you said yes to the thing!”

And they say, “Ok yeah, you said the thing, but you didn’t get another thing to do the other thing that needed doing.”

Then I’m all “whoa, whoa, that’s not my responsibility, whose running this thing?”

And they’re all “Well, what you say doesn’t matter because this is the thing that’s happening now and there ain’t jack you can do about it because I’m yelling and yelling wins arguments.”

And I’m just like, “What the fuck just happened?”

And that was my day today. The End.

Achievement Unlocked

An Oxymoron

An Oxymoron

Many times throughout my life, neon signs in my frontal lobe have flashed the words “I need to sort my shit out”.

In the past, this thought has often been prompted by a particularly brutal session of binge drinking, and/or waking up next to an ex boyfriend.  Today, this thought raised it’s ugly head again today, but only in regards to the growing pile of laundry that needs folding.

Could it be that I’m finally an adult!?

I will meditate on this further while I sit on Mount Washmore in my panda onesie and watch South Park with a bag of Doritos.

Maybe You Should Count to Ten?

This working mama business is tough! Sure, tons of women do it, and a lot of them do it a lot rougher than me, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m finding it a bit hard. I’m no Wonder Woman of the 21st century; I’m just me. And sometimes “me” is the person wishes she could stay in bed for a week, playing Tomb Raider on an old Playstation console – ahh to be a kid again. But sadly, I’m not, and my Playstation was sold off many years ago, probably to pay for cheap nasty vodka.

On my most hectic days, I’m finding myself being increasingly snappy at the kids. I hadn’t noticed how grumpy I was being until I caught myself berating them for a relatively minor act of non-malicious vandalism. I’m a fairly strict parent. No means no in my household, and I don’t budge for whining or begging; tears or tantrums.

Unless I’m wrong.

And sometimes Mum’s are wrong.

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Ahhh fuck it….

Saying sorry is not easy, but I think it’s one of the most important words a parent can say to their children. We all mess up, and it’s important for kids to know that, and to hear what a genuine, meaningful apology looks and sounds like. They need to be shown that ‘sorry’ is not just a word, it’s the beginning of an action toward change. My kids now know that Mum is still trying to adjust to her new schedule, and is a little more tired in the evening. They know that I’ve been a bit short tempered, and that it’s not their fault. They know that I’m going to try better and as per the advice of my wise elder child, next time, I’ll count to ten. A few early nights wouldn’t go astray either.