Saturday, May 15, 2010

Another day older

Alliteratively, I finally finished finals.  This strange year is over, and in my hazy memory it is blanketed in darkness, colors of fear and anxiety, with startling splashes of vibrancy and hope.  I don't know if it's age or wisdom finally accumulating or simple exhaustion, but I feel that I am learning to focus on the present and let the future take care of itself.  I don't want to miss the joys of today any more, don't want to keep borrowing trouble.

My beautiful children - I've spent the last few weeks balancing on the knife's edge of self and school and kids, and they have been so surprising, the bright points in my busy days.  I can almost smell the sunscreen and chlorine of impending summer, and I can't wait to see them, skin darkening and hair lightening, running around the pool filled with joy.  It is hard to hold on to regrets when I think about any alternate life that wouldn't have included my wonderful strange small people.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


The days of peacefulness extend both forward and back from this unexpected oasis of time.  Anxiety has called a recess, depression has rejected the too-obvious calling of bad weather, irritation has gone to find someone else to bother and itch.  Circumstances remain but seem surmountable, strangely, and less urgent.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Today was a good day, better than maybe any day I've had this dismal, grey, snowy, eternal winter of a year.  Good news, good self-control, good feelings about the present and future, good feelings about maybe some day putting away the past.  I'm grateful to have had the break, I really am.  The high didn't last all that long, though - it's almost 1am and I've slid back down from rosy pink through neutral beige and into the imminent-danger grey zone.  Grey is the worst color, I think.  Black is at least absolute, white is hopeful and bright (even if all-too-present in the form of snow).  Grey just makes my eyes hungry, and its emotional equivalent makes the rest of me feel like one big yearning.  Not even sure what I'm yearning for.  Something with meaning?  Seems so trite.  Someone else's color to mix with this desolation?  Not really, not now, I don't have the energy.  I feel so flat, it's almost worse than feeling outright awful, or maybe it's just like the eternal debate over whether itching or pain is worse.  Better to feel terrible or nothing at all?  Terrible is terrible but nothing has the potential to go on and on and on....

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Time Flies, etc

Impending birthdays don't usually faze me much - mostly I just look forward to cake and attention (or, more likely, nothing much at all).  This year, though, it strikes me that I've been a real live grownup for over a decade, and that decade went so startlingly fast.  I haven't quite caught up.  I don't feel any different than the girl I was ten years ago, not way down deep where who I really am lives.  I have accumulated people and responsibilities and experiences in these years but not wisdom, I fear, or the foresight to tell bad choices from good up front.  My brain and my heart are just as disconnected as they ever were; my brain does okay with a little prodding in the motivation department, my heart has no sense at all.  I decided today that the fleeting nature of time sort of makes sense in terms of the seasons of families.  I had my kids in my 20s, and their baby years were tedious to the point of desperation but always busy, always filled with small urgencies.  As they get older and more self-sufficient (thank god), I have a moment to breathe and reflect on how little of my life has gone as I'd have hoped and imagined.  How unfortunate.  I'm guessing that my 30s will be filled with a lot of this discontent, this second-adolescent angst, this raging against pointlessness, and that my 40s will end the angst with new urgencies related to raising teenagers.  I have too little imagination to figure out 50s and beyond, but I know when I get there I'll say the same thing, that I don't know where the time went, and then feel another pang of mediocrity at my lack of originality.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Aches and Pains

It's hard to keep an even keel when it feels like there's no break between storms, both literal and figurative.  I make new month's resolutions, then new week's, and finally I'm playing it minute by minute, resolving to be positive, to appreciate the good things that seem so fleeting and just endure the bad things that seem to go on and on and on.  I try to remember to let go of the things I can not change, or however that goes, but it seems like just about everything is outside my control, so it's a lot to let go of.  I can't find a groove.  I'm an aging, scratchy record.

I should sleep, but I want to write.  I should write, but I can only think of words for these feelings when I'm not at the keyboard.  In class, in the car, playing with the kids - at those times, I have to wrench myself back to the present, away from the thoughts that are so hard to channel into words now that I have the opportunity to try.  I feel like everything should be easier, that I'm missing a key somewhere.  Does everyone struggle like this, or am I really just doing it all wrong?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Oh, snow.

I've let the blog lapse yet again, but if I were to post it would be one big blank sheet of white - the whole world's been erased by snow and it feels like normalcy may never be restored.  It's hard not to see it as a metaphor for my life, but it's probably a little too egocentric to believe that this apocalyptic weather is all about me.  I have so many more questions than answers, way too much time on my hands and not enough motivation to follow through on even the easiest of the steps toward a way out of the formlessness.  I hate to just let things happen, hate not having a hand in my own fate, but I'm so tired, so snowed-in, it's so easy to believe nothing I do matters anyway.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Holding Time

Another month is ending, not quite soon enough, another month I wouldn't choose to relive if given the choice.  Not horrible, but a struggle almost every day, just to get through.  I remember from Laura Ingalls Wilder's The Long Winter that her father strung a rope from the house to the barn and used it to guide him through blizzards, so he wouldn't get blown off course and freeze to death feet from his house, walking in circles.  I string myself a similar rope of small happinesses to guide me back to a place where living is, if not a constant joy, at least not a constant effort. 

My rope is made up, in large part, of the fresh smell and soft cheeks of my children, of their sweet small hands around my neck and their squeaky small voices in my ear.  Of my pride in the big boy for always pursuing justice and trying so hard to do the right thing.  The smaller boy fighting his own emotional roller coaster but trying hard, so hard, not to lose his temper.  The twins' enviable love for each other, their long periods of play divided by small bursts of ridiculous fighting.  My guiderope is also made of friends and family and even the structure of school, helping me put one foot in front of the other when it is all too tempting to just stand in the blizzard and let it have me.  It is the promise of the future, in small things as well as large - a trip, a graduation, a change in weather.  It's not a bad rope, actually.  I think it will do.

And when I reach the end of this rope (not the end of MY rope, that's an entirely different thing), I know life will still have challenges.  I know I will still have days that are hard to wade through.  But, hopefully, there will again be times that I would capture if I could, times sweet enough that I will wish I could relive them again and again.  Times I want to hold in my hands and keep safe.