If my posts were a fashion collection Tim Gunn would tell me they need to be more cohesive.
I feel like I start typing and random stuff just comes out of no where. And it surprises me! I had no idea that yesterday’s post would end up where it ended up. That is more than I EVER share, so its a little uncomfortable. But maybe that’s part of the process? Kind of like taking out the garbage or really more like clearing out a hoard (it always comes back to Hoarders). You have to clear away all the STUFF to see what’s there. And my brain is certainly full of stuff. Stuff is a very non-writerly word, but I can’t come up with a more specific one right now. I don’t really KNOW what’s buried in all the stacks and piles in my brain, and I guess I won’t know what’s in them until I start dragging the piles outside and going through them. Just like on Hoarders.
I have Hoarders on the brain today, because my house is EXTRA bad. Seriously, I ate yogurt with a fork this morning because all of the spoons were in the sink. And the laundry is absolutely ridiculous (yet everyone still has clothes?). I really haven’t been feeling well the last few days. Apparently I put myself into a bit of a withdrawal state when I forgot to fill my Cymbalta last week. It was sort of like a hangover only the headache was worse. Who knew forgetting for a few days would make me feel so yucky? Most of the time the mood meds don’t really do that to me, so I thought I had the flu and just sat around for the whole weekend. AND I’m not the only one who knows how the dishwasher works. My husband hasn’t exactly been busy lately, he’s been on a new computer game.
Yep, I’m a gamer widow again. Sigh. He’s on the chat thing for HOURS, and I swear their little guild thing has more drama than the fourth grade girls in my neighborhood (I’ve suggested a headset on several occasions because I don’t enjoy overhearing them all that much). I honestly don’t get the appeal of these MMORPG games. From what I can tell from my 15 years of observation (Oh yeah, been a gamer widow since the first Everquest came out, lucky me) you make a big group called a guild who you then argue with or call inappropriate names 90% of the time you’re online. The rest of the time you do little “quests” or “raids” to get “loot” and get your character to a higher level. It’s all pretend, except for the people who pay real money to get virtual stuff or get their characters to a higher level, which I REALLY don’t understand. I think my husband likes the social part of it, because he likes to be in charge, AND he likes to kind of embellish his personal details. Online you can be anyone you want. In person eventually people will have heard all of your stories, and they start to figure out that your personality is just a bit TOO big, but online when that happens you get a new guild, or a new game. I shouldn’t complain TOO much about the gaming, it provided my Master’s research material back in 2009 and 2010. I focused on internet addiction, which was a new idea then. Gaming and social media were just starting to get big, so I had to really dig to find any source material that wasn’t about porn and gambling. It was fascinating! And interestingly, he quit playing for a pretty long time after he realized I was calling him an addict. Apparently it bothered him, but not enough to never play again. Just goes to show that you can never trust a junkie.
Today is a very not-focused kind of day. I’m going to go be disappointed by some election results.
So its been awhile. But I figured it was time to attempt to get back in the game, and what better motivation than NaBloPoMo. I tell you what, just getting started today was overwhelming and I almost called it quits. So many badges and sign-ups and “post here’s and prompts! It’s enough to drive a person right back out the door (or away from the keyboard). But after a couple of attempts at adding the badge I gave up and decided I had better just start or I’ll never get any actual words on the page. And ultimately that is the goal: words on the page. I made myself a little more accountable this year, and announced my NaBloPoMo intentions in a Facebook group. It’s actually a health group, but I decided this counts as a mental health goal, and I really do need SOMEBODY keeping an eye on me, because I don’t really trust myself to stick with it otherwise. And I do think writing again is important for my mental health. I think I have lost my “voice” somewhere along the way and am just going through the motions every day. Not going through them very well, I might add, as my house currently resembles an episode of Hoarders again.
For awhile I did okay at setting a schedule/daily goals for myself around the house, but I have given up for the most part. It’s such a thankless job, you know? And it never, EVER ends. The minute the laundry is done the chute is full. The second you pick up one room you can’t walk through the next one. Immediately after you load the dishwasher the sink is full again. The instant you finish cooking they’re hungry again and right as you put the last grocery away there’s “nothing to eat”. I just can not for the life of me see the point of any of it. It was easier when they were babies, babies are so HAPPY when they’re fed and changed and they snuggle and smile at you and you want to do anything to see that smile! And when they got a little bigger and I worried about them putting stuff in their mouths and choking or getting hurt I was much more careful around the house too. But now they’re 9 and 18 (yes he has autism, so its kind of like having a big 10-year-old, but still, technically he’s an adult) and I feel like a maid and a personal chef and a taxi driver more than the mom a lot of the time and quite honestly I’ve kind of just quit. I know there are people out there who get a tremendous amount of satisfaction from a spotless home and organized linen closets, but there is just no way I will ever be that person.
I got to thinking about this because my husband’s mom was texting me at midnight last night about how the state of my house keeps her up at night. And it took every single ounce of my will power (and that is not something I have a lot of) to tell her that it was probably the vodka keeping her awake at night more than my house. She’s obsessed with STUFF, that woman. Getting stuff, organizing stuff, “selling” stuff (I don’t know that she actually sells much of anything, but she has little booths at places and an Ebay account), knowing how much stuff is worth. Stuff is kind of her thing, stuff and vodka. She raised my husband in a very clean, almost sterile, house full of stuff. But she wasn’t into mom stuff like attending sporting events or school activities or helping with homework or just hanging out with him. So it kind of irritates me (okay it a lot irritates me) when she tells me how worried about my kids she is because my house is messy. Because yeah, its messy, but I’m still there for the important stuff and my kids don’t doubt for a second that they’re loved. They think I’m weird, and they are every bit as messy as I am, but they know that at the end of the day I’m there for them no matter what, and that no stuff is more important than they are.
Weird, so NOT where I expected this to go. Funny how that happens..
So I had surgery on May 3. The surgery wasn’t like a huge surprise or anything. I knew if I went to the OB/GYN that I’d have a hysterectomy within the year. It was a little faster than I expected but the procedure was a long time coming. I’d actually scheduled it once before with this doctor and once before with another doctor (THAT time was way exciting–I ended up pregnant instead) so I had dealt with all the “say good-bye to your womanhood” type feelings a couple of times already. And honestly the first time I was too young to realize the loss and the second time I was devastated and ended up with a miracle baby (and yes I know she is a miracle even though that idea makes me a tad uncomfortable) so this time I was mentally prepared for something that at this point I don’t exactly consider a loss anymore. My uterus and my right ovary were broken and I was done using them, so losing them wasn’t really sad at this point in my life. I WISH I could say losing them wasn’t painful, but that would be a big fat lie. OMG! Surgery was May 3rd and I am just now am starting to get around mostly normally. I still can’t get up or sit down or bend over without it hurting and getting my daughter ready for her dance recital this past week had me calling the doctor for more meds. I thought everything was exhausting before, but this is just ridiculous. I haven’t wanted to do anything but sit in the recliner and watch TV for the past 3 weeks. I haven’t even tried to knit, I’ve read nothing but “brain candy” (no offence Charlaine Harris, I love you to pieces, and I wish my brain could be satisfied on just your words) and I’ve barely talked to anyone. I’ve made a couple of VERY taxing attempts to shop with my friend the last two Fridays, but they have unfortunately not left me wanting more. I’m starting to be concerned that this convalescence has left me alone in my own head (and with the TV) a bit too much.
The person I’ve felt most connected to in the past 3 weeks was a woman on the show Hoarding:Buried Alive on TLC. Weird, right? This is what she said that got my attention: “I’ve always felt the only thing I couldn’t manage was a household.”. I actually rewound the TV and listened to her say it again, because I couldn’t believe somebody else felt the same way–much less a 50-year-old woman I’d never met and probably would never meet. I’ve never felt like a household was something I could keep up with, but I’ve never really been daunted by much else. I always ALWAYS knew I was going to need a partner when it came to staying on top of things like dishes and laundry. Even in highschool I’d get marks for my tiny half of a room not being clean (and I was continually surprised by those marks, because I always thought things were fine), and my college room– my goodness, that was always a state and a cause of all kinds of roommate troubles. I thought when I married my first husband–who I was such good friends with–that when we moved in together I’d have a partner and if I did some things he’d do somethings and the mess would be easier to contain. What is it they say about the best laid plans? That quickly deteriorated into the blame game: “You should” “No, YOU should” which of course meant nothing got done but shouting and then shouting led to violence and then I wasn’t married to him anymore.
I moved from living with him to living with husband of almost sixteen years now, and while this one wasn’t very friendly, he was very neat and very capable. He rescued me and took me somewhere safe and made sure there was food on the table; he helped me get a car; he helped me move my stuff; he charmed the pants off my parents; me made my ex sign the divorce. So what if hanging out with me was a job he left to his roommates? He’d spend time with me when it was just the two of us right? Or when we moved to the next town, or the next one, or when the baby came, or we moved again, or when we owned our own home, or when the next baby came, or when we moved AGAIN, or when???????????
Karen, the lady on the hoarding show, would just shut the door on her mess and go on with her life like the mess wasn’t there and I think that’s the other reason why I identified with her so much. I do that with the physical mess (I literally just don’t see it) and with the relationship mess. I just shut the door on both of them and go on like they aren’t there. And for the most part this has worked. Somehow the necessary stuff always gets taken care of. I’ve had a lot of time to look around and open doors the past few months while I’ve been ill more often than not and I think maybe I’ve been shutting the door and pretending the mess isn’t there for too long and now I’m at the point– in my relationshipat least, not in my house–where I’m being threatened with condemnation if I don’t get it cleaned up. And like all hoarders, I really have no idea where to start.