Well, it has been a while... and there is so much to say. My husband asked me the other night if I'm happy being at home. I thought for a moment and answered, "I'm not unhappy; I just wish I was more productive. But really, I could be more productive, my problem, as we all know, is motivating myself, and I am not good at that." The real answer is that I want to be Mary Beth
, or to be what I perceive her to be - a real Earth Mom to her children, someone fun, sexy and creative. I want to be laid back and confident. I wish I didn't have to worry about all the stuff that I worry about and that I could just be. On the other hand, I don't truthfully have so much to worry about, as my husband single-handedly takes care of our finances (which are in a bad situation), and lets me be oblivious as I want to be, and I don't read the news. But then I think about how I really would like to read the news and to know what's going on in the world. I do worry about our finances, and I would like to contribute to them and know that I'm making a difference in that area. And I also know that when I'm too laid back, I fall over.
So, as always, where's the balance between having an orderly home and having fun with my daughters, between being neat and put-together and becoming obsessive about it, as I easily could? How do I be myself when I've been lost for as long as I can remember? How can I make myself do something with my life when I've been in the same paralyzed situation for years? How do I avoid becoming even more of a broken record?
I had one of those late for class dreams the other night. I was in school and I found my way to every class - Economics, English, etc, and then, suddenly, I wasn't sure what day it was and what class I had next, and where the classroom was, and so I arrived late, and it turned out it was a class with a Rabbi who was my Rabbi before I got married, and whose Torah I love, and with whom I really connect. So, I walk in late, and everyone is staring at me because they know that this is my class, and I'm grinning because I'm so happy to be in this class again, and I sit down, and he starts directing his lecture right toward me, where I'm sitting in the back of the class. I don't think that it's too hard to understand what that dream means. I need to find my way back to my Torah, back to my roots, back to the Source of my life, because seriously, how long can I continue complaining about how I'm lost before I fix it?
I read a blog somewhat recently who suggested writing for ten minutes - just starting to write, and ten minutes later, see what's there. So, this is my attempt...
I am disappointed. I'm disappointed with myself and my life and all the challenges I don't take and all the demons I don't face. I want more. I've always wanted more, and even worse, I've always believed that I'm destined for more. But more than what? It's not that I think being a wife and mother isn't enough for me. It's not that I think those things can't fulfill me. It's not that I don't want to be a wife or a mother, or whatever else I am. I want to be MORE wife, MORE mother, MORE me. But, I've also spent a good deal of time cutting myself off from myself - becoming, as Steve would say, a talking head. I really miss Steve. As much as my work in that class was somewhat contrived, I still gained so much from it - I let myself go and let myself get into it much more that I expected. Anyway, I digress. I was saying that I want to be more, but I'm not even sure who I really am anymore. This applies to all aspects of my life, too - physical, mental, intellectual, spiritual, emotional, religious, mystical, sexual, etc, etc, etc. (You know, I always say it that way, but who says I ever was sure who I was? But again, I digress.) I always wished that the mental or spiritual issues could be extracted and dealt with in a physical way, like untying knots, which I happen to be very good at. I suppose it stands to reason that if I'm good at untying physical knots, I should be good at untying the emotional, sexual, etc ones as well. But perhaps not. Maybe I'm just good with my hands. Really, I know what my problem is. I don't like to try things. I like to know that I know what I'm doing, and then do it. This is why I've been stagnant for the past number of years - I'm trying to figure it out before trying to do it, and life just doesn't seem to work that way after all. The story goes that when I started walking, I didn't let anyone know I was trying until one day, my mother told me that I couldn't go somewhere unless I could walk there myself, and I stood up on my feet and walked across the room. I was twenty months old. Hard to believe, seeing as that's older than my middle daughter, and she's already trying to learn how to jump. But that's not the point. The point is that there is no correct way to live that can be divined in advance. The way to live is just to live. The way to be more is just to be more. The way to have meaning is to make it meaningful, make life into what I want it to be...as soon as I figure out what that is.
Wow. That was more than ten minutes. I'll definitely try this again sometime...
Today, my husband made an offer that was meant as a helpful suggestion. But as I felt myself react, I realized that I was not taking in that way. It wasn't about how he said it, or about what he said, but intrinsically, I felt that his offer was undermining to me. I felt that his implication was that I am not capable. He said, "I'm just trying to help you." And I said, "I know. I guess I resent that." So where I could just say, "sure, thanks," I know I would be resentful inside, and I don't really mean, "sure, thanks." So, I told him that I can't talk about it right now. But will I ever be able to talk about it? Will I ever be able to live my life in a less screwed-up way?
A meme I saw on someone else's blog, and I sometimes like to do these for a diversion... So, here it is:
Ten years ago, I was gearing up for my last year of university. I was in summer school, taking two courses: Twentieth Century Womens' Writing, and Science and Creativity. Both were tons of fun, and I really learned a lot.
Ten months ago, I was just finished nursing my middle daughter, and was about to find out I was pregnant with the little one.
Ten days ago, I was comforting my oldest daughter after she was scared at the Lag B'Omer bonfire (a huge piece of burning cardboard fell right near her, but she was looking the other way, so she was more frightened when the neighbor unexpectedly grabbed her away.)
Ten minutes ago, I was enjoying listening to Bon Jovi, and putting on deoderant
Ten seconds ago, I was counting back ten days.
Ten seconds from now, I'll be counting ahead.
Ten minutes from now, I'll be posting this to my blog.
Ten days from now, I'll be taking the baby for her two-month checkup.
Ten months from now, I'll be cleaning for Pesach and planning a first birthday party.
Ten years from now, I'll be out there, selling my books.
That was fun!
Exhausted and Normal
There is so much to write about and no time to do anything. I want to be able to sum up how I'm feeling, but so much of it is just too raw. I love my girls, and I'm loving them more every day. They love each other - especially the big girls loving the baby. I'm trying to discipline with and through love, and I think I'm actually getting somewhere with it. There is so much positive stuff in my life now and I'm truly blessed.
But I'm also exhausted, and I can't give time that I don't have. I'm learning to give it to myself and take care of myself when I need to during the day. But at night, and after I nurse I'm totally gone. I'm exhausted and freezing, and moody and it's my husband, once again, who's suffering. He just wants to spend time together. I'm finally available, but then I'm not really available. I let the girls stay up a little later to be able to see him, and it turns into an hour and a half of time that should have been "us time." And then I fall asleep when putting them to bed. And why? Yes, it is because I know he wants to see them. But mainly, it's because I don't know what spending time together means. I ask him if he wants to play a game or watch a movie, but he's not interested. I know that I don't have the head for learning together right now, and I'll just fall asleep if we try to read together. So, now the answer is clear - I'll just have to ask him what he thinks spending time together is about. And we'll talk about it. Like a normal couple.
We had another baby girl about two weeks ago - and home in time for the seder... She's a cute and cuddly addition to the family. More to come.
Can't Rush the Process
Tonight, I took a long, hard look at myself and I realized that it's true. I don't want to be responsible. I just want to be taken care of. Now, I don't mind taking care of my kids, for the most part, but when it comes to my husband, I just don't want to be the responsible one. And that stinks. Because I'd be a great wife, and a great mom, if I'd let myself. If I'd get over whatever it is that's holding me back.
Also, another thing I realized tonight. My husband mentioned one of our neighbors, saying, "Isn't it great that they have a normal relationship - that he's taking the night off of learning with me because his wife WANTS to spend time with him?" To which I responded, "Just yesterday, I told you that I was upset when I thought we wouldn't get to eat dinner together." His response? "You never want to spend time with me, so what does that even mean?" Inside, I broke at that comment. You know why? Because it means that he wants me to change six years all at once. It's not just me who feels that way. It means that he wishes there was something I could do that would erase the pain of the past six years of our marriage. Well, so do I, honey, so do I. But it's not that simple. I know, "yesh koneh olamo b'sha'a achat" - one can earn his place in the next world in one hour (or one turn around). But in reality, it's a process. I'm not good at following through with these things, but I know I can do it. I'm not willing to let this all continue this way. There is just too much pain.
PS I know I'm contradicting this
post, but maybe that's a good thing?