Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Clutter.

I'm having issues. I feel like I am moving in slow motion, like I'm submerged in jello. (Always wanted to try that, by the way). Lately...no, that's a lie. More than lately. For a long, long time, I have struggled with some things. I can't even put a finger on all of them. Self-esteem, organization, motivation, purpose, courage, priorities...to name a few. I sometimes live like there is no tomorrow, and other times I worry that I have no time left and that nothing means anything. Some days the wind is at my feet, and I am unstoppable. Some days, I don't want to get out of bed, because I feel I can't do the things I need to do. Some people are so good at keeping it all together, and I haven't been, and it's catching up with me. In everything...I feel like I have put so many things on the back burner that there's now a fire in the kitchen. Ethiopia. I can't even pretend I am doing enough. Today when I read that Haregewoin Tererra had passed away, I cried, of course in honor of all she has done, but also because I remembered reading There is No Me Without You. I read it and was absorbed and overpowered and knew that I would always, always feel that way. And I do, but the intensity of it has faded. I'm scared I am losing Ethiopia. Because I am lazy, and I can't help but to live this crazy, nonstop life I have created. I can't put the right things first.
Adam. Yep, even that sweet man has been affected. (Please, Mom, don't panic...we are fine). But there has been something missing, or maybe just faded, and the best news I can report is that we are totally aware of it, and instead of growing apart, we are catching each other, not falling, and not backing away. Like we promised we would. He will probably kill me for this much honesty. But I truly believe (think?) that it happens to all couples, and that hiding it only makes me a phony. (Or a normal, private type person...eh.) I really miss him when he is gone, and I know that he is doing it for us, and just...it's alot.
I have come to realize that I have been living with so much crap under my metaphorical rug, that I'm choking on it. I will feel great and in control and then realize that I'm actually going bonkers because the garage is disgusting and anyone who walks through it will think we are totally trashy. So, clean it, right? No, I don't. I just ignore the anxiety I feel every time I come home. Same with the car. Oh, wow. What a nightmare. I NEED to clean it, I NEED an oil change, I NEED to have the tires checked. These are normal, grown up things that for some reason, I like to ignore until they are taunting me, telling me what a loser I am. Every room in my house is full of junk that I don't need. Stuff that no one even touches or remembers. I will say that in a way, I do like a crowded room. I'm not a minimalist. But I don't need this much stuff. Toys, clothes, furniture, the effing chandelier that's still sitting in the foyer. That I didn't need.
It's more than just stuff, too. It's the anxiety I feel when I have a job coming up, or a bill collector calls my cell phone and I ignore it. The feeling that whatever I am doing is just not good enough, and why would I not just snap out of it, go on a frenzy and get this stuff done? The more I wait, the more it all builds and builds, until I can't even remember to send Charlie to school with a green toy for show and tell. I panic when I hear the date because OH CRAP did I have something to do today? Is someone waiting for me somewhere and I forgot?
And why, instead of doing the things I need to do to feel better, to make all of our lives happier, do I constantly escape into this freaking internet? I have no real reason to check my email, blog, facebook 100 times a day. The reason is that it's a distraction. From what's really going on. From the garage, the bills, the kids, the problems. My mind is cluttered. I'm so worried about everyone else that my own life suffers. What people think, what they are doing, who's going where, and should we go, too? If we cook out, I wonder who we can invite over? If we go to the park, I need someone to meet me there. Why is nothing ever enough for me? I can't seem to remember anything, I can't seem to really focus on the kids, or Adam, or the house. It's all just...surviving. And I am sick of it. I know this sounds like some pretty easy things to deal with...procrastination, lack of motivation, and a messy minivan. Who doesn't feel that way? But to me, all those things are on steroids. I sat outside today, looking out of that really gross garage, and thought....enough is enough. I am ready. To box up, to clean out, to photograph from my heart, to really PLAY with my kids, to make out with my husband, to rake the leaves, invent adventures, pay those hospital bills off, to broaden myself, my life, our life. I have everything I ever wanted. What's the point if your hiding inside your head all the time?
It's scary...but exciting, to think that I can make some kind of step to getting out of this place. I want to remember who I am, and like her. And be proud of the wife, mom, friend, sister, daughter, artist that I want to be.

Deep breath.

29 comments:

Julie said...

Oh Heather, there is such pain in this post. I am so sorry you are feeling this way. I wish I could give you a big hug. I feel a lot of the same things you do. I am stuck myself.
It is overwhelming, I would think, two young kids, a husband who is gone a lot. Give yourself a break. You are a great mom. Look at your kids!! They are so happy and loved.
You'll find your way. Take care of that big, full heart of yours.

habeshachild said...

Big post, big stuff, big heart.

I can't imagine how overwhelmed you must feel - you have a LOT on your plate.

Hang in there - keep breathing and don't focus too much on the enormity of the big tasks (like the garage). Just do one little thing.

J-Mac said...

We're doppelgangers!! Holy crap, as I read this (not checking facebook, not checking facebook) I am pretty sure that you wrote down (since I only do bullet points) EXACTLY HOW I FEEL TOO!!! Blame Sarah Palin and all the other "Super Moms" that make us spaghettio and bath tomorrow moms feel like junk. I think I can write for like 100 hours on this, so I'll just see you tonight to talk. Oh and I've seen your garage and ours is worse if that makes you feel better. Love you a whole lot sweet girl!

stephanie said...

Oh Heather, I can relate to so much of your post. I hope it helps to know you're not alone. It really does for me. Now, I have to go because my son is pulling at my pants leg while I'm typing on the internets. Mother of the year again. Argh.

rebekah said...

Gosh. All I've ever strived for in my life is my own personal consistency and at 41 I'm realizing my expectations are absurd. But the thing is, like you're saying, when you don't feel right about it, you do something about it. You find a way to see it and right yourself. Don't underestimate how much your two kids take from you even when you don't know it - they're in your heart and head constantly. It took me months to accept the new messy reality of life with 2.

Our basement is a nightmare. My husband and I are wondering why we didn't stay a fun couple without kids. I need a shock collar to keep me off personal online stuff. It is an escape but at the same time, where would I be without my online peeps?

Oh I don't know. I don't know the answer or how to deal 'properly' with any of this - just be kind to yourself.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog, I read it weekly. and today I actually felt like you were talking to me about what WE were both going through. I am at a different "stage". Im enaged, no kids but feel oddly distant from things and overwhelmed by everything. I have surges of motivation and then they fade. I will be staying with you on your journey, just know that "us" girls are out here in the blogworld rooting for you!

hotflawedmama said...

No words, just hugs. Thanks so much for being honest. Though it may not seem like it, your honesty does a lot for the online community and it might've just saved someone else from thinking they were alone and getting too overwhelmed. Hugs!

Mike C. said...

I made out with your husband for you. So you can cross that off the list. :)

Adam's Mom said...

Thanks Mike.

Anonymous said...

Continue to take DEEP BREATHS!!! And, so what your garage is full of crap! Look at it this way...at least you still have a garage and crap to put in it! Lot's of folks don't any more. So, be glad of that. And, as the saying goes..."don't sweat the small stuff!" Love your kids, your husband and YOURSELF!! And, not always in the same order!! PEACE TO YOU!

Christina said...

Hey Heather, stop reading my diary. :)

We need to live closer; then we could help each other clean our garages. Seriously, I'm right there with you. So no advice, just hugs.

BoShanks said...

I will help you create the life you want. Or die trying.

Love you.

2girls said...

Hugs. Totally get what you are saying about the "clutter."

amber carden said...

Honestly living with you has really made me look deep inside and DIG! I feel like I am finally coming into the person I want to be and it's because you have given me the one thing I really honestly craved. A family. I know things will even out and you will be even more amazing than you already are! So smile, and know that you will get through all of this!

Lyn-Dee said...

I have been reading your blog since we decided to adopt, a year ago. I enjoy reading your blog because you so seem to have your act together! You are very funny, very loving, and see like a terrific mom. I felt it reassuring that you are like the rest of us and are just struggling somedays to be everything to everybody, or just somebody to yourself. Know that you are not alone. The key for me is to be realistic. What is actually doable in this 17 hr day, what HAS to be done and what would be nice. Somedays I get to and maybe even through the nice stuff but other days I don't even get close to getting the HAVE to done. I then realize that those HAVE TOs are usually pressure I put on myself. I try to take a deep breath and just say it will wait until tomorrow. Anyway, just wanted you to know that I cherish reading the honesty in your blog and appreciate you letting us readers into your lives.

Deirdre said...

Parallel lives, again! I can totally, completely relate to all you wrote, and all I can say is that you'll feel soooooo good when you start tackling some of the stuff that's hanging over you. At least that's how I felt yesterday, when it was 70 degrees, and I went out into the backyard I had been avoiding (too much dog poop, veggie garden that still hadn't been cleaned out from last summer—and that was a vivid reminder of my gardening failures, leaves that had never been raked, kids' toys everywhere) and actually did what it took to make it usable again. Like normal people do, but I don't. It felt really, really good to scoop that poop (never thought I'd say that!), and I bet you'll start to feel good again when you tackle that garage. :-)

Anonymous said...

So sorry you are feeling so overwhelmed. IT totally sucks. I hope this feeling passes soon.

Jan

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=at_lUnFjXg8

Darrius Rucker "It won't be like this for long"

Good song for you right now!

Jan

MaineMom said...

Just stumbled upon your blog and this post after doing a Google search for Haregewoin Tereffa (I recently read her book and am going to Ethiopia in under a month now).

I hear your struggles all too clear! My garage is a DISASTER!! I don't want people coming through it b/c I'm so ashamed. Just last night I was overwhelmed with anxiety from life - just everything from work, to kids, to my house that never stays clean, to the details of my trip, etc...

Finally I just took a deep breath and decided to take one task at a time.

Thanks for sharing your emotions! It makes me feel good to know there are "others" like me!!

P.S. Beautiful children!!

Rachel B. said...

I sure do love you Heatherbean...More than you will ever know...This blog brought tears to my eyes...Happy tears..That you are growing and finding that happy place...Keep going!!! You will get "there"..I know you will...

audreyh said...

Wow, as I read your post like others comments it rang so true to the way I feel and probably most Mom's do. Not one day goes by that I don't feel guilt for something....from my husband, kids, job, the house. I could go on and on about the different things that I beat myself up for on a daily basis. But I will spare you all...
Anyways, my point is that we all may have things that we need to improve on, things we feel like we have to get done right now!!! But the truth is yes we do need to do more but at the same time our kids are only young once. We can never get this time back with them. In 20 years I guarantee you that I won't think back and remember that my house was messy, and every time I get out of my car I wondered why the carport is always a wreck. (Even after it was just cleaned up) I will instead remember that I was there for my children when they needed me the most. I was able to pick them up from school, go with them on field trips, watch them on field day, school Easter egg hunts, etc. I hope that when kids look back they will remember that as well and they will (hopefully) do the same for their children.
There is a saying that goes something like this "Cleaning your house when your children are young, is like shoveling the driveway when it is snowing" Now I am not saying we need to live in filth, I am saying that from what I see you are a great Mom who loves her children and her husband dearly. You aren't thinking anything that the rest of us aren't or haven't thought. It shows that you care and love your family and your life, as well you should.
Whew that was a lot! But I feel much better now having said ALL of that and now I need to go home and clean the house again, just so that 10 minute later my sweet little girl will trash it just like she always does! But thank you for inspiring me to be a better Mom. I needed a little push and kick in the tush!
Oh, any I must say your garage did look fabulous!!!

nosmallfeat said...

I have said it before but I will say it again -- I love your honesty. You are so genuine and real.

I will also say that you are not alone in the things you struggle with or are concerned about but if you break it down... one thing at a time, you will chip away at its enormity and it will become manageable, fixable, doable.

... or you can just do what I plan to do this weekend: watch the Twilight DVD on a running loop. ;)

Hang in there and if you need or want my ear, all you have to do is call.

xoxo

Chantel said...

Oh Heather...I love how you can put to words what we all feel so poignantly. I think we are all guilty of letting the day to day stuff pile up both physically and mentally. We've been in our home for 15 months now and haven't done a thing to it. Pictures and curtains are still unhung, walls unpainted, garage unorganized, yard still unlandscaped! I still haven't gone back to school or even figured out what I want to be when I grow up! I haven't done anything on my "Before I Die List" and sometimes it makes me feel so depressed and pointless I can't even get out of bed or enjoy a birthday! The thing is...I have to just shake myself sometimes and take a step back to look at all the things I have done in my life and all the blessings I have and say "WHO CARES!". Look at your life, your friends, your family, your children! Never look at a pile of laundry or a dirty car and think anyone is suffering b/c of it. In fact, I think we can all agree that anyone who has you in their life is better off b/c of it. You know I don't offer praise lightly so take it to heart when I say that I think you are an amazing person, the greatest friend anyone can ask for and an inspiring mother that moves me even to want to be a mom! Dirty windows aren't going to dim your light mamma! As always, thanks for sharing your heart and taking the time to stop and think about who you are and what your purpose is...most people never find that insight or maturity in life.

I love you more than you know....your friend, Telly xoxoxox

P.S. Oh and thanks Adam for making me tear up before 10:00 am. You are a good man and I am so thankful you two found each other in this crazy universe of ours.

Wendy said...

I soooo get it. One day at a time. (Or maybe even one thing at a time.)

Kari said...

Oh my Heatherbean (or Jules as I like to call you) you were obviously reading my mind, as I posted a "holy crap" post too.
You are SO not alone! You are a great mom and it will work out. Just breathe, love, and keep your head up.
Thank you so much for being so honest. Life as a family of four can be overwhelming, but you will find your way back to a place where it won't seem so hard.
Love you guys bunches! P.S. I think I am ready for a roadtrip to GA!

Ashley said...

Hi Heather, found your blog thru a series of other great blogs and I'm glad i did. What a beautifully honest post. I think every mother feels this way sometimes. I recently wrote a post called "Guilt and Personality Typing" on my blog. If you want read it, then tell me what your personality type is, I will tell you all the ways you rock as a mama! ;)

ShannonC said...

You are not alone.
You are not alone.
You are not alone.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!

I'm on your heels... funk just doesn't cover it.

Karen said...

It took me a long time to actually have time to sit down and read your post from start to finish. Because I'm overwhelmed too - with the kids, the wifely-stuff, the household stuff, the job - life in general, I think...

But when I get a glimpse into other women's lives - women who I've never met but just instantly know are beautiful inside and outside, strong, and resilient, I know that I can get through one more day, one more week, and get one step closer to the person I know I can be. Messy garage and all.

Anonymous said...

I truly believe that we have reached the point where technology has become one with our society, and I am 99% certain that we have passed the point of no return in our relationship with technology.


I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Ethical concerns aside... I just hope that as the price of memory decreases, the possibility of copying our memories onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's a fantasy that I dream about every once in a while.


(Posted on Nintendo DS running [url=http://quizilla.teennick.com/stories/16129580/does-the-r4-or-r4i-work-with-the-new-ds]R4 SDHC[/url] DS NetBlog)