Day 2: Even in Australia

Alexander and the Terrible Horrible no good very bad what

Pumpkin woke me up at 7:30 on the first day in a week when I didn’t have to wake up early, on a morning after I stayed up far too late the night before archiving photographs because the warning messages were starting about “Hey girl hey, you have too much stuff on your computer so I’m going to just slow things down for you. Liiiiiiiiiike thiiiiiiiiiiisssss….”

I don’t know where the morning started going off the rails. Pumpkin had prepared my breakfast and left me a sweet note. The breakfast was cold and frankly I wasn’t really hungry – but I ate it anyway.

I started tinkering around the house, chipping away at my to-do list. I found a towel, drenched with bathwater, resting on the carpet in the hallway. Heavy with water and starting to smell of mold. Frustration rose. Who did this? Why? Trudged downstairs slamming a pile of wet towel and wet clothes with me.

Tried to put clothes away, tripped over toys.

Tried to let the water drain out of a two days old bath, the drain refused to cooperate.

A series of little things made me think of all the big things – all of it pointing like big neon arrows to: None of this would be so bad if you had a real job.*

And it’s true, you know, money can’t really buy happiness but it does quiet some of the nagging voices that tell you that you can’t really call a plumber to deal with the tub. And that it’ll be okay if the garbage disposal never really starts working right, you’ll just take out your trash more often. It lets you buy Christmas gifts without having a detailed grand master plan and it allows you to sometimes decide not to try to figure out what to make for dinner and lets you spontaneously tell your kids, “Hey! Let’s go out!”

But it’s not even just that.

A messy house that the kids don’t want to help clean. A dog that has somehow acquired thirty tug of war ropes, all of which have been chewed to shreds, leaving little rope pieces all over your living room. Not being able to fold clothes because the dog steals the socks.

A hormonal and Halloween-induced feeling of fluffiness and no energy to do anything but a jaunt on the treadmill that leaves your hip aching because your gait is dumb and your foot rolls out and it’s making everything hurt.

A kid who says she’s hungry but refuses everything you’ve suggested until you finally make a piece of buttered toast sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, thrust the plate in her direction and say, “JUST EAT THE TOAST!”

Michigan and Michigan State played and I always want Michigan to win if only to quiet the “ha ha sucka you lost” taunts from State fans. Michigan lost.

Preparing a dinner that The Princess refused to eat because, “I was just tolerating grilled chicken before. I don’t really like it.” (I mean, WHAT IS THAT? Tolerating chicken? Can you just give me a break now?)

All of those little things and more. This heaviness. This feeling. This being so tired and exhausted and just wanting the tide to turn and for everything to start going my way.

So Chris, He Who Makes Me So Happy, met me on his way to work to bring me his dog  as an excuse to stop and hug me in the middle of my day. As another reminder – my children are two more – that not everything is bad. That there’s a lot of good stuff. That I am loved. As I type this, his dog is licking his foot clean and the girls are laughing at this display, the weird grooming practice of this dog. This dog who hovers close, assumes the role of little spoon as soon as I lay on the couch.

I am grateful now that the day is almost over. I feel like I’ve been tumbled in the clothes dryer. Beat up, worn down and just exhausted. I am hopeful that tomorrow will be better. It should be.

I wonder sometimes if perhaps it is a mistake lately to post so much of this negativity. Meh. Maybe? Maybe not? I would hate to give the sense that all day every day that I am sad or ungrateful for what is beautiful in my world and focusing only on the negative. I could gloss the picture, surely, and let everyone believe that life was perfect but just as those people who post on Facebook (Fakebook?) all the time about how wonderful everything is, you wouldn’t really believe me if I said that, would you? I’d laugh in my face and call me a liar.

Fact is, some days just…are rough. And sometimes life is rough. And sometimes you have to give in to that. Sometimes you have to cry and curse the bathtubs that don’t drain, the jobs you don’t get, the abundance of leftover chicken, and the football team that beat yours. It’s just… life.


* I feel like I should state for the record: Sometimes I worry that people I work with will read this blog and get all defensive or angry the way I talk about job hunting or “real jobs” but I also figure that every one knows that it wasn’t my choice to transition to part-time. And most people realize that a single mom can’t really get by working 24 hours a week. If they don’t like that this change in circumstances is causing me stress than they are welcome to stop reading. I mean no disrespect: it is what it is. This is a situation I didn’t choose and I am working towards solutions that work for my family.


About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.

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