Friday, June 1, 2012

Taking a breath

This weekend, I will have a chance to catch my breath.

Today, I will do my utmost to hit some work deadlines (or have to catch up on the weekend), and then I will run for the bus home, then jump in the car to pick up Katherine from a friend's house where she's having an after school playdate, and then go to friends' home for dinner.

These are good friends, they know me, they understand me, and they will let me put my feet up on their sofa as our daughters play and they will offer me wine and let me cry a bit if I need to, but more likely they will make me laugh.

And in this way, I will make it until bedtime, and then I can collapse.

I wasn't expecting this level of fatigue.  Some of it is physical - I really am on duty ALL THE TIME, as my beloved daughter can't seem to fall asleep before 9:30pm and I have lights out at 10, so from the moment I rise to the moment I go to bed, I'm a whirling dervish of activity.  Household cares, feeding us, taking care of the pets, much work.  In that brief half hour when she's asleep, I run around tidying, getting ready for the next day.  Or I try to read, and feel guilty the whole time because of the things being left undone.

I've screwed up twice this week, and I'm ashamed.  I forgot Katherine's piano lesson last night.  I could blame it on the long weekend - oh no, it's not Wednesday, it's Thursday! - but it's really because I'm not thinking straight.  And then I was pleased with myself because I remembered the big school event and prepared Katherine for it, but on the bus on the way to work I saw a friend's Facebook post about crazy hair day.

Katherine's hair is neatly brushed today.  It is not crazy.  This will make her sad.  Like me, she likes to celebrate every little thing, to get into things, and she will be at school with un-crazy hair.

For some reason this made me want to vomit.

There is no time to vomit.  I will remain proud that I served a meal, at the table, that included vegetables, last night.  That we called both sets of grandparents.  That homework was completed.  That I read a chapter of her book to her.  That I did not crawl into bed in my clothes and tell her to go away I was too tired to do anything.  That I got up and made her breakfast, packed a lunch, saw her off to school with a hug and an "I love you."  That I made it to work where, after I hit "publish", I will bust my rear end all day.

But this weekend, I just need to be quiet, to do nothing, and somehow get a bit caught up, too.  Hopefully Bryan and Katherine will be having a good time, but I'm just going to try to regroup, so that on Monday I can do it all over again, but maybe without losing my mind.

I've been doing this for a while now.  I think I'm terrified of the impact that Bryan's move will have on Katherine, that I'm terrified about money, that I'm terrified that I'm falling too far behind on everything and will never be able to catch up.  It's all catching up to me.  Maybe this weekend I can make it better.  Maybe.

Happy Friday, dear readers.  If you'd like to vent in the comments about your own lives, it would make me feel less alone, and maybe release some of your own tension, too.


  1. I love how you describe the things you forgot to do, mistakes made, but then remembered to consider all of the things you were able to accomplish in this state you are in of running on only one of four cylinders! I was there, panicing at the thought of how I would complete the job of raising the children without help, when their father decided to leave without warning. I remember feeling like my mind was constantly out of focus.I love that expression "having the rug pulled out from underneath you" because that describes it perfectly! But I have a wise friend who kept directing me to the things I was still doing right to keep me from dwelling on my f -ups ,of which there were many! She would remind me of the confident woman she knew before the fall, and how much she admired that woman. I hated the scared ,whiney creature who wanted to sleep all of the time - the new me. These are the times we are at survival mode and all the other human faculties are pushed aside for the sake of survival. We have difficulty thinking of others and their needs when there's a shark in the water.

    1. "My mind was constantly out of focus" - oh, yes, that's it! Where *am* I in all of this? It's so easy to get sucked into the day to day, and when the day to day is grinding us down, well, that's not ideal, is it. Thank you for sharing your experiences - I was right, it DID make me feel less alone! How are you now? Are you doing okay? I love a happy ending, too.

    2. Yes, I have picked up the pieces and moved on after the loss of my 26 year marriage ,but what a slow and painful process it was! I have remarried and in retrospect it was worth the struggle to have an opportunity I would not have had otherwise: to know love in a way I could not have understood or appreciated before pain changed my perception of all things. I am wiser, and so you will be.

  2. Happy Friday to you as well, PollyAnna.

    That "on duty all the time" thing? I get it. I think many, many of us get it. Does it help if I tell you that you build up stamina in that department? You eventually get so used to it you just do it - like the Nike commercial.

    It's not easier (or less tiring) so much as it becomes automatic. I'm not sure if that's good or bad, but my intention is to suggest that it's livable... and when you collapse into bed at night, you can do so knowing you gave the day your all, and did what you had to.

    That may not sound glamorous, but I think it's honorable. That's not a word we use much anymore, but maybe we should.

  3. BLW, yes, I do believe you get it...and that maybe you can explain it to me! I'm used to doing the impossible (fifteen surgeries in six years....) but sometimes it just seems, well, impossible! Thank you for your encouraging words.

    "Honorable" is what I'm striving for. I use the word "integrity" a lot, but honorable is a wonderful word. When Katherine comes running in full of requests and I want to be left alone because of this fatigue, it is honor that makes me look her in the eyes and smile.

    BLW, I'm so glad you're here. Thank you.

  4. I read through all of your blog. I feel like we are the same person. Three years ago, my ex finally moved out after my asking him to do so a year earlier. It was the worst year of my life. Walking on eggshells is an easy path compared to the life I lived. I did not go through cancer but did have a cancer scare and my father was dying from melanoma at the time. Get the apartment, pack his stuff and move him. Procrastination is an artform with these guys. I know mental illness is hard but you deserve to be happy. I chose the high road as well but in the end I had to put my foot down. The good news is that you won't believe the difference in your life when he no longer has access to your home. You'll be able to breathe! You'll feel so free! and you will feel like a rock star eventually! It takes time and I'll be praying for you. All the best to you and your daughter!

  5. Brenda, your post brings me so much hope - thankyouthankyouthankyou! I hate to think of how you've had to live through this too, but knowing that you are ahead of me, and that you found your inner rock star again, makes me happier than I can tell you. Please visit here again often - I look forward to hearing from you.

  6. We are not alone. Please visit and Also,

    I haven't quite found the rock star but I'm getting there! It just takes time. You'll have it once you figure out your freedom!