Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I really have no place to complain about my daughter's whining. After you read this, you'll understand.

I have to admit that I have been throwing a pity party for myself for many months now. Home alone with my kids more often than I’d like. Woe is me. Chris stressed out about work and bringing more of that stress home with him than I’d like. Poor, poor Carol. I work full time AND raise two very young children. How do I do it? Our circa 1895 Victorian vacation home in Wisconsin STILL hasn’t sold. Get out the Kleenex. My mom’s last chemo stopped working and she is now on a new cocktail that may or may not be “the one.” Boo hoo. Running daily before work has become harder since it is PITCH black out and some weirdo in a car spooked me. Cry me a river. The fascination with eating healthfully has waned – I’m hungry for NON-baked, jalapeño flavored Tostitos and Ben & Jerry’s (it doesn’t matter what flavor anymore) ALL the time. I want my cake - literally, but don't want to gain any of the weight back that I've lost. It scares me to death that I'm going to blow all my success. Whatever.

I know that this list of issues is big. There are definitely a couple of valid stressors in my life, but I wish I could stop more often and appreciate the good things and live for today. I am completely the opposite of the people that surround me on a daily basis. I work with so many high school students who can’t think beyond today - who can’t realize how important education and hard work are for their futures. They totally live in the here and now. They spend their limited incomes on food, clothes, cell phone minutes, gas and music downloads. They study for tests and grades – not necessarily for learning and understanding.

I, on the other hand, can’t stop thinking about the future. How will we manage financially if our house in Green Bay doesn’t sell? How will Harrison manage socially in full day elementary school if he struggles a bit in half day Kindergarten? When will Ella stop whining and have mature conversations with me? When will my husband’s job calm down enough, as well as the other stressors in our life, so that we can move our marriage beyond a business partnership (running the household and managing the family)? When the house sells what will our total financial loss be? What will happen if my mom doesn’t get better?

I guess I’m wishing for balance. It seems that my life is full of great moments and awful moments. I can’t seem to find a way to stop and smell the roses enough. To stop and enjoy the process of life. Dinner in our household, for example, is a very chaotic, rushed event. Potatoes aren’t boiling, roasts aren’t baking, vegetables aren’t steamed – hell, they’re not even cooked. Dinner is healthy, but not pretty. Ok…sometimes it’s not even healthy. I long, at times, for the desire to cook meals – not just prepare them. Of course raising our children is my biggest regret when it comes to this. I wish that I would stop more often to play with them. Harrison asked me, the other day, to play in the toy room with him while Ella was napping. He handed me an airplane while he manned the helicopter. I had no idea what to do. I twirled it around the room a couple times – made some airplane noises that apparently were inaccurate – and then landed it next to the train set about 15 seconds later. My next instinct was to start picking up. That I knew how to do. That I felt comfortable with. I justified my cleaning by telling myself that at least I was in the same room with him which was “better” than cleaning upstairs.

I know as I age that balance will come. I also know that stressors come and go. I just hope that life doesn’t pass me by while I wait for everything to be perfect.

P.S. After SIXTEEN and a half months of trying to sell our vacation home, we have received our first two offers in the last 14 hours. We may actually sell it. That would definitely call for a celebration! I may not cook, but I can mix a fairly good drink.

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