Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Yeesh, life.

So my thesis draft got turned in on time. I don't think anyone suspected it wouldn't, me being me, but I feel like I have to mention it because it's been the biggest thing around here for a month or so.

So, yeah. 185 pages.

I just positively don't care, today, if that's possible. I mean, I'm glad it's done as much as it can be done--for now--and I didn't sit on my rump and drink Icees (like I wanted to do) and watch a shit ton of old (young) Paul Newman movies instead of writing. I did the right thing and I worked like a dog. And hunkering down like that came at a cost.

1. I am taking more than I am giving. Way.

I am annoying right now. To everyone in my life. I can feel it and there's not much I can do. I am not holding up my end of the bargain or making anyone's life easier right now, and I know it. And in some ways it's easy to go Yeah, no. Because, THESIS. But then things start to get bigger than who is cooking and who is or is not driving Addie to swimming every night. I know that I have to tell people no right now in order to survive, but I can't turn off the part of my head that makes that feel wrong.

2. I am a tired, tired teacher.

There's not much to be said about that except: lots of mornings, 4:45 AM, me, words. The result is that my patience for any kind of extra demand on my time is not thin, it is broken. Over. Kaput. Pfft. Unfortunately my entire profession seems to be about patience. And about doing things that are "extra" or "just because" or you know, "out of the goodness of my heart."

Heaven help me. So many things to do. There just isn't enough espresso.

3. So many nitrates being served at home.

I normally pride myself on our post-Michael Pollan era of food allergy acceptance and whole food cooking chez nous. Not so much right now. Bye bye, meals cooked from things that grow on plants. Hello, nights when I open the freezer and then we eat salty, salty blobs that go onto a pan in the oven. It's not long-term. Nobody is going to get ill from this. I just know exactly how bad this is (read: know exactly how much higher our sodium and assorted chemical content has risen) and I hate it.

My kids think they're on food vacation. We've never had so many things out of a box. And individual packets. Like Pop Tarts. Their first Pop Tarts. (You can imagine they're not complaining.) When Henry writes his memoir, this is going to be the fun chapter about all the sodium and corn syrup. The one where Mommy gets kind of weird and drinks a lot of milkshakes, too.

4. When I am not busy, I am hiding.

Rick Steves and Kevin Spacey are my new friends. That's healthy, right? I am not doing well around people. Even online, which is my go-to, what with the writing rather than the actual talking. I am avoiding. Eating my lunch in my classroom. Spending most of last weekend alone inside. Cave time.


But anyway (yes I buried this pretty low in the post... it took me a while to write my way in...) there's just too much real life happening that I don't really care about the thesis stuff today. My grandma has been unwell after a fall. In the time I went into my cocoon to work on my thesis she went from injured but seemingly okay to worse to really, really bad. When I finally emerged this week and could go to visit her, she's in the hospital, incoherent, and doesn't recognize family members.

What I told myself was the necessary selfishness of seclusion--of not being as present in the family just so I could get through writing my thesis on time--may have cost me some important moments with Grandma. It may not have; she may be fine but we don't know, but either way I have guilt about my choices and about trying to control things like timing. I'm worried for her, and for my dad and his brother and sisters. And I know I was already not dealing with things well before this week. Stupid things like groceries. You can imagine how I'm not dealing well with things that matter.

I can't stand selfishness, and even the thought that I was selfish so I could finish school is tearing me up.

Also: this past Saturday, E's grandpa died. We knew it was coming, but E is struggling. He's sad. I'm sad. And I'm so sad for him. E and his grandpa were very close. It's been hard. Right now I want to be there for E and I know that I'm not as sensitive to what he needs as I could be.

I was worried that I wasn't strong enough to write this book. Now I'm more worried that I was strong enough to write it and stay in my bubble for so long.

This is the messiest post ever. I just felt like I needed to get all this out. I'm not trying to have a pity party. Just sad that I know I'm not being everything I need to the people I love right now.

There's no wrapping this up neatly, is there? If you're a praying person, or a good thoughts-holding person, we could use them this week. Grandma EV. My extended family. Eric. His mom's family. Our kids. Me.


  1. I'm not a crier, but I am in tears for both of you after reading this. My Grandpa passed away recently, and I was full of guilty feelings. Nearly everyone has them - even members of the family who were there all the time. My love and prayers to E and his family, and also to you and Grandma EV and your family.

  2. I lost my half-sister last week and now holding the guilt that I didn't travel the 7 hrs it would have taken to go see her before she passed away from cancer.
    It's a matter of making the right choices or procrastination or priorities and then having to live with them. I'm praying to make changes..putting people first.